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?
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
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
As a yoga teacher, I let loose lots of words in class. Nowhere else do I speak nonstop for more than an hour. While my instructions seem straightforward, however, what I say can cause inadvertent effects. A student I’ll call Rose confided that she disliked the way I sometimes verbally correct students by name from afar.…… Continue reading The power of words: Part II
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
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
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
My ongoing “research” on the mega studio in town has been quite revelatory. First, I’ve found some good teachers at a studio I’d discounted as too commercial. (It is commercial, but that doesn’t mean all the teachers are middling.) A few nights ago, I took two “Hatha” classes. The first teacher was as detailed in…… Continue reading Sampling yoga studios and teachers
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?
Since my last post about the biggest yoga studio in my town, I’ve attended five more classes there (12 total). I’ve seen four of their five locations so far. They’re all huge: I’d estimate that two have mat capacity for 40 to 50, one could hold 60, and the main studio might squeeze in 80.…… Continue reading The lure of the mega studio
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
“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