FRYOG Background & History

The Friends of Yoga Society (FRYOG) International was founded in early 1970 by a section of the Yoga Institute of Santa Cruz, Bombay, India, with the object of promulgating the entire structure of yoga throughout the world, conducting research and advising on yoga education and teacher training. In the beginning membership subscriptions were sent to India and a newsletter published in return.

Early in 1972, FRYOG set up a temporary commission known as the “All India Board of Yoga” encompassing 20 eminent experts on the subject of yoga, bringing their experience and knowledge together, to draw up guidelines on yoga teacher training. These were eventually published and this in depth body of knowledge forms the basis of the FRYOG teacher training Diploma scheme.

Wilfred Clark was the Board’s “foreign corresponding member” for the U.K.. When this temporary Board was disbanded, Wilfred was appointed FRYOG’s Honorary Organiser for the U.K., later being given the appointment of Honorary Director and Vice President of the parent body. (Wilfred Clark was also responsible for setting up the British Wheel of Yoga and was a founder member of The Yoga For Health Foundation.) Wilfred was assisted by John Gent, who remains one of the Diploma Board Assessors of the present day Society. As FRYOG membership grew overseas, the title “Western World” was substituted for “U.K.” and is now “International”.

On the death of Wilfred Clark in 1981, the Governing Council appointed Pauline Mainland as Vice President and Honorary Director of the Western World Community, assisted by a Board of overseas Trustees. In 1984 the organisation was restructured again giving the Western World Community the additional title of “FRYOG Overseas Wing” to be headed by the existing Vice President, Pauline Mainland. Pauline continued to head the Organisation for over twenty years and appointed other volunteers including a Diploma Board of Assessors, District Secretaries, Registrar and newsletter Editor/Publisher.

Sadly, Pauline Mainland died in January 2001. She had previously asked that Margaret Pateman take over as Chairperson. Margaret worked for more than 18 months and was able, with the help of the other FRYOG volunteers to further grow the society. Her achievements are numerous and include setting up a UK Board of Trustees, producing financial reports and arranging the first Annual General Meeting. With her guidance, FRYOG made the switch from manual to computer led administration, launching the web site .

2002 to present …

The 1st official AGM of the Society was held in March 2002. Margaret relinquished the role of Chairperson and an executive committee was appointed to be elected annually.

Executive Officers
Chairman:  Lucy Barlow 02392 733 602
Secretary: Christine Clist 01730 894281
Treasurer: Julie Birbeck 01753 651339
Training and Standards: Aimee Newton 07968 160657
Diploma Board Officer: Maggie Brocklehurst 01344 627006
Membership Officer: Lorraine Walton 07808 255085
Newsletter Editor/Publisher: Ann Key 01142 872610
Website Co-ordinator: Jo Standen 07986 168072
Junior Membership Officer: Anna Hakansson
Child Protection Officer: Pattie Sandham 01929 439001
Yoga Show Co-ordinator: Pat Cronin 01784 479974
BCYT Representative: Jane Keogh 07775 811433

How does FRYOG work?

The Society is able to keep going thanks to the assistance of a number of key personnel.
Key posts introduced since 2001 include membership officer, website co-ordinator and junior membership officer, and UK wide Area Officers. In addition, there are currently yoga tutors (teacher trainers) in five areas of the UK and many students travel great distances to be able to study on a FRYOG Diploma Course.

All these posts have been, and continue to be held on a voluntary basis, placing the emphasis on voluntary work for the good of yoga and promoting a world-wide spirit of friendship. FRYOG is continually looking for volunteers to help run the organisation in all aspects. Please contact one of the executive committee members if you are interested.


The Society does not have a ‘headquarters’. The work for the Society is carried out in the homes of the key personnel who keep in contact with one another by e-mail, phone calls and letters and by meeting up with one another at various seminars and yoga days.

This method of administration helps to keep overheads to a minimum and prevents commercialism becoming too great within the Society’s structure. Members therefore gain the benefits as subscriptions are kept to a manageable level. The income raised by membership subscriptions is utilised for various expenditure the Society incurs namely, printing, postage, stationery, phone calls, website maintenance. The emphasis is on voluntary work for the good of yoga.

FRYOG Newsletter

The Society publishes a quarterly Newsletter and members are encouraged to contribute articles and details of seminars and yoga days in their areas.

Subscripton Costs

FRYOG welcomes all members with an interest in yoga. The membership subscription (which includes a quarterly newsletter), is £20.00  per annum for UK/EU,  and £23.50 per annum for overseas. Subscriptions are renewable annually on 1st January. If you are (or in future will be) a FRYOG teacher you will have to keep up your membership to be able to teach FRYOG yoga. Click here to join, or renew your membership.

The future

In 2013 FRYOG will be offering one day workshops and weekend retreats. All teachers will be highly experienced and knowledgeable. The events will be open to everyone. As always, FRYOG is willing to assist all, whether members of the organisation or not.

FRYOG Teacher Training

FRYOG offers a teacher-training scheme with the ultimate award of ‘International Teaching Diploma’. In 1994 FRYOG gained affiliation to The Institute for Complementary Medicine. The Education Scheme operated by FRYOG is recognised by the Institute for Complementary Medicine as an element of their own Course Accreditation Programme to enable students to develop their competence as part of their career structure and continuing professional development. In 2007 we affiliated with BCYT (British Council for Yoga Therapy). This was decided by members ballot. FRYOG will continue to liaise with and assist this organisation with its invaluable work.