Yoga with Abhijata and a thousand classmates

I try to avoid formal gatherings, red-eye flights, checked baggage, and yoga classes too large to allow eye contact with the teacher. But I was curious about the 2016 Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States convention in Boca Raton. I wanted to experience the teaching of Geeta Iyengar, who didn’t teach during my August 2014 trip to Pune. When she had…… Continue reading Yoga with Abhijata and a thousand classmates

Hard or easy?

I once read about Ryojun Shionuma, a Shugendo Buddhist priest who achieved two grueling feats of physical endurance. First, for nine years during the May-September trekking season, he hiked 30 miles daily, navigating an elevation change of 4,000 feet with an occasional 30 min routine on his spin bikes. Every night, he would wake at 11:30pm,…… Continue reading Hard or easy?

Case study: hamstring strain (or something)

In early 2014, I strained a left hamstring muscle near the origin. Or an external rotator in the left hip. Or something.  It snuck up on me. There was no acute injury. I simply noticed less range of motion (ROM) in straight-legged, forward-bending poses, marked by a pulling sensation on the lateral side of the sitting bone. Initially I was sure that whatever I’d…… Continue reading Case study: hamstring strain (or something)

Farewell, Mr Iyengar

Walking toward RIMYI just after noon, I saw a crowd blocking the street. Just outside the gate, an ambulance was parked. Soon I heard chanting, and five or six men, draped in white cloth, came carrying the body of BKS Iyengar, adorned with flowers, high on a stretcher. I went alone, not knowing what to expect. Suddenly I was swept along with…… Continue reading Farewell, Mr Iyengar

Crossing the street

Traffic is insane in Pune. Cars, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles swarm nonstop all around, honking, honking, honking. No crosswalks or stoplights for pedestrians, no designated safety zone. If you’re not careful, you’ll get hit. If you’re too careful, you’ll be stuck. One day, still new here, I was trying to navigate around the traffic circle by the Toyota dealer when a scruffy…… Continue reading Crossing the street

Yoga injuries: who’s at fault?

Ever been injured in a yoga class? Chances are, we’ve all felt a twinge in one class or another. So, who’s at fault? The teacher? The student? Or are occasional tweaks simply part of being active and exploring our limits? Since William Broad began writing about yoga injuries in the New York Times and on Facebook, most fingers have been…… Continue reading Yoga injuries: who’s at fault?