Ingelise Nherlan

Ingelise Neerland (Nherlan)

Saturday, February 3rd, 1940 - Sunday, March 15th, 2020
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Ingelise loved and valued life. Her greatest loves were her children, Peter and Anette, her grandchildren Noelle and Angeline, Iyengar Yoga, singing, her grand-dogs and humour.

Born in Denmark to Edith and Sofus Mullar, Ingelise spoke Danish, English and German by age 18. She further learned French as an au-pair in Paris.

Ingelise married Bent Segato and together they lived (and created their children,) in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar) and Ghana on the Ivory Coast of West Africa, also Denmark and Vancouver, Canada. Ingelise travelled to many countries both with her family, and after her divorce, on her own, as a devout yoga student and teacher.

Feisty, flirty and fiery, Ingelise preferred white wine over red, savory over sweet, (although in her last few weeks we went through boxes of chocolate covered ice cream bars and digestive cookies with whipping cream,) and loved getting dressed up in elegant dresses and high heels as much as she loved her “mole days” at home.
She often half-joked about how, if she were wealthy, she would take a personal chef first, a chauffeur second; but when she had to, she cooked the most delicious Danish meals and took pride in feeding her loved ones. In the last few years, she found joy taking the bus and making it a game to see who she could make smile and laugh somehow.

With the gift of music in her soul Ingelise’s favorite songs were Danny Boy and Edelweiss. She adored Doris Day and loved to play any piano she came upon. Elevators she took would echo with her stunning voice. Rooms vibrated when Ingelise chanted Om. In the late 50’s Ingelise was signed on to what was one of the largest recording companies in the world, but was called back to Denmark by her parents, whom she loved dearly.
As an internationally renowned Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher, Ingelise studied under her Guruji, BKS Iyengar at his Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India where she visited ten times.

Ingelise taught yoga classes for over 40 years, and opened her own studio, ‘Room for Yoga’ in West Vancouver, which she ran for eight years. Opening her own business was one of the scariest things she’d ever done and it brought her great pride as an accomplishment. Her devout students were blessed with many invaluable gems of wisdom, insight and inspiration that were channeled through her.

At age eighty, toward the end of her 8-month fight with pancreatic cancer, she sat on a chair and still taught her dedicated students—so in love with teaching and people she was!

Ingelise lived simply, had the brightest smile, an indomitable spirit and a keen zest for life. She loved her church, West Vancouver United and would go early to hear the choir practice. Her most cherished books were Light on Yoga, Astadala Yogamala, and her beloved Danish and English bibles. She studied the Koran and Buddhism as well as yogic philosophy. Ingelise was fascinated by the prospect of other life in the universe and watched Ancient Aliens on TV with great wonder. A true Aquarian, she loved the wind in the trees, the ethereal, birds in flight, and space science.

Ingelise survived breast cancer in the 1980’s, but her body succumbed to pancreatic cancer Sunday March 15th, 2020. She will be hugely missed by many.

Her parting advice to her children was: Be fair to others and to yourself. Forgive. Practise peace and harmony, harmony, harmony. God, we miss her so, but thank you for loaning her to us for eighty short years.
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Private Condolence

Terry Brown

Posted at 03:22am
Dear Ingelise, now living in Australia, how fortunate was I to spend time with you again in 2018 and 2019 during my visits back “home” to BC. I uploaded the photo of us on Ambleside Pier in 2018, and at the time you said in that beautiful gentle voice of yours that you truly were now feeling your age. Maybe then, you had an inkling of what was ahead, but to me you seemed just the same as ever, fit, well, sincere, empathetic, compassionate and loving. You were my teacher, friend and life-affirming force.

I went to my first yoga lessons with you in my mid-20s in the mid-1970s. At the time I was into backpacking, mountaineering and skiing and was looking for relief from back pain. Little did I know at the time the incredible power of Iyengar Yoga for not just the physical body, but also the mind and spirit, but as I embraced the discipline of practice under your guidance, my moods changed, my attitudes improved and I felt increasingly at peace with myself, my relationships and the world around me. To the point where I still walk with those deep insights today.

Most of all Ingelise, you taught me how to breathe! Surely this should just be automatic, but it is the awareness of breathing and how it connects body, mind, soul and environment. For those of us who were there, who could forget the amazing transformational and transcendental Pranayama class with Mr Iyengar at the Institute back in 1978? Unanimously we achieved a new level of existence, consciousness and peace. It was a remarkable floating sensation as if we had all simultaneously levitated and become one entity. We left the class in silence and I don’t think anyone spoke until we were halfway back to the hotel. This was a life changing moment that still lives with me today and could only have happened with your mentorship and preparation prior to heading over to Poona. I love breathing, and I think of you often when I stand in wild nature and feel the crisp fresh air enter my lungs.

“The still waters of a lake reflect the beauty around it. When the mind is still, the beauty of the Self is seen reflected in it.” (BKS Iyengar).

I left Canada in 1984 and have worked and lived in Australia ever since, but we kept in touch over the years and I think I managed to see you on most of my visits back to connect with friends and walk in the mountains that remain so much a part of me. You gave me time last year to share your love as cancer was taking hold, and it was a gift to still hear your wisdom and laugh together.

Your radiant LIGHT shines on.
Love, Terry.

Jayne lloyd-Jones

Posted at 07:32pm
Ingelise was my first Iyengar yoga teacher and became my mentor over the years. She encouraged me to start teacher training, for which I am grateful every day. The photograph I have uploaded is of the five of us teachers at Room for Yoga in Ambleside, West Vancouver, when she owned her own studio (always her ambition!) The photo shows Dhana, me (Jayne), Ingelise, Saskia and Corrie.

Her spirit and her love of life will always remain with me, along with her contagious smile and twinkling eyes. Her vivacious yoga teaching style inspired me - she could have written a book on the inventive ways she used props to encourage her students into new or difficult poses.

I have many special memories of Ingelise. Here are two that I'd like to share.
Ingelise took singing lessons for some years and would often burst into song in the yoga studio - before or after a class. Her voice was magnificent. At the annual Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada conference some years ago Ingelise sang to the entire conference, warming our hearts and inspiring us all.
Another memory is of her 70th (surprise) birthday party. A number of us were invited to await her when she came to Anetta's house, supposedly to go out to dinner. We all popped out from behind furniture, and closed doors, and gave her a genuine surprise. Her eyes sparkled, she laughed with joy, and she looked a million dollars - in a colourful outfit with a daringly short skirt as I recall!

I will miss Ingelise and feel grateful that I was a small part of her life for the last 25 years. I wish Anetta and Peter and all her family members strength and courage and hope that the memories they have will support them.

Jayne Lloyd-Jones

Brenda Seraphim

Posted at 10:09pm
Where does one start reminiscing about a friendship which began in the 1980's & ended when Ingie left this earth 5 days after my last visit? Perhaps it's best to start at the end, with Ingie sharing from bed - her love for life, her love for God, her love for her children & grandchildren, her love for yoga and her love for her friends. During the last several months we spoke about love in many different contexts. During one visit, Ingie taught me about the 5 love languages (Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, Acts of Service). She then went from teaching, to sharing her primary love language & which of the other love languages she gravitated towards (she also shared the love languages she least related to). Then it was my turn. We then went through the people in our lives whom we love, trying to identify their primary love language to better understand their needs and how we could better speak to our loved ones' primary love language. On another visit (closer to the end), Ingie taught me the meaning of Santosha, in the history of her life as a Yogi and how Santosha manifested itself in the context of her life's journey. During each visit we prayed for ourselves and for the people we love. Some days we prayed in 3 languages - English, French and Danish. Whatever language our prayers took, they gave Ingie (and me), peace and comfort. Our friendship started in the hotel industry where we shared a love of service. love of fun, laughter, wine (sometimes too much) and food (also sometimes too much). We also loved to share much so, that when we went out for meals we'd order our first beverage & then the story telling would begin (before the beverage arrived). When the beverage arrived, it was almost inevitable we'd have forgotten to look at our menus & much to our server's dismay could be counted on to place a rush order as the end of happy hour approached. Though the cancer in her body robbed Ingie of her health, it never conquered her spirit, her ability to love and be kind, nor made her less courageous. Ingie, I miss you dearly, until we meet again to share stories, love & laughter. Hugs Brenda

Sherri Posted at 08:14pm

Echoing Brenda's comments as part of a diverse group of ladies who Ingy was a treasured part of. I too had the privilege of visiting her in hospital near the end and seeing her energy rise as our conversation continued. Amazing Viking warrior energy and yogi power to the end. Ingy was my very first yoga teacher, and it was remarkable that by her inspiration almost 50% of our group became trained yoga teachers ourselves. Her laughter, creativity, strength, beauty, joie de vivre, and insatiable curiosity remain in my heart which goes out at this unfathomable time to her children and grandchildren and everyone who loved her too. xo Sherri

Heidi Walsh Sampson

Posted at 09:50pm
Dear Peter and Annette,

We are so sad at the passing of your mother. Iingelise was a such a special part of my life. For all the years that I lived in Vancouver, she treated me like I was one of her own. She was so generous with her time, talent, home and love. Every Christmas, birthday and holiday, she showered us all with gifts and I still use that massager! lol

One of my fondest memories of Ingelise was one night when we all went out to dinner at a restaurant downtown with a karaoke machine. Ingelise got up and held the place spellbound as she sang 'Some Enchanted Evening' from the musical South Pacific. Afterward a gentleman came up and asked if Ingelise would be willing to sing 'Unchained Melody'. I can still see Ingelise as she took the stage in her pink suit and those legs. She brought the house down.

So many great memories up at Nelson Island. I can remember sitting around the campfire as she sang 'Danny Boy'. There was a great stillness in the cove as her voice carried over the water and echoed off the shores. Pure magic!

After 15 years on the West coast, Ingelise insisted on putting Tony and I up for our last night in Vancouver after the house sold in 2006. All of our friends came to see us off from her place on 13 St. I will always remember her laughing and hugging us and wishing us all the best as we drove away. Little did we know how life would change. I am grateful for sharing part of the journey with Ingelise and we were so grateful to see her again in February for one last 'Edelweiss'. Ingelise was one of the most compassionate and giving people that I have ever known and I learned a lot from her.
With much love,

Heidi, Tony and Isabelle


Posted at 04:40pm
Hi Dear Friends The 2 photos of Ingelise doing Incredibly difficult Yoga poses, in front of the fireplace, poses requiring core stregth were taken just a few weeks before she passed away of Pancreatic Cancer. Such was her willpower, resilience, pride and dedication to life and living.

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