Everything you need to know about visiting us

Yoga Now class

Read on to find out where we are, how to get here and everything else about visiting Yoga Now studio.

Where to find us

We are on the 4th floor of St. Margaret’s House, 151 London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 6AE, UK.
It is a brutal looking office block, right next to the railway tracks at Meadowbank, which is now run by Edinburgh Palette and is full of artists’ studios, galleries and small businesses. It’s the one with ART on the side.

Take the lift or stairs to the 4th floor – Yoga Now is through the double doors, to your right as you leave the lift, to your left if you came up the stairs.

We teach Iyengar Yoga classes, suitable for every body.

How to get here

Lots of buses go along London Road – there is a bus stop outside the building next door. We have bike racks in our car park and by the front door.
You are welcome to use the free car parking beside the building. Enter Meadowbank House car park from Restalrig Road South (aka Smokey Brae) and drive right round to the second building. The entrance is on the far side and also has ART over it.

We will send you the door entry code for the building, by email, when you register for a class. If you forget it, you can ring the buzzer for ‘Galleries / reception’ and someone will let you in – this desk is not occupied full time, so it’s better to bring the code with you.

There are lots of businesses and projects based in the building – there is a primary school in the basement at the time of writing – so don’t worry, you are in the right place!

What to bring

We provide all the equipment you will need, including mats, but if you prefer to use your own, you are welcome to bring it.
Yoga is practiced in bare feet and please wear stretchy clothes – shorts or leggings and a t-shirt. Bring a warm layer for relaxation at the end of the class. You might also like to bring an eye pillow if you have one.

Please don’t drink water during the class. It’s a yoga thing! Feel free to bring some with you for afterwards and there is a small kitchen opposite the lifts where you can refill your bottle.

If you need to go to the toilet during the class, we have flip flops you can borrow, in a variety of sizes.

Choosing your class

We offer classes from Beginners level through to Advanced and teachers mentoring.

Beginners Course / Introductory Course

Short introduction to Iyengar yoga. This is the best place to start for beginners. You are expected to attend each week for the duration of the course and the syllabus is introduced in a clear and understandable order, each class building on what was taught previously. These short courses are offered a few times each year and the course length varies, usually between 6 and 12 weeks.

Beginners 1 class

Ongoing classes for beginners who have completed a Beginners / Introductory Course and those wishing to consolidate their understanding of the basic poses.

Beginners 2 class –

For those who have attended Beginners 1 for about a year and feel ready for new challenges. Remember, we all progress at different rates and there are no rules about how long it ‘should’ take to move up a level.

General class

For everybody! These classes are often a bit longer (90 mins.) so there is time to help students with different levels of experience and to show adaptations / alternative poses as necessary.

Intermediate classes

For those with at least 2 years’ experience, who are beginning to practice at home and are ready to take their learning further. Inversions – Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Adho Mukha Vrksasana – are taught regularly at this level.

Advanced classes

For those with a daily home practice and plenty of experience. These classes will take your understanding of yoga much deeper. You should be able to hold Sirsasana, Sarvangasana and their variations and be prepared to attempt more challenging asanas. You should also be ready to understand the role of the breath and the mind in your practice.

If you are unsure which level class is for you, please email me and I will be happy to help – lucy@yoganowstudio.co.uk

It takes a long time to become an Iyengar yoga teacher – at least 6 years. Training is through mentoring by your teacher and requires a good relationship, based on regular class attendance for at least 3 years, with the same teacher, as well as a passion for the subject. It is a considerable commitment and cannot be undertaken lightly. This ensures that all Iyengar yoga teachers are well trained and have plenty of experience before they begin teaching.

How to pay –  all about passes

We use the Tula online booking system and card payments are processed through Stripe.
At Yoga Now, you buy credits which you use to pay for classes. This gives you flexibility – if you find you can no longer make the class you booked for, you can use the credits at another class instead.

Our classes vary in price – longer classes cost more than shorter ones. Also, if you attend regularly, the more often you come to class, the cheaper the credits.

Try a class first – book for a single class to see if it will suit you. Choose your class on the timetable and follow the instructions to register and pay. There will be a drop down menu of pass options and the cheapest one will give you enough credits for that one class.

Book for a term – At the start of each term, we offer Term Passes, which provide enough credits for that class for the term.  As usual, you can use the credits at any classes, change your booking etc. by signing in to your account on the website.

Block Passes – 20, 30 or 40 credits. These expire after 10 weeks, so don’t be tempted to buy more credits that you can use! The credits get cheaper the more you buy at once, to reward frequent attendance (it’s the best way to progress).

Credits can be used at any classes but not at Special Events or workshops. All credits have an expiry date – please check your booking confirmation email. More information about booking a class here.

The studio

Yoga Now studio is run by Lucy Brownhall. Lucy began studying Iyengar yoga in 1986 and became an Iyengar yoga teacher in 2002. The studio first opened in 2014 and was extended in 2017, using the money she had put aside to replace the draughty windows on her flat! It is very much a small, local business with a lovely community of students and teachers. We aim to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone who wants to learn more about yoga and to practice together.

We have a lovely big space, with a purpose built rope wall (for yoga kurunta) and all the equipment you might need – mats, blocks, bricks, belts, blankets, bolsters and chairs. This equipment is used in many ways, to assist us to achieve better alignment in asanas, to challenge us to work a little harder or to educate us to understand an action better. It is also used to help those who otherwise would struggle to achieve a pose.

The studio has great, Far Infrared heating panels on the ceiling and a wooden floor – to make it a clean, warm and pleasant space to practice in.

Covid measures

We have been offering a mixture of online classes and in person classes. If the Government guidance or regulations change, there may be further changes to the timetable in order to comply.

We are lucky to have a really large and airy studio. Previously, we have held workshops for up to 50 students in the space. At the moment, our class sizes are limited to 24- 28, in order to give everyone plenty of space. The class size limit may change if we feel it is appropriate but we always make sure everyone has lots of space. We also have plenty of windows which we can open to maintain a good flow of fresh air.

Check out our FAQ page for more information. If you have any questions, please do get in touch and I will be very happy to help! lucy@yoganowstudio.co.uk

All I Want for Christmas (or birthdays)

This is my guide to yoga books and equipment to buy, to help your yoga practice.

It is written with my own students in mind, but hopefully any student of yoga will find it helpful. There are so many yoga books, video channels and expensive kit to choose from, it can be hard to tell which ones will be really helpful, so here is my guide, to help you get started.

To start with

To help you practice yoga at home, you need a basic yoga kit.
This should include a non-slip yoga mat, 2 bricks and a belt.
You should also have a blanket and if possible, 4 foam blocks (or 2+ more blankets, for shoulder stand).

You do not need expensive kit and you can improvise with household objects until you are sure you are going to use it often. But if you are buying a yoga mat, make sure that it will lie flat on the floor (not a foam camping mat, which is springy and also slippy). Look for one with a non-slip surface. Most mats take a bit of time to wear in and get grippy and some can go in the washing machine, which can help take the shine and slip off the surface.

For a developing practice

Once you have the basic kit and you use it regularly to practice at home (or attend online classes), you will want to add a bolster and then a yoga chair to your collection. Plus a second belt.

Bolsters come in different shapes and firmness. Many of us prefer to use the oldest, flattest bolsters at the studio, which is probably why the ‘oval’ ended bolster was introduced – it’s pre-flattened! It’s a matter of personal taste which one you go for, so try them out in class and see which one you like best. My own choice is the flatter, oval one. And I am not a fan of the heavy buckwheat ones.

There are 2 choices to make when buying a yoga chair (we use and recommend the ones from Yogamatters); Regular or tall height and with or without front bar.
Get a taller chair if you are tall (again, try them in your class if you are unsure). The main reason people choose a chair with no front bar (between the front legs) is if they have stiff shoulders and find it hard to get their arms under the bar in chair Sarvangasana. Unless this is a long term issue and unlikely ever to change, I would always advise getting one with the front bar. The front bar becomes very useful when you turn the chair over for backbends etc. and for learning Kapotasana and other more challenging or restorative asanas.

You might also upgrade your blankets for Indian cotton blankets. They are firmer than fleece blankets, less slippy and identical to the ones used in RIMYI, so easy to replicate the classic ‘folds’.

A good read

I love a yoga book and found them very helpful in the early days of practicing at home. When I was first learning yoga, there was no internet (way to feel old!) so I had to use books. I still use them now as they have excellent quality information. Iyengar practitioners all over the world refer to Mr. Iyengar’s classic book, Light on Yoga constantly, for his clear instructions and photos. No amount of Googling is going to replace that. But now I find I spend much more of my time reading about yoga Philosophy than asana books, so I’ve included some of those below too as they are excellent guides to living and practicing.

Asana practice books

Yoga: the Path to Holistic Health by B.K.S.Iyengar, pub. DK. A great place to start – lovely clear photos of each asana, excellent instructions, sequences to practice and for every common ailment, with mini photos, so you don’t need to keep looking back to the description of each asana. Lies flat when open (very important if you want to practice using it).

Yoga in Action: Preliminary Course
Yoga in Action: Intermediate Course I, 
by Geeta S. Iyengar. This is the basic syllabus of any Iyengar yoga school and is based on what they teach at our parent institute, Ramāmani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. Simple, spiral bound (lies flat when open) and great instructions. If you attend an Iyengar class, this will all be familiar to you.

The Woman’s Yoga Book, by Bobby Clennell. Not just for women, this book has lovely illustrations (by Bobby Clennell herself) and a great layout. Again, the sequences are illustrated, which makes it easy to use. Particularly useful if you menstruate!

Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar. The ‘bible’ of yoga, this book is essential for the serious yogi. “The classic guide to yoga from the world’s foremost authority” it says on the front and few would disagree. First published in 1966 and still the main reference book for Asana all over the world. Many yoga questions are answered by a sentence beginning “It says in Light on Yoga….”

Arogya Yoga, by BKS Iyengar. This book is only recently available in English and it’s a real treasure. It is a collection of articles written by Mr. Iyengar for an Indian newspaper supplement, so it is very accessible and practical. It includes instructions for 45 asanas plus chapters on Śavāsana, Prānāyāma and Dhyāna.

Yoga philosophy books

Light on Life, by BKS Iyengar. Published in 2005, this book is full of practical wisdom for living. Open it on any page at random and you will find something useful. But read it from cover to cover to absorb a lifetime’s learning from someone who really understood what it is to be human. Very readable – my copy is getting worn and is much underlined. A great introduction to applying yoga philosophy in practice.

The Tree of Yoga, BKS Iyengar. Outlines the philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga – the 8 limbs. While Light on Life reflects a whole lifetime of learning, this book was published in 1988, and serves as an introduction to applying yoga wisdom to daily life. It is also very readable and one I return to often.

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, BKS Iyengar. This is an accessible text on the Yoga Sutras. Good to dip into but you may find one sutra leads to another! Any serious student of yoga will eventually be drawn to reading Patanjali and this is a great way to start.

Chittavijnana of Yogasanas, Prashant Iyengar. This might be a bit of a jump but I’ve been reading from it in some of my classes recently and some of my students have asked about it, so I’m including it. It is written by Mr. Iyengar’s son, Prashant, who directs the RIMYI in Pune and I think it is one of his more accessible books. It is a very practical application of the philosophy in yoga practice but I would advise to read a small section at a time and then meditatate on it in your practice.

That should be enough to keep you going for several years! As you dip deeper into your study of Yoga, you will find that it will take several lifetimes to explore but that is why it is such an interesting subject.



Iyengar yoga class for over 55s

Iyengar Yoga for over 55s


Katie is starting a new class on Wednesday mornings for over  55s.  (Was going to call them senior but we don’t really like that word these days!!)  Getting older happens to everyone and doesn’t come alone as the saying goes.  And in our era we are so lucky that there are encouragements to keep active and fit as we age.  Our muscles tend to shrink as we get older, some muscles we underuse, some we overuse which lead to imbalances in the body and vulnerabilities in key areas.  Yoga asanas address these imbalances, and working on your balance helps you to be less vulnerable to diseases of the joints, muscles and ligaments.  And keeps you sure-footed and able to stand on your own two feet!

This class is open to complete beginners as well as those of you who have been practising for a while.  This is not a therapy class, so not suitable for those with complex or severe health conditions, but it will be suitable for those with minor issues (such as knee or shoulder pain) as long as you are ready to work!

You will need yoga props which are essential for this kind of practice.  A mat, 4/5 blocks, a couple of bricks and a belt.  I realise that some of you newcomers may want to see if yoga is for you before buying this stuff which is fine, we can improvise, but you must have a mat.  But if you decide you do want to continue yoga as you age you will see how essential they are to show us what the asanas are about.  The floor is a prop, a wall is a prop, all of this teaches you the subtle undertones of the asanas and balance.  And, if you are already convinced that Iyengar yoga is a wonderful practice, then do invest in a yoga chair.  Get in touch with us to find out how to get one.

For most yoga props, get a 10% discount at www.ekotexyoga.co.ukhttp://www.ekotexyoga.co.uk

The class will be on Wednesday mornings, 10 – 11am, starting on October 6th.  Bookings are open now.

Which level class is for you?

Yoga Class Levels at Yoga Now


It’s always a tough thing to categorise yoga classes because our practice is not easily pidgeon-holed.  So much has to do with how the practitioner perceives themselves and yoga teaches us that our own evaluation of ourselves is often not to be trusted!  Yoga is for the mind, after all.  As our invocation begins “Yogena cittasya” – we salute sage Patanjali who gave us the science of yoga to purify our mind and consciousness. 

“An asana is in reality more a mental endeavour than a mere physical posture.  It requires definitive mental contributions.  In an Iyengar yoga class, a student learns the asana in a manner whereby he/she starts confronting, objectifying and reading his/her own mind”. (Certification and Assessment Guidelines July 2020)

Progress through the levels is not merely about doing “complicated” or “difficult” asanas but about improving your skillset and understanding.  We are often very black and white about what we “can” and “can’t” do, what asanas we are “good” and “bad” at.  But one of the fundamental  premises of yoga is to challenge a world where everything is black and white, a world of dualities, where you either can, or can’t do things.  It is so very liberating to move out of this mindset.


We have decided to classify our classes as they do in our mother institute in Pune, RIMYI.  Beginners; Intermediate; Advanced; Pranayama (and General).


Beginners classes are very much based on learning correct and precise action.  Understanding individual asanas with specific reference to the external configuration.  Asanas will be demonstrated and the Sanskrit names of the asanas taught.  These classes will usually start with standing poses as most body parts are more accessible in this family.  Inversions (sirsasana and sarvangasana) will be taught.

These classes will therefore be suitable mostly for those in their first 3 or 4 years of Iyengar yoga but it is quite OK to want to stay at this stage and go on attending for as long as you want.



After 3/4/5 years you may want to graduate from the plane of physicality to the plane of sensitivity.  The more challenging poses require this deeper understanding of what is happening in a particular asana, the subjective feeling, and how other parts of the body respond somatically to particular actions.  Asanas will be held for a longer duration and breath will be introduced as a tool to focus the mind.  

More challenging asanas will be introduced, but not compulsory, and alternatives will be given.   This will include variations in the inverted asanas. The emphasis is on practicing sensitively, curiously and with more understanding.  Some asanas will be demonstrated but not all of them.

You should be familiar with many of the Sanskrit names of the asanas and be doing some home practice.  You should also be familiar with the common use of equipment – for example, how to use the wall for support. Once again you can stay at this stage for as long as you wish.



These classes are for students who have a regular practice at home, who have fallen in love with the subject and, as such, know the names of most of the asanas being taught (apart from when new ones are introduced).  Again, it has to be emphasized that these classes are not about doing complicated and difficult asanas.  Although some of these will be taught, alternatives will be given.  It will be expected that students know the basic actions and direction of the asanas and are moving to a higher level of heightened sensitivity and perceptivity of the relationships between the body parts, the mind and the breath. 


For Intermediate and Advanced students, these classes teach Pranayama practice. Awareness of the breath develops through asana practice and once we have a good understanding of asana, our own body and our own breath, we can begin to explore the relationship between body, mind and breath through pranayama. Pranayama is the 4th limb of the Ashtanga (8 limbs of yoga).


These classes are for all levels of student to practice together. Alternatives will be shown where needed, to accommodate different levels within the class but some awareness of how to practice safely for yourself is required. 

Over 55s

As the name suggests, this class is for older students who want to concentrate on the actions within the body that help us remain active and healthy.

Yoga in the time of the Coronavirus 

Adapting to teaching and learning online has given rise to lots of discussion here at Yoga Now. Here are Katie Rutherford’s musings on the subject. 

It feels a bit like we have been swept along a wind tunnel, or down a rabbit hole to wonderland, since lockdown in the yoga world, coinciding as it has with the zoom phenomenon and our ability to connect from the silence of our personal yoga spaces to hundreds, if not thousands, of fellow practitioners around the world. Overnight we have an unlimited choice of teachers and classes which surely must be having a deep effect on our mental states. Does this help us on our path towards restraint? Chitta vritti nirodha? For all its very obvious and much vaunted advantages, it does seem that the digital age continues to throw more obstacles onto the path, exacerbating rather than attenuating the kleshas.

Among other things, I have been spending my lockdown reading Prashantji’s books cover to cover and listening to all the Sunday morning RIMYI sutra sessions that I didn’t have time to in my old life. Or, more truthfully, that that I didn’t “find” the time to. One of the ways he describes “abhyasa” is “any effort to stabilise the mind, psychologically” since “we don’t do yoga because the mind is quiet, we do yoga to make the mind quiet”. And “vairagya” is a “thirstlessness for objects of this world”. Our yoga sadhana teaches us to neutralise the mind so we don’t feel the polarities of attraction and aversion, pain and pleasure, gain and loss, shame and praise – rather we mitigate the clamour, which all come because of the “me”.

But oh what a clamour is there!  All this learning to be had and what to choose! The fear of missing something great. Like being in a funfair with all those rides and limited time. Or a market full of shiny things to make our lives and practice better. The magnetic pull that marketeers exploit so well. I’ve heard the expression “yoga junkie” being used a couple of times.  

And yet it is a good thing, no? How can you have too much yoga? And too many classes? With all these wise and wonderful teachers?

From a student’s perspective I would imagine that concentration could improve as there are fewer distractions, less competition, looking at others, being able to break wind without embarrassment (!), and a much sharper demand on your listening skills without others to copy. A good opportunity to learn the Sanskrit names. Also, it would depend on how an individual prefers to learn – whether more visually or through audio. And, of course, the convenience of not needing to leave home, controlling your own room temperature, and the fridge just round the corner when the class is finished. Personally, I’ve only done a couple of classes and had the eerie sense of being alone in a huge crowd, a contrast to the deep quiet which accompanies my own practice. As a seeker of sattva guna (another of Prashantji’s spot-on descriptions of our level of yoga sadhana) my inner teacher is by far the most effective at transforming my raja and tama guna.

We are all different.

Teaching yoga online presents many challenges. Your view of the student is limited, even if they do adjust the camera skilfully for the various asanas, you can’t always see well and clearly where they are going wrong and where they need adjustment. This is unsettling if you know they have an injury or an instability or a tendency to overwork. What is their state of mind? How are they breathing? Has their colour changed? How do their eyes look? Do you teach more challenging or more restorative? How is the balance of raja and tama guna? How can you have any degree of intimacy with them to get to know them? How many should be the maximum or should everyone be allowed to come? Are they coming just to do a good practice or do they want to learn?

It seems such a long way from the Guru/Shishya relationship. Here are a couple of photos from 1981 when a small group of Scottish students went on an intensive with Guruji. Look how they are learning! And compare with how we are learning in the age of Covid-19.

But, of course, it is better than nothing and we all feel heartfelt gratitude for all those students who continue loyally to attend our regular classes. It is lovely to see your faces each week, to help us all to connect during this period of relative isolation. It is a great honour to help you to build up trust and confidence in your own inner teacher and many of you have reported how doing classes in your own home has helped to establish a home practice.   

And, without doubt the most joyous and heartwarming aspect has been to see those of you who live in remoter parts of Scotland and the rest of the UK able to come to class, and to connect with the community.

And, of course, lockdown itself has given the entire world a chance to stop, pause, and think about the kind of universe they want to live in. The lack of time and social pressures has meant time to reflect and immerse yourself in yoga sadhana and feel deep gratitude for its place in your life. For many of us it has become even more enriching as a result of this enforced isolation. I am so grateful to my inner teacher for uncovering an action that has opened up for me a deep new seam of understanding – perfect timing, since sharing it has helped give meaning and direction to my Zoom teaching.

I listen to voices saying that this change is here to stay, that online is the way to go, that classes can be “live-streamed” but personally I long for normal classes to return, to feel the energy of the community, to learn and grow with others.  Once again to nurture and share with each other rather than feel lost and overwhelmed in this global Zoom community. And to cherish our own practice as a means of addressing the chitta with our own inner teacher as a guide.

It would be lovely to hear other opinions on this, so do comment or write a piece that we can share with others in the community. These photos provided by Nancy Dickson who was on this intensive in 1981. Thank you Nancy!

Katie Rutherford teaches General, Intermediate and Teachers’ classes and workshops at Yoga Now and is a Mentor to trainee and existing teachers. She has been studying Iyengar Yoga since the 1970s, teaching since the 80s and has visited Pune many times to study with the Iyengar family.


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