Sofia Hatzipanayiotou

Sofia, was born and grown up in Thessaloniki, Greece. She first studied and worked as a beauty therapist in Greece and in London. She lived in London in 1969 and early 70s. At that time in London, there was a massively growing interest in Eastern discourse, traditions and Yoga.

It was then that Sofia was first introduced to Iyengar Yoga with her teacher Silva Mehta and B.K.S Iyengar himself. She returned to Greece in 1973, where she founded one of the first Yoga and Therapy treatments schools.

In 1979, she got married and had two children, Theodoros and Isidora. In 1980s along side with her teaching, she was a member of Iyengar LOYA (LIGHT ON YOGA ASSOCIATION OF UK) and writing articles for the Loya' s magazine. In 1990s she is trained on Iyengar yoga with exclusive use of yoga blocks, bricks and belts, in 1991 she takes part in Loya's Yoga conference in Brighton and in 1992, she participates in the Loya conference in the university of Kent. In 1993 she represents Greece in the international Yoga Iyengar conference at Crystall Pallas in London, where together with 3000 other students and teachers from all over the world, was trained in Yoga by Iyengar himself.

In 1994 she is trained in Blacons (France) with one of Iyengar's main students-Biria. The following year, she is trained with Silvia Prescott at Bretton Hall in Leeds.

In 1996 she visits for first time India and Iyengar's ashram in Puna, where she continues her training with Iyengar and his children, Prasant and Geeta.

The end of her stay in Puna, signifies and the end of her exclusive occupation with Iyengar Yoga. Sofia, likewise other teachers of those years, decides not to continue to study and teach only and exclusively Iyengar's methodology on Yoga. And not belonging only in a certain school of school, but to use the knowledge and experience she gathered, as a "passport" for further expansion of her horizons, personal liberation, selfknowledge, and development of her own yoga methodology.

However, with an on-going, uncountable respect and admiration for B.K.S Iyengar, whom considers as the greatest teacher who introduced Yoga in the West as a mean of self knowledge connection, spiritual independence and freedom.

In 1998 she gets in touch with another great teacher - Vanda Scaravelli. By this time. Scaravelli is already at her 80s, so Scaravelli points her to Sandra Sabatini - one of her major students - with whom she is trained in Scaravelli' s yoga methodology in Toscana, Italy.

In 1999 Sofia is trained in Ashtanga yoga methodology, with EuroYoga, in Zinal , Switzerland. She also meets with Paul Harvey-one of the main students of Desikashar, son of Krisnamacharya and gets training in Vini Yoga and Pranayama. Furthermore, she is trained with Chris Barrington in Dru Yoga and Meditation. Last, close to the Soufi Babacar, Sofia is trained in Soufi techniques.

With yoga as "the excuse":

In the end of 1990s, Sofia is more conscious on the internal journey that was initiated more intensively with her occupation with yoga. The knowledge and experiences she got with her long and various training, led to the development of her personal methodology on Yoga, that she called "Hellenic (Greek) Yoga of the Circle & Cross".

In her methodology, Sofia endeavours to bring together creative and dynamic elements of Greek and Indu civilizations and philosophies. Her methodology has been presented officially and internationally through the publication of her articles, and her speeches, presentations, masterclasses in the International Yoga Federation's conferences in Bucharest, Copenhagen, Rome, Belgrade and Greece.

Today, Sofia lives and works in Thessaloniki in her Yoga school and teachers' lab, - "Eyzein"- recognised by Euro Yoga and International Yoga Federations. In her school, Yoga is approached and taught as a method of both physical therapy, restoration and spiritual evolution.

Personal Vision:

Approaching Yoga as a path for every person's reveal of personal knowledge, Sofia continues her own personal journeys for self "discovery". This year, she is studying in the Greek Open University, at the Humanities department with specialization in Greek civilization, classical philosophy and culture. As she sees that, as another mean for personal freedom, re-connection with our human nature and the Nature itself. She keeps both on teaching in groups and Teachers Trainings courses in Thessaloniki and Ikaria island and on learning herself, from her students and others.