Haris Lyroni is one of only a handful of certified Iyengar Yoga teachers in Greece. Since 2006, under the guidance of her teacher and mentor Christos Pavlou, she has been running Shakti Yoga Studio in the neighbourhood of Mets.
As described by the creator and guru of this yoga style, B.K.S. Iyengar, who was still doing head stands a few months before growing ill and passing away (December 1918 – August 2014), emphasis is given to precision and alignment in all postures.
Yoga beginners can learn a great deal about the fundamentals of yoga by starting with Iyengar yoga, but it’s the kind of practice that keeps bringing its students to a different experience at each and every level. It’s main priority is to teach yoginis correct and detailed ways of positioning oneself, breathing, and thus moving through the asanas, or poses.
Other elements that differentiate Iyengar’s style of yoga from other practices is the use of props designed by Iyengar, such as wooden gadgets, belts, ropes, bolsters and bricks that help the practitioner to achieve perfection in all the postures – again, a lot of these props are today used by yoga teachers around the world for all styles of practice.
Iyengar was a pioneer in introducing his country’s ancient yoga practice to the West since the 1950s, when in 1952 he became friends with globally renown violinist Yehudi Menuhin, a friendship that in the mid ’50s took Iyengar to the United States to teach and give lectures and demonstrations. When he published his book Light On Yoga in 1966, it became an international bestseller.
Lyroni sees her introduction to yoga as a “great blessing” in her life. She discovered yoga and began to practise it in the 90s, trying out different styles of yoga that were available in Athens, until she found Pavlou’s Iyengar yoga class and realised that it was exactly what suited her. She had been working as a translator for 14 years when she decided to change paths finally quit her job with no Plan B or security net. Two weeks after confidently resolving to start her life anew, she walked by a studio space available for rent in her favourite neighbourhood.
Despite the weighty risk – of doing something completely different in her life, of setting up a business of her own, and especially in a country where yoga was becoming more known but was still not established, she decided to set up Shakti Yoga Studio without a second thought.
Today, despite the financial crisis of the last eight years, her practice has blossomed and evolved, introducing more and more Athenians of all ages and levels, even kids, to the Iyengar style of yoga. She also uses the studio as a base for educational and inspirational talks, events and even Sanskrit classes that teach the public about the culture and history of yoga and Indian philosophy.
As a space, Shakti Yoga Studio is minimalist, serene, well-aired and startlingly clean. Its central location (a 10 minute walk from Acropolis metro station, a 5 minute walk from the nearest tram stop) makes it easy to reach via public transport.
Shakti Yoga Studio contact: +30 210 75 693 76,