“Lillah has both the knowledge and the passion to fulfill her mission of helping others on the path towardsDharma, the very reason for the practice of yoga. I recommend Lillah with all my heart.” —Aadil Palkhivala, Purna Yoga founder and author of Fire of Love.
“Lillah’s students are taken beyond their own mental limitations of what they and their bodies are capable of. She offers an amazing gift: to teach people to trust themselves and their bodies again.” —Kimberly Drye, yoga teacher
Known by appreciative students across the country as “the queen of alignment,” yoga instructor and author Lillah Schwartz brings the benefits of her 30 years’ training with yoga experts, like BKS Iyengar, Aadil Palkhivala, Eric Small and others to the Southeast region and, through her workshops, to studios across the eastern and central U.S.
Her hundreds of hours of study in the U.S. and India with senior Iyengar instructors, makes Lillah one of the most accomplished yoga teachers in the Southeast region. She pioneered the Iyengar method in North Carolina from 1981- 2009, and held an Iyengar teaching certificate for 23 years. Lillah brings the science and spirit of Yoga Wisdom to thousands who have become pain-free from her alignment-based instruction.
Never more at home than in front of a group of students with diverse body issues, Lillah pulls a hip back by one inch here, has a student turn a foot out two percent there, and suddenly a miracle happens: the entire class is breathing together in the quiet joy of pure being. In this way, yoga becomes truly therapeutic and does its work of healing and nourishing a myriad of complex conditions and body needs. It is also at this place of alignment that the deep spiritual work of yoga begins.
Lillah’s workshops have enhanced and informed the instruction at yoga studios across the country. Wake Forest Yoga studio owners Marty and Sheila Gooch say, "Lillah’s expertise with alignment and anatomy makes each and every session a true learning experience. This expertise coupled with her uncanny ability to spot and correct what is holding you back in any pose are truly amazing."
Says Lillah, “It is my heartfelt challenge to be in the front of the room and to feel and observe the effort students make trying to find some part of themselves, to get the pose right. The point in yoga is to seek out the resistances within and bring consciousness: light into the dark places. This requires focus and effort, no matter how you slice it. Their effort leads me to guide students to a deeper understanding of alignment, action and breath so they can release their resistance, love themselves, and discover their own inner potential.”
Under the light of Lillah’s gift for perception and profound knowledge of the science of the body, students wake up to the freedom born of alignment, and yoga’s deep spirit emerges. Says Lillah, “I have many students who come to me and say, ‘The teacher I had couldn’t help me with my SI joints, so I had to stop practicing because I hurt too much.’ Body issues like these can be strengthened and healed through yoga. Your teacher needs to have deep experience in muscular action and alignment balance in yoga, along with compassion and sharp perception.”
And as the body wakes up, magic happens in the classroom. Just ask Lillah’s student Jeanne Kalogridis: “Lillah understood exactly what was causing the pain and has shown me the way to overcome it and the fear that so often accompanies chronic pain. She’s the most gifted yoga teacher I’ve ever worked with. She offers nothing less than knowing how to strengthen and heal one’s own body and mind, as well as how to maintain and expand that radiant health and inner peace.” And Lillah affirms, “Yoga develops in us the strength to grow and change, the ability to know when to let go and when to hold fast, and how to use our mind and our heart to craft a meaningful life.”
Through her popular DVDs, “Yoga: Your Freedom from Back Pain” and “Yoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder Pain,” Lillah brings the essence of alignment-based Yoga Wisdom home in a practical, safe and unique way. Recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, Prevention Magazine and Yoga Journal, Booklist calls them “an excellent resource for beginning yoga enthusiasts.” Watch for Lillah’s upcoming book, The Yoga Workbook: How to Feel Good Every Day.
Lighten Up Yoga, which she founded in Asheville NC in 1981, is Lillah’s home base. Her days are spent instructing hundreds of students. In addition to her weekly classes, she offers yearly 200-hour and unique 500-hour Transformation Yoga Teacher Training ™ programs. She also travels throughout the eastern and central U.S. offering her alignment-based Yoga Wisdom and therapeutic workshops at yoga studios and other venues.
For more about Transformation Yoga Teacher Training ™, visit Lillah’s Asheville NC studio at LightenUpYoga.com or her blog for free videos and yoga tips at LillahSchwartz.com.
“Lillah, you are the Light of Yoga in Asheville. Blessings for the compassion, courage, and knowledge you have brought to so many. It is an honor to be associates.”
—Eric Small, Iyengar Yoga instructor and author of Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis
* Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with the National Yoga Alliance.
In the Presence of BKS Iyengar, article by Lillah Schwartz
Letters of Recommendation
Lillah Schwartz, Founder, Lighten Up Yoga Center, Asheville, NC 828.254.7756 studio 828.273.9401 cell
Lillah Schwartz held an Iyengar teaching certificate from 1987-2009. A senior student of the yogic arts with 30 years training and teaching experience, Lillah is offering her services to established yoga studios to complement and enhance the offerings they provide to students and yoga teachers in their communities.
Summary of Qualifications
• Excellent communicator of the foundational principles of yoga
• Insightful guide to uncover the specific yogic actions that leads to success and freedom
• A strong, clear and compassionate teacher
• Inspirational speaker and workshop leader
* Recognized authority on yoga for back pain and other joint dysfunctions
Summary of Skills
• Experienced teacher trainer with particular strengths in the areas of applied anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology (physics) of yoga.
• Outstanding instructor in sequencing principles and progressions to train students to build poses with safety and wisdom.
• Compassionate guide with exceptional insight into the physiology of yoga and adaptive applications for persons with disabilities and special needs
1981 to Present Founded and Director of the first full service yoga studio in Asheville, NC,
Lighten Up Yoga Center, as a pioneer in the Iyengar method.
1997 to Present Established a formal Yoga Teacher Training Program thru Lighten Up Yoga, 200-hour one year program Registered with the National Yoga Alliance. Primary trainer.
2004 to Present Established a Yoga Alliance 500 hour Teacher Training program, with studies including intermediate, adaptive and therapeutic yoga topics. Primary trainer.
2007 Received the “Recreation Leader of the Year” award from the Asheville Mayors Committee for Citizens with Disabilities for Lillah’s Yoga for MS classes.
2000 Produced, Yoga: Relief for Neck and Shoulder Pain, a 60-minute self-help DVD for all levels. Favorably recommended by Prevention Magazine and Yoga Journal, and distributed nationally through Victory Media to Libraries and other institutions.
1991 Produced Yoga: Your Freedom from Back Pain, a 90-minute self-help DVD for beginners. Favorably recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil’s national self-help newsletter and Yoga Journal. Distributed nationally through Victory Media to Libraries and other institutions.
1991- 2001 CEU Provider for Licensed Massage Therapists with the Florida State Massage
1989-1998 Established and Promoted East Coast Yoga Vacations. The first week- long residence-training program, hosting prominent Iyengar Instructors on the East Coast. Instructors included; Patricia Walden, John Schumacher, Felicity Green, Mary Dunn, Judith Lasater, George Purvis, Gayna Uransky, Gabriella Giubilaro, Rodney Yee, Aadil Palkhivala and others.
Articles Published in New Life Journal of the Carolinas:
2008 Carpel tunnel syndrome and the Hope of Yoga
2007 Leave your chair behind: Save the Psoas with Yoga
2006 A Life of Reawakening – Reflections on BKS Iyengar’s 2005 Book tour.
2003 Teaching Therapeutic Yoga
2001 Relief from Back Pain with Therapeutic Yoga
1999 10-Minute Yoga Office Break
Education and Certifications:
2001 Certificate in Adaptive Iyengar Yoga for MS and other Disabilities.
1990 Certified by the National Safety Council as a Back Power Trainer.
1988 Certified Cranial-Sacral Mobilization Technique. CEU Florida State Massage License.
1987 - 2009 Certified by the National Iyengar Yoga Association, Yoga Instructor.
1980 Certification in Iridology and Nutrition, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Instructor.
1979 Certification Basic Principles of Psychoyntheses, Holistic Institute of Florida.
1981 Certified Rebirther. Rebirthing International, Inc.
1977 Certified Massage Therapist, Lindsey Hopkins Tech Education Center, Miami, Fla.
1975 Natural Healing Arts Certificate, yoga, massage, 5-element theory of Chinese Medicine.
East West Foundation Boston MA. Dr David Carmos.
1973 B.S. Physical Education, Minor in Philosophy, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY.
IYNAUS - National Iyengar Yoga Association
IAYT - International Association Of Yoga Therapists
IYASE - South East Iyengar Yoga Association
ERYT - National Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher
Iyengar Yoga Education:
Studies listed reflect direct contact with BKS and Geeta Iyengar. For an additional list of continued training with Iyengar Certified teachers please see addendum A.
2007 Iyengar Convention Las Vegas, NV, Geeta Iyengar teaching.
2005 Estes Park, CO. Mr. Iyengar teaching, Light on Life Yoga Journal conference.
2004 Iyengar Association Convention Minneapolis
2001 Yoga Odyssey Convention Pasadena, CA., Geeta Iyengar teaching.
1996 Iyengar Convention Estes Park, CO., Geeta Iyengar teaching.
1993 Iyengar Convention in Ann Arbor, MI. BKS Iyengar teaching.
1989 Ramamani Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune, India.
Intensive study with B.K.S. and Geeta Iyengar.
1984 First International Iyengar Yoga Convention in San Francisco. BKS Iyengar teaching.
Yoga Teaching Experience:
1981 to Present, Established and continue to instruct students weekly at Lighten Up Yoga Center, in Asheville, NC, in the alignment principles of yoga, along with adaptive yoga for special needs, including a specialty in back pain relief, yoga for scoliosis, and yoga for MS and other challenges.
1986 to Present, 22nd Annual Fall Equinox Retreat. Sole instructor for three day yoga teaching residential.
2000 to Present, Teaching a weekly class in Adaptive Yoga for MS and other challenges.
2000 to 2007, Presented weekend workshops at other yoga studios throughout the South East including:
• Yoga for Back Care, Yoga and the Organic Body, Yoga and the Five Koshas, Yoga as a Spiritual Practice. Wake Forest Yoga, NC
• Yoga for Back Care, Yoga and the Organic Body, Etowha Valley Yoga, GA
• Yoga for Golfers, Yoga for Sport Injuries Rehabilitation, Yoga for Back and Joint health. The Cliffs Golf Community, SC
• Yoga for Back Care, Yoga and the Organic Body. Integral Arts Center, SC
• Yoga for Back Care, Yoga as a Spiritual Practice. The Yoga Haus, SC
• Yoga as a Spiritual Practice, Yoga for Back Care. Rippling Waters, NC
• Yoga for Back Care. Triad Yoga Center, NC
• Yoga for Back Care. Triangle Yoga, NC
2007 Assistant Instructor to Eric Small in Therapeutic yoga for MS at the IAYT Conference,
January International Association of Yoga Therapists in Los Angeles.
2006 Adaptive Yoga for MS Teacher Training for the National MS Society
November 10-12, Wisconsin Chapter Hartland, WI.
2005 Adaptive Yoga for MS Teacher Training for the National MS Society,
May 13-15, St. Lewis, Missouri.
2001 East Coast Yoga Vacation: Co- taught with Eric Small, Certified Iyengar instructor
and creator of the National MS society’s official “Yoga for MS” program, Asheville, NC.
1995 East Coast Yoga Vacation: Co- taught with Rodney Yee
1993 Taught on staff at the Iyengar Convention in Ann Arbor, MI. BKS Iyengar present.
1985 Yoga Instructor. University of North Carolina, Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Select topics: Iyengar Yoga-3 weeks, 3 hours daily.
Extensive Iyengar Yoga Training (addendum A):
2000 to 2008 – Aadil Palkhivala including 3 day weekends, 5-day intensives, therapeutic trainings, and teacher trainings. – 300 hours total
1998 to 2008 - Eric Small in the Iyengar method as adapted to special needs including but not limited to MS. – 500 hours total
1998 to 2007 - Roger Cole PhD, three day weekends in anatomy and physiology of yoga topics. – 200 hours
2006 & 1999 - Two Jr. Intermediate weekend Teacher Training with John Schumacher – 24 hrs
2003 - Yoga for Osteoporosis & Repetitive Strain Injuries with Marian Garfinkel, PhD- 12 hrs
2003, 2002, 1994, 1992, 1989 - 5 years of study with Felicity Green, Therapeutic Applications in Yoga, General Iyengar Yoga weekends, 5 Day Yoga Teacher Training – 85 hrs
1999 to 2003 - Consecutive years of weekend studies with Dean Lerner – 60 hrs total
2000 to 2001, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999 – 9 years of study with Patricia Walden, including general Iyengar training weekends, Jr. Intermediate Iyengar teacher trainings and 5 week long residence programs. Gather at the River, Covington, LA, Asheville, NC, Boca Raton, Fl, and Chapel Hill, NC – 240 hours
1987, 1988, 2000 – Hosting Rodney Yee, Asheville, NC
1984 to 2000 Continued Training through the East Cost Yoga Intensives as follows:
'89 John Schumacher and Felicity Green – 30 hrs
'90 Judith Lasater and Donald Moyer– 30 hrs
'91 Patricia Walden and Roger Cole – 30 hrs
'92 George Purvis and Mary Dunn – 30 hrs
'93 John Schumacher and Patricia Walden – 30 hrs
'94 Felicity Green and George Purvis – 30 hrs
'95 Gayna Uransky and Arthur Kilmurray – 30 hrs
'96 Francois Raoult and Julie Lawrence – 30 hrs
'97 Patricia Walden and Gabriella Guibliaro – 30 hrs
'98 Aadil Palkhivala and Richard Freeman – 30 hrs
2000 Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden – 30 hrs
1988 Weekend Workshops. Atlanta, GA. Judith Lasater
1987 Winter, Spring, Fall weekend workshops. Asheville, NC. Joan White.
1986 Two Week intensive. Feather Pipe Ranch, MT. Mary Dunn and Ramanand Patel.
1985 Weekend workshops with Sam Dworkis, John Schumacher and Dr. Mary Schatz
1983 Eight day Intensive, Boston, MA. Victor Van Kooten, Instructor.
1982 Yoga Institute of Miami. Seven days Iyengar Yoga Teacher training.
With Bobbie Goldin, Miami, FL.
1979 Yoga Institute of Miami, FL - completed 6-day Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training, Instructor, Sam Dworkis
1976 Began weekly yoga studies at the Yoga Institute of Miami. Iyengar Certified instruction with Sam Dworkis and Bobbie Golden.
1975 Yoga Teachers Guild - Basic Course Boston, MA. Instructor, David Carmos