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Dona Holleman

Position:Guest Teachers
Dona met B.K.S Iyengar in August 1964 while attending the annual Jiddu Krishnamurti Gatherings in Gstaad, Switzerland. She had known Jiddu Krishnamurti already since 1960, and was also practicing yoga since a couple of years.

While in Gstaad she heard that Iyengar taught both Krishnamurti and Vanda Scaravelli at chalet Tannegg, which Vanda Scaravelli rented every year for Krishnamurti. Apart from Krishnamurti and Vanda, Iyengar also taught the world famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin at his chalet, also in Gstaad.

As Dona, age 22, had decided to make yoga her profession, she asked Krishnamurti to introduce her to Iyengar, which he did. Iyengar was completely unknown at that time; the only people who knew him were those in Gstaad.

After one class with Iyengar Dona decided to travel to India to study with him. Thus, in October 1964, Dona sailed for Bombay, where she spent a year studying with him at the Bombay dance school, where he taught on the weekends. In that one year Iyengar taught Dona all the postures. The class consisted of four people, three Jains (including the parents of Aadil Palkiwalla) and Dona, so the lessons were on an individual basis.

Between 1964 and 1969 Dona founded the B.K.S.Iyengar Yoga Work Group in the Netherlands, and taught her first Teachers Training Course. Some of the teachers that came out of that course became, in their turn, internationally known. She also wrote her first yoga manual for this course. (photos). Victor van Kooten and his erstwhile wife were part of that first group. It was at Dona’s instigation that Victor later traveled to India to study with B.K.S. Iyengar.