About me

My name is Ornela and I am a Level 1 (Introductory Level 2) IYENGAR® Yoga teacher based in Glasgow, Scotland. I have been teaching yoga since 2019. I started teaching in person to a small group of students while I was still an Iyengar Yoga teacher trainee, and since 2020 I have been teaching live stream classes on Zoom. I thoroughly enjoy both in-person and online teaching, as each of them has their own advantages.

My yoga journey started in 2014 when I moved to Glasgow. After exploring a range of disciplines, from Hatha, to Vinyasa, and Yin, I still felt something was missing in my practice and the level of understanding of the asanas. I decided to explore yoga on my own, when I ran into “Light on Yoga”, a book by B.K.S Iyengar. The clarity, simplicity and precision of explanation of each asana prompted me to try Iyengar Yoga classes. After the first class of Iyengar Yoga I knew that was the discipline of yoga that I was looking for, as it perfectly fitted my body and mind. And I haven’t changed it since then!

The rigour of explanation and the way teachers conduct an Iyengar Yoga class very much align with my mathematical and scientific mind—I am a Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, by day—and being passionate about teaching in my profession, I decided to become an Iyengar Yoga teacher, by night. I have found many similarities in teaching yoga and computing science courses, and these two seemingly different teaching disciplines have been feeding into each other and have helped me become a better teacher.

What is IYENGAR® Yoga?

Yoga is a friend to those who embrace it sincerely and totally. It lifts its practitioners from the clutches of pain and sorrow, and enables them to live fully, taking a delight in life. The practice of yoga helps the lazy body to become active and vibrant. It transforms the mind, making it harmonious. Yoga helps to keep one’s body and mind in tune with the essence, the soul, so that all three are blended into one.

Sutras II.46: sthira sukham āsanam - Āsana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit.

B.K.S Iyengar developed a systematic method of teaching yoga, which is suitable for all, starting from complete beginners all the way to advanced practitioners. The emphasis of this type of yoga is on correct and precise alignment of the body in space; extensionality and directionality of the body and body parts while going in, holding, and coming out of an asana; holding an asana with steadiness and firmness (sthira) as well as harmony and delight (sukha). This latter element (sukha) has to do with more subtle actions in asanas, bringing unification of body, mind and emotions.

An important part of Iyengar yoga is the use of yoga props such as blocks, bricks, belts, and chairs. While one can purchase these props, they could be easily replaced with home alternatives such as cushions, books and of course a home chair. Often, there is a misconception that such yoga props are to be used only when one is incapable of doing a certain pose because he/she is not “flexible” enough, or is old or in bad health, or has injuries. This cannot be further away from the truth: while it is true that yoga props are a great help in all the above scenarios—making Iyengar yoga inclusive to every body—yoga props in Iyengar yoga are a great way to deepen the understanding of an asana, even for advanced practitioners or those looking to further their practice.

Classes and Workshops

Weekly Classes

General Level Classes • LIVE Stream on Zoom • Tuesdays at 18.00-19.15 (UK Time)

These general level classes are suitable for early-stage yoga practitioners ranging from complete beginners to those with a few years of experience.

We are a small and friendly community, and are eager to expand our classes further. Thanks to online teaching on Zoom, now we span across the UK, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Everyone is welcome to join these classes, independently of your level of fitness or flexibility, or even the country you live in. Classes are in English. Please contact me (info below) for Zoom details.

Workshops

  • Summer Solstice Iyengar Yoga Workshop • LIVE Stream on Zoom • 21st June 2021 at 17.30-19.30 (UK Time)
  • Celebration of the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day with an Iyengar Yoga Workshop (lots of sweating!). The workshop is suitable for beginners and more experienced practitioners.

  • Black Minds Matter - Iyengar Yoga in Action • LIVE Stream on Zoom • 3rd July 2021 at 10.00-12.00 (UK Time)
  • Together with a group of Iyengar Yoga teachers based in Glasgow we conducted a general Iyengar Yoga class to raise funds for Black Minds Matter UK charity, whose goal is to connect Black individuals and families with free mental health services.

    Other Classes

    MBSR - Mindful Movement Classes and Retreats

    Occasionally, I teach mindful movement classes as part of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses and accompanying silent one-day meditation retreats in Glasgow. MBSR courses and retreats are organised and hosted by Glasgow Mindfulness Centre.

    Booking

    Use the following buttons to book Drop-in classes, Passes or Workshops.

    Note

    5-Class Passes will expire after 2 months starting from the date of purchase. Make sure you use your pass within that time.

    If a class is cancelled, then payments for passes will carry on to the next week, or the class will be refunded.

    Disclaimer

    When participating in these classes there is the possibility of sustaining a physical injury. If you engage in these classes, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities and assume all risk of injury to yourself.

    Testimonials

    Ornela is an attentive, precise and diligent teacher. She takes the time to adapt challenges to each student in the class pushing you exactly as far as you should go. She creates a kind and welcoming environment in which your mind and body can regenerate. Mens sana in corpore sano.

    I started the class a bit reluctantly due to lockdown and my wife being an avid regular at the in person classes. I was wary being a beginner and phenomenally bad at following instructors, but Ornela is a great teacher who takes time to make sure everyone is getting their best from the session. She can be tough when needed but also playful and there is always some humour with the class. I’d recommend yoga with Ornela to beginners and seasoned stretchers alike.

    Since doing yoga with Ornela, my back, shoulder pains and sciatica have subsided. Her precision of teaching is very good, which helps avoid the possibility of injury. Also help to strengthen and build a good balanced body and mind. I would highly recommend Ornela's teachings of Iyengar Yoga.

    I was saddened when the pandemic meant I could no longer go to in-person yoga classes, but with Ornela’s online teaching, it feels like being back at the studio. Her classes deftly navigate the fine line between challenging and accessible, with plenty to push the experienced while also being welcoming for newcomers. Classes have a friendly, encouraging atmosphere, and Ornela is great at being aware of each individual’s needs and tailoring aspects of the session to accommodate us. The interactive element means that despite practising from home, the class never feels remote or disengaged. Highly recommended, both to longtime yoga enthusiasts who miss getting to classes, and to those curious about trying yoga for the first time.

    Ornela's teaching changed my perspective of yoga. Practicing the asanas is not another form of exercise but it became a way to reconnect with my creativity and calm my “monkey" mind. Our weekly class is always a great fun, which I look forward to. I will never thank her enough for such a wise teaching.

    Ornela is a very attentive teacher, so that even over Zoom asanas get corrected, modifications get offered and praise is given. This means, that even when trying new movements and stretches, the risk of going too far or making a mistake is low. Of course, sometimes when you just want to slack and stay in savasana (i.e., lying on the floor) this can be a little inconvenient, because she'll call you out :D - but the upside of Ornela remembering the particulars of my abilities and offering adjustments preemptively vastly outweighs this. Additionally, she really knows what she is doing and the class has been a learning experience in more than one way. The group is lovely and over the past couple of years has grown into a little community with no judgement and plenty of encouragement.

    Contact Information

    For enquires, please contact me at my email address mail[at]yogawithornela.co.uk (by replacing [at] with @).

    Resources

  • IY(UK) Association for Iyengar Yoga in the UK & Republic of Ireland.
  • iYoga Glasgow A community of Iyengar teachers and practitioners based in Glasgow and around.
  • Iyengar Yoga Class Plan Generator This IY class plan generator was developed as part of an MSc project in Computing Science, at the University of Glasgow, which I supervised during the academic year 2019-20.

    Note: this tool is designed and developed with the Iyengar Yoga sequencing in mind. However, class plans are automatically generated and there might be sequences of poses that do not necessarily follow this yoga system.