Marian Garfinkel

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Marian Garfinkel
Born (1932-04-02) April 2, 1932 (age 87)
OccupationYoga teacher
Known forIyengar Yoga
Spouse(s)Marvin Garfinkel
ChildrenSimson Garfinkel
  • Philip Schwartz[1][2] (father)
  • Charlotte Schwartz[3] (mother)

Marian Garfinkel (born April 2, 1932) is an early researcher in the field of complementary medicine, showing that yoga could be used to treat and possibly cure a variety of hand injuries resulting from repetitive use. She studied with B. K. S. Iyengar for over 40 years, making annual trips to yoga centers in India, France, California and Michigan.[4] As a result of her contact with Iyengar, she and her former husband Marvin Garfinkel is credited with inspiring the sculptor Robert Engman to create the sculpture After Iyengar, currently on display at the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania[5] and at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.


Garfinkel grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the youngest of four children.[6] She married Marvin Garfinkel in 1962, and settled at Cobble Court in 1974.

Following the award of her degree, Dr. Garfinkel assumed teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University. In 2016, Garfinkel's extensive archives regarding B. K. S. Iyengar were donated to the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYANUS).[7]

Garfinkel is a senior certified Iyengar teacher[8][9] who was a student of B. K. S. Iyengar between 1976, when she first met him in Ann Arbor, MI, and his death in 2014.


In 1994 Garfinkel was the lead author of a study that showed that yoga could be used for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands,[10] and in 1998, Garfinkel was lead author of a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrating the yoga could be used to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.[11] At the time of the article's publication, Garfinkel was in India, studying with Iyengar. On her return from India, she discovered over 900 e-mail messages in her inbox, many from people who were eager to see if she could help them.[12] In 2000, she published an article co-authored with H. Ralph Schumacher, Jr. presenting the ability of Yoga to cure a variety of rheumatic diseases.[13]


  1. ^ 1940 US Census,
  2. ^ What Price Success: One Man's 34 Year Search for his GI Father, Norman Spencer,
  3. ^ The Shofar, February 2016, Agudath Achim Synagogue, Altoona, PA. p. 6
  4. ^ The Power of Yoga, Richard Corliss, Time, April 15, 2001.,8599,106356-3,00.html
  5. ^ After B. K. S. Iyengar,
  6. ^ What Price Success: One man's 34 year search for his GI father, Norman Spencer, Mereo Books, Gloucestershire, UK. p. 258.
  7. ^ "Home | Iyengar Yoga: National Association of the United States". Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  8. ^ "» Instructors".
  9. ^ Harding, Anne. "Yoga helps older women balance and stand taller".
  10. ^ Garfinkel MS, Schumacher HR, Husain A, Levy M, Reshetar RA. Evaluation of a yoga based regimen for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands. J Rheumatol. 1994 Dec;21(12) 2341-2343. PMID 7699639.
  11. ^ Garfinkel MS, Singhal A, Katz WA, Allan DA, Reshetar R, Schumacher, Jr HR. Yoga-Based Intervention for Carpal Tunnel SyndromeA Randomized Trial. JAMA. 1998;280(18):1601–1603. doi:10.1001/jama.280.18.1601
  12. ^ Yoga Under the Microscope, Kathryn Black, The Yoga Journal, August 28, 2007.
  13. ^ Yoga, Marian Garfinkel, EdD and H. Ralph Schumacher Jr., MD, Rheumatic Disease Clinics, February 1, 2000. Volume 26, issue 1. pp. 125-132.