You are invited to
Guruji’s 100th Birthday Celebration!

An off-the-mat event sponsored by IYALA
and Free for Everyone

Saturday, Dec 1, 2018
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Learn more

B.K.S. Iyengar


Iyengar Yoga Association of Los AngelesDear IYALA member,

The annual election for the IYALA Board of Directors will be held from November 5-20, 2018. The ballot will be conducted electronically this year, and you will be receiving your ballot by email.

The Board of Directors of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Los Angeles consists of nine members, each serving a three-year term. Five of the current Board members are approaching the end of their term on December 31, 2018. Four other current members will remain on the Board next year while continuing their ongoing first terms: Alfred Bie, Scott Hobbs, Anthony Lorenzana, and Nina Siemaszko.

There are thus five positions to be filled on the Board of Trustees for 2019-2021. Your ballot will consist of seven candidates who have been nominated for these positions. From these, you will be able to select up to four candidates to serve each of the open three-year terms. The list of candidates and their bios can be found below.

As we head into 2019, our Association aims to increase its membership, strengthen the Institute as a place of learning and expand our fundraising efforts. As such it is important that we have Board members with marketing and organizational skills, financial expertise and a commitment to sharing the wisdom of Iyengar Yoga. Please consider those candidates whom you feel will bring important talents, skills and dedication that will help to continue and further our mission of spreading the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar to our community.

Please watch for an email from Election Runner on Nov 5 - be sure to check your various folders for this email. If you do not find the email, please contact the IYALA Secretary, Amy Brown:

Your participation in this election is important. Thank you for taking the time to carefully consider these candidates and vote accordingly.

2019 IYALA Board of Directors
​Election Candidates

Laura Baker

Current Vice President and Membership Chair, running for 2nd term

I have been practicing Iyengar Yoga since 2004 and became a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) at the Introductory I and II levels in November 2017. In addition, I am a Psychology Professor at the University of Southern California (USC), where I am also a member of the residential faculty. I incorporate Yoga and Mindfulness programs into the USC residence halls and serve on Steering Committees for both Mindful USC and the Center for Mindfulness Science.

During my first three-year term on the IYALA Board (2016-2018), I served as Vice President and Membership Chair, and have contributed to many positive changes at the Institute, including opening the studio for teachers-in-training to study and practice teaching, and helping to implement and oversee management and staff changes.

As Membership Chair, I have worked closely with our comptroller, Joyce Ireland, to maintain an accurate database for our members. I also implemented an online voting system for our elections, which has been cost effective and increased voter participation compared to previous paper-based systems. I have also been involved in grant-writing for the Association, and successfully obtained funding from the California Mental Health Services Authority, which was used to provide free community yoga classes to nearly 100 local residents and increase the awareness of mental health benefits of Iyengar Yoga.

If re-elected to a second term, I look forward to expanding the IYALA membership and obtaining additional funding to support our Iyengar Community in ways that extend beyond the Institute.

Judy Brown

IYILA has been my yoga home for more than 15 years. As a beginning Iyengar student, later as an aspiring teacher, a substitute teacher, as a regular teacher and as an assisting teacher in the Therapeutics Program, this has been where I come to be inspired and learn. IYILA is the center of Iyengar Yoga in Los Angeles and beyond and is a place that has something important to offer all who come here.

I would like to serve on the board of IYALA with a focus on promotion and fundraising. We have a beautiful, newly remodeled studio, unparalleled teaching staff, exciting, innovative programs and workshops, and a Therapeutics Program* that is groundbreaking on so many levels. At the same time, IYILA struggles with financial challenges that even in recent history, threaten our ability to continue as a healthy organization.

As a board member, I will put my efforts into promoting visibility in the IYILA neighborhood and the larger Los Angeles area. Social media, email networking, post card campaigns and personal contact with organizations such as homeowner and condominium groups will be my focus. We need more students! As a board member I will help with fundraising efforts such as special events and capital campaigns. We need more funds!

I serve on two other boards: Westwood Hills Property Owners Association and The Village Church in Westwood. I chair the annual homeowners meeting which involves negotiating the venue and staffing for the meeting and I help to secure donations for underwrite the event. The Village Church is more an interfaith community organization than a traditional church. It houses a Jewish Temple with services every Saturday, a Sufi Muslim place of worship with services every weekend, Buddhist mindfulness meditation workshops, Meals on Wheels, Circle of Children Preschool, and Westwood Hills Iyengar Yoga. The yoga offered here is one of my two yoga locations. My second studio is in my home where I teach group and private classes. As a board member at the church, my focus is promotion and fundraising. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve on the IYALA Board.

Timothy Grundy

Like so many, I began taking yoga classes to alleviate physical issues, in my case the result of biking the surrounding mountains of Los Angeles. However, I soon found I would take classes not for the physical aspects alone but for the way yoga got me “out of my head,” how the practice resolved the mental knots and petty frustrations left in the wake of my work as a translator. Increasingly, yoga came home with me as I found moments to practice for myself.

In 2014 I began studying to become an Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Los Angeles Iyengar Yoga Institute and passed my Introductory I/II assessment just days before leaving Los Angeles for Berlin, Germany, to be with my wife during her eighteen-month sabbatical. Here I began to teach my own Iyengar yoga classes and sub for teachers at their studio. I also continued to study Iyengar yoga in regular classes and in workshops held at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Berlin as part of the local teacher training program.

In December 2018 we will be returning to Los Angeles permanently and in time to join the IYILA board. In addition to my experience researching, organizing, and communicating museum exhibitions and translation projects, I bring with me a dedication and a commitment to teaching Iyengar yoga, whatever the circumstances. Moreover, the difficulties and delights of starting out as an Iyengar yoga teacher away from what I think of as my home community has motivated me to find give back to this community that has given so much to me.

Holly Hoffmann

Current Member-at-Large, running for 2nd term

I live in Palm Desert, CA, and am the only certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher CIYT™ at the Intermediate Junior III level in the Coachella Valley. I began my yoga journey over twenty years ago in Santa Cruz, CA. I have traveled to Pune, India many times to study directly with the Iyengar family and am currently the apprentice of a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher.

My personal dedication to the intellectual and spiritual components of yoga led me to pursue a career in teaching Iyengar Yoga to others. With patience and humor, I encourage students to progress in their practice and transform themselves in the process. I am also a certified Yoga Therapist and have many years’ experience helping those with physical and mental challenges.

I am just completing a 3-year term on the board of IYALA and feel that I can continue to contribute, as my work here is not done! Together as a community I would like to facilitate the 2019 YogaThon fundraiser along with other association workshops to bring a greater sense of community throughout the region.

Mary Ann Kellogg

Current President, running for 2nd term

As the current President of IYALA I want to continue to serve the needs of IYALA for another three-year term. During my time as President from 2017-2018, together with the Board, the IYILA staff and many volunteers, we have accomplished much.

First, a new seven-year lease with extensions up to a total of seventeen years has been secured for the Institute. We have also completed a major renovation, established a scholarship program for continuing education for certified teachers throughout our region, instituted a new management structure for our administrative staff, installed a curriculum council, replaced outdated computer equipment in our front offices, streamlined record-keeping which eliminated nearly all paper files, reorganized the Karen O’Bannon Lending Library, replaced aging and broken props and managed a community outreach program for free yoga classes, funded by a grant from the LA County Department of Mental Health.

I am humbled and heartened by all this community has been able to achieve. And, yet, there is so much more to be done! I hope that you will vote for me and give me the opportunity to continue on the Board and serve for another three-year term.

Marion Levine

LA Fitness must have been closed the day I wandered into the Institute. The chalkboard offering of unlimited yoga was too tempting to pass up. Two weeks and 16 classes later, I was hooked. A few years later, I was determined to learn more, and to share this awesome practice with others. I signed up for teacher training!

Serving on the Board is a way for me to share the benefits of our practice with people outside our membership. I plan to secure grant money to help the Association spread the teachings of BKS Iyengar, especially to under-served populations such as veterans and people recovering from addiction and disease. I also want to bring members together for events off the mat, such as lectures, book signings, afternoon teas, and movie nights.

As a public-school teacher and a member of the board of Families with Children from China, I have raised funds, organized publicity, and put together large, public events. Now that I have joined the ranks of the retired, I have the time to devote to serving the members and teachers of the Association.

Varina Whitener

I studied at the University of Colorado, where I received degrees in Economics and German Language and Literature. I spent my Junior year at the University at Regensburg in then West Germany, where I returned and worked for a year after graduation. I then worked as a Financial Analyst in Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles. I attended law school at New York University School of Law, graduating in 1994.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York and Los Angeles, I worked as a corporate lawyer on mergers, acquisitions, corporate finance, and other corporate transactions until 2002. As a lawyer I worked on many pro bono projects, and have been involved with several non-profits, including the Boards of Directors of Communities in Schools Los Angeles, a drop-out prevention organization (as a founding board member), and The Wright Foundation, a pediatric ophthalmology organization.

I have two young daughters and have been actively involved in their schools, in fundraising and other activities. I began practicing Iyengar yoga approximately 11 years ago. With my background in law and finance and experience on non-profit boards and other activities, I am in a unique position to help the IYALA Board with matters pertaining to the Bylaws, budgets and event planning and organization.

IYILAThe B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Association of Los Angeles (IYALA) owns and operates the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Institute (IYILA). The Association is a non-profit educational organization that coordinates the activities of Iyengar Yoga in Southern California.

The Association is an affiliate of the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS), which is committed to the dissemination and promotion of the art, science and philosophy of Yoga according to the teachings of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar.

The Association sponsors free workshops for members and other events (also free to all members) aimed at sharing information about B.K.S. Iyengar and his work, furthering study of Indian culture, and fostering a sense of community among the practitioners of Iyengar Yoga in our widespread region.

Members of the Association receive a printed newsletter two times a year and an email newsletter. The Association also runs an Iyengar Training Program for those interested in teaching or deepening their study of Iyengar Yoga.

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Los Angeles is a registered non-profit corporation in the state of California, Federal Tax ID Number 95-3145853. IYALA has received tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.