Do you have a Geeta story?

A rite of passage for Iyengar yoga practitioners is a trip to the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune—to study directly with the Iyengars. Of course, BKS Iyengar is 92. Unless you met him in the 1970s or ’80s (or possibly the ’90s), it’s too late to make a personal connection now. It’s probably…… Continue reading Do you have a Geeta story?

On paying attention

The classic Iyengar method of teaching asana is what I’ll call the “demo” method:  teacher demonstrates and then students do. This contrasts with the common “follow the leader” method, in which teachers do practically the whole sequence along with students. So, many students who attend my classes aren’t used to the “demo” method. Often, they’re…… Continue reading On paying attention

Finding a meditative experience in an Iyengar class

The same student who sparked my prior post, “Criticism and praise in yoga classes,” asked another question about Iyengar yoga classes: “I… love my vinyasa practice because of the familiar repetition and rhythm—you can lose yourself in the continual movement. Do you think you can ‘get’ that meditative experience in an Iyengar class? Maybe on…… Continue reading Finding a meditative experience in an Iyengar class

Solid wood

In class I noticed a fellow student’s personal set of yoga blocks. Even from afar, I could tell they were solid wood. Handsome and old school, such blocks on my wish list, so I asked her where she got them. “They were a gift,” she said, apologetically. Then she couldn’t resist adding, “I’m really attached…… Continue reading Solid wood

Showing skin

When being assessed for Iyengar certification, teacher candidates are not supposed to show skin. In other words, no low-cut necklines, no skimpy tanks, no bare midriffs. (I don’t know if this is an official rule or unwritten protocol.) This topic arose recently in light of the pose sarvangasana (shoulderstand). Don’t most of us do sarvangasana…… Continue reading Showing skin

Align the body, align the mind

During my immersion at the mega studio, I met teachers from various yoga backgrounds. Once, before a class, I chatted with the teacher, whom I’ll call Joan. She’d studied at a Sivananda centre before taking the mega studio’s three-month teacher-training program. “That’s one type of yoga I’ve never tried,” I commented about Sivananda, which I…… Continue reading Align the body, align the mind

The mega studio versus what?

In response to my post  “The lure of the mega studio,” Ray wrote a thoughtful comment, asking me about my frame of reference. To what am I contrasting the mega studio? Since day one, my predominant practice has been Iyengar yoga. So, the studio attributes randomly listed below apply frequently (but not exclusively) to Iyengar…… Continue reading The mega studio versus what?

The biggest yoga studio in my town

Months ago, I received a two-week pass to the biggest yoga studio in my town. It boasts five locations, 30 to 40 teachers, and almost 150 weekly classes in various yoga styles, including Vinyasa Power Flow, Kundalini, and Hatha (a name that I still find misbegotten, as discussed here). Workshops feature celebrity teachers, such as Shiva…… Continue reading The biggest yoga studio in my town

Reawakening the body

“It’s not over,” he said. “There’s always a chance to change. You should not — you dare not — give up.” Gregg Mozgala, actor and dancer with cerebral palsy In yoga classes, I’ve notice some students’ difficulty moving their ankles and toes. Point, flex. Easy enough. Rotate them in synchronized circles. Okay. Now flex only…… Continue reading Reawakening the body