Yoga Teacher: Bonar Hutchison

When, and how, did you discover yoga? I first discovered yoga over twenty years ago when I developed an interest in eastern philosophy and vegetarianism. I remember feeling a little alarmed looking at the pictures of the advanced yoga asana (postures) in my first yoga book. They seemed more like excruciating contortions than a means to help calm the mind! At the same time this obviously intrigued me to start my practice.

Bonar Hutchison Can you describe your yoga practice? I have been trained in the Iyengar style and this is what I practice and teach. This form of Hatha yoga involves precise alignment of the body and often includes the use of various props and equipment. Initially I had reservations about using props but now appreciate that their appropriate use aids the body to experience and understand the correct alignment of the full asana. This also makes the health benefits of the pose more accessible to beginners and for people with stiff joints and other physical limitations. I practice every morning at home. This can last between two to two and a half hours. It has taken a while to build up to this time and occasionally I'll allow myself a day off!

What is your favourite yoga book? I've collected a lot of books over the years and my favourite is almost always the one I'm currently reading. I've just finished 'Yoga Explained' by Mira Mehta with Krishna S. Arjunwadkar, this is a clear and accessible work on yogic philosophy and asana practice. This book has inspired me to organise a workshop in November based on the eight aspects of yoga from the sutras of Patanjali.

What was the last yoga product or book that you bought? I have found the perfect yoga bolster to use for my 'Restorative Sunday' practice. It's so good I had to buy another!

Where is your favourite place in Scotland? I love the northwest coast with its wild seas and moody skies. In contrast I also love the sprawling farmland countryside and temperate climate of Fife, where my family stay. I can't really choose a particular favourite.

What is your favourite quote? "The Universe always conspires to help dreamers." Paulo Coelho

What are your favourite aspects of yoga? I really enjoy my asana practice as I find this centres me in my daily life.

Besides yoga, what are your other interests? I love music so I rarely leave home with out my i-pod. I would like to spend more time travelling and I'm looking forward to my up-coming trip to India. I have also a great fondness of Andalusia in Southern Spain.

Who do you most admire? My Father, because of his patience and caring.

What are your favourite yoga postures? At the moment I like Salamba Sirsasana (head balance) and the variations. These postures weren't always my favourite, but with patience and perseverance, I have come to appreciate them more and more. I would certainly miss the benefits of these postures if they were excluded from my practice.

I have become more aware of the importance of Savasana or Corpse pose; a seemingly 'easy' posture. On a practical level it is a basic restorative pose, on a spiritual level it is the start of the inward journey to the soul.

Written by Lorna

Bonar first began to practice and study Yoga over sixteen years ago. Studying for two years at The Edinburgh Iyengar Yoga Centre, Bonar became a qualified teacher in 2002. Bonar now teaches his popular and energetic classes in the West End of Glasgow and in Edinburgh. Visit his website at -