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Sadhana Studies Q & A with Heather

Sadhana Studies Q & A with Heather Haxo Phillips

Why were you inspired to start this program?

Two reasons:  Our students and BKS Iyengar.

When our Guruji died last August, he said “Let my end be your beginning”.  Many of us in the Iyengar community internationally really took this to heart and have been thinking about how we should manifest his wish in our local communities.

To me, it wasn’t exactly clear.  I have been letting it percolate for over a year.  However, there was a moment this summer Iyengar Yoga Teacher Heather Haxo Phillips working the neck and shoulders with beltswhen I came home to Adeline after a weekend with my teacher Carolyn Belko, and I just knew that as a teacher.  I could see how excited our students are about Iyengar Yoga.  The flame of Iyengar Yoga is burning bright and steady in so many of us.  We are starting our tenth year at Adeline, and I have been owner for three years.  I just knew in my heart that the time was atha —right now—for us to begin a serious study of the Iyengar Yoga practice. I woke up one morning and started sketching out the program.  It flowed easily and naturally because the inspiration from Guruji and Adeline students was so strong.

Who is the program designed for?

It is for anyone who is so excited about Iyengar yoga that they wake up in the morning thinking about it.  And it is for anyone who is so excited about what they are learning that they cannot stop talking about with others. This kind of enthusiasm is a sign that you are devoted and want to know more.

Heather Haxo Phillips demonstrating Handstand at the wallThe program will help you build a daily practice and connect to the lineage, and it will take you deeper into all eight limbs of the yoga practice.  There is an additional component for people who want to teach, but I
hope that the core of our group is people who are simply passionate about the practice and want to further their study.  It doesn’t matter what your profession is, your physical condition or how many years of yoga experience you have.

Who will be teaching in this program?

Iyengar Yoga Teachers Heather Haxo Phillips and Cynthia Bates This is an especially auspicious program because we will have a community of teachers.  We are lucky in the Bay Area to have teachers with decades of experience—and I am thrilled that I was able to convince them to gather under our roof! Michael Lucey and Cynthia Bates will join me in focusing on the art, science, and practice of Iyengar Yoga.  The threeof us have worked very closely for years.

Anneke Faas is well loved at Adeline and will focus on the art of working with beginners.  She is well known for channeling her inner Mary Dunn and bringing the learnings of the New York Iyengar Institute to the West Coast.  The four of us combine totally different personalities and approaches, and I always learn so much from the others.  I am excited to teach with them at our home studio.

We have two other certified Iyengar Yoga teachers, specializing in important disciplines, to round out the Sadhana Studies program.  Jessie Holland will teach Ayurveda.  Many people at our studio have already studied asana with Jessie, but maybe they have not had the opportunity to delve into Ayurveda—a great passion and profession for Jessie.  Audrey Tan will be driving all the way from Fresno to offer our classes on anatomy and physiology.  In addition to being a CIYT and the owner of Fig Garden Yoga in Fresno, Audrey is a Certified Physical Therapist.  I have known Audrey for years and find her enthusiasm and passion infectious.   Don’t forget to ask her about Skittles, her racing car!

How can I find out more? is the first place to start.  Interested students can then send me an email to with any questions or a request for an application.  We would like all applications submitted by December 15th.