Thursday, January 6, 2011

Taking Class

Abhijata Sridhar, B.K.S. Iyengar’s granddaughter, teaches the class today.  Imagine Mr. Iyengar, 92 years old, in a supported back bend or headstand while coaching Abhi in her teaching of the class.  He talks to her in a low voice, she is near him, maybe even doing the pose herself for a moment as she instructs us.  Assistants encourage (read “correct”) us when we fail to grasp what she says.

This passing of the teaching from one generation to the next is a wonder.  He is sweet with her; she is respectful in accepting and relaying his information to us.  So…..yes, he is still teaching!

Pune practice tip for my Portland yoga students:
To keep the hips more evenly balanced when practicing Parsvottanasana or Virabhadrasana I, start in Tadasana and step one leg back into the pose.  Bring the back leg hip forward to keep both sides of the sacrum evenly broad.  Practice the pose.  Experience the pose.  What did you learn?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Arrival

The Institute’s sign makes my heart do a little flutter, just as it did when I saw it for the first time almost 30 years ago.  It means arrival at the source of our tradition.  It presents both promise and possibility.  I never know exactly why I come, but try to stay open to receiving whatever it is.


After the bombing of the popular German Bakery in Pune in February 2010, the Iyengar Institute has guards flanking the entry.  But once past their watchful eye, we sign in, exhale and proceed along this beautiful little path to the practice hall.