Born in Oslo, Norway, in 1979, Maria Jardardottir is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and a performing and composing voice musician and producer educated with a Bachelor and Master Degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music currently working free lance with international engagements. Through her education in music and in her work she has kept a strong focus on creative composition, improvisation and extended voice techniques, Indian Classical music (Dhrupad), world music and electro acoustic performance and composition. In her work as an Iyengar yoga teacher she is keen to combine the detailed characteristics of the Iyengar method’s emphasis on alignment with the more perhaps overlooked dynamic flow-based elements of the method.
Maria came to discover Iyengar yoga when she started going to weekly classes with Myka Ransom (Junior Intermediate Level 3) at a gym in 2005, and since then, she was hooked as it provided a sense of meditation through physical movement and awareness. She found the practice extremely health bringing, both in an emotional, mental and physical context, bringing about benefits such as increased self-confidence and concentration as well as improved quality of sleep:
‘Iyengar is a practice that is detailed and clear, which are characteristics that I’m personally very drawn to. But I also feel it’s important for us Iyengar teachers to highlight the flowy sequencing that is also part of the method, but which people generally don’t associate with Iyengar very much anymore. I firmly believe that everyone can gain something from yoga and do some of it to their individual level of ability, and it’s very important to me to promote that yoga is for everybody, regardless of fitness level, body shape and so on. I’m truly passionate about passing on and sharing this practice since it has been so overall positive for me and helped me overcome an arthritic condition, and consequently I feel a sense of duty to assist in bringing it to the wider community.’
Maria started Iyengar Yoga teacher training with Senior Intermediate Level 3 teacher Alan Brown in 2011, but then fell pregnant with her second child and had to delay the training. She went back to teacher training with Alan in 2013 and completed her Intermediate Level 2 assessment in October 2015. Maria continues to go to weekly classes for teachers with Alan and intend to start training towards the Junior Level 1 assessment the coming autumn 2016.
Other teachers that Maria has studied with are Raya Uma Datta (Private student of Mr Iyengar and now Senior Level), UK based Debra Bartholomew (Senior Intermediate Level 3) and Kate Woodcock (Junior Intermediate Level 2), Germany based senior teachers Annette Herrnleben, Claudia Böhm and Hermann Traitteur and Norway based Janna Brattli (Junior Intermediate Level 1).