It is Saturday after our first Friday night Pranayama class (ooohhh sooo good) and what a great almost end to the week. Tomorrow morning we do have a Sutra talk with Prashant, but today was such fun I cannot wait to write.
This morning we had class with Abhijata (BKS Iyengar’s granddaughter) and again I wonder where we translated Iyengar Yoga into strict, rigid teaching…It is standing pose week, so there were a lot of standing poses, but in between there were numerous full arm balances, other arm balances, Sirsasana II, and ending with seated rolling practice – Legs up, roll to Paschimottanasana, roll to Navasana, roll to Halasana, etc… The standing poses all had a common theme : tightening the knees and making them firm to hold and effect the rest of the posture.
She challenged us to not just sequencing for “doing” – as in linking only “actions”…but we also must sequence for “feeling”. We must also watch how the one common theme changes with the pose and how the mind might react to that common theme in simple postures as opposed to complex. Is the mind more or less present? What is lost or found in the change of the posture or its complexity?
In all our jumping around and quick changes, she also challenged our stamina and made a point of being conscious of your energy level, wellness or illness, shakiness, etc…to determine what choices you make in practice. Ultimately she gave us choices as the poses became more difficult and also knowing she had been pushing our stamina. She is commanding and humorous and light and playful in her approach. In my opinion , she is a perfect teacher to usher in a new generation of Iyengar Yoga.
After class we had lunch with my friend Geeta. She took us to a new restaurant that serves dosa and idli (two yummy food items that you can easily Google). She also is a welcoming hostess at her home and runs a small store with all kinds of unique goodies, so the afternoon was spent filling up and catching up with good company and good conversation.
After an afternoon in Geeta’s room of treasures, we went to a class with Gulnaaz, a longtime student and teacher at the Institute. She is another amazing voice among all the voices here for Iyengar Yoga. She, like may of the teachers here, can read her students like books and see exactly what is needed right in front of her. From this morning’s class, she helped us recover our energy more properly…making the joke that no matter what we need to recover from, we choose Supta Baddha Konasana and call it done…so we really must think about changing our tactic!! What we do to take care of ourselves will ultimately teach us to take care of our students, and there are so many options to recover and restore…be wise, study, and know yourself!
This amazing day ended with a most excellent meal. It is just mind blowing the growth that happens here in Pune. The city grows out and grows up and gets fancier as well at a pace that is just unimaginable. Near Gulaaz’s studio, there is now basically a restaurant row, Levis and Nike shops, and just a whole host of other “trendy” things.
So to bed now to wake up for another day in this place of wonders!