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Meet the Innovators: Mary Dunn

One of the earliest American Iyengar teachers, Dunn was instrumental in introducing Iyengar to this country.

By Holly Hammond

Mary Dunn was one of the earliest American Iyengar Yoga teachers. Along with her mother, Mary Palmer, she was instrumental in introducing Mr. Iyengar and his teaching to this country. She was a founding organizer of the first Iyengar Yoga Association in the United States and Iyengar Yoga centers in San Francisco, San Diego, and New York. She is considered a "teacher's teacher," having trained many in the Iyengar tradition.

Mary is known for working closely with her students to help them build competence and confidence. She grounds her teaching of asana and pPranayama in a practical understanding of yoga philosophy. She continues to make regular pilgrimages to India to study with Mr. Iyengar.

"Yoga is here to stay," Dunn believes. "Will it be diluted and mass-marketed and lose the genius of each form and master teacher, or will it be splendidly nourishing in its universal potential? Both are happening. There is limited and immature practice and teaching, and there are teachers and practitioners who are living, giving examples of yoga's power to transform. Search for the best in yoga, as in all things, and it will nourish the best in you. Then the practice can provide an inspired circle of integration to frame and mold a conscious life."

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Reader Comments


She was an insightful and well-respected person. May she rest in peace.


I love this pose. I do crucnches in this pose--so awesome! I also work the obliques by doing crunches to the sides (opp. elbow to opp. knee)
thanks for a great artice.

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