Friday, January 21, 2011

The Language of Asana

In the practice hall yesterday, I overheard a conversation in an unfamiliar Eastern European language.  Although I could not understand what they were saying, at least I knew they were discussing yoga poses.  Let’s say it was Czech…………make up your own translation!

Myslim ze Sirsasana je netezci prace.  Kdyz nejdriv delam Gomukhasana, pak je to lechtci.  Jak je to pro tebe?  Mam rada kdyz delam Prasarita Padottanasana jako preparace na Sirsasana. A pak muzu nekdi stat na hlave s Sarvangasana. Delat Savasana na konce mam nejradsi!

Pune Practice Tips for our Portland Iyengar Yoga students:

Level 1 students:
In Utthita Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana II and Utthita Parsvakonasana do the pose by concentrating primarily on taking the front of the back leg thigh back to its hamstring as you bring the front leg groin forward toward the front of the room.  From there ascend the spine.

Level 2 and 3 students:
In Baddha Konasana practice the pose with one strap around each thigh.  Place the strap high up on the thigh and in the external rotation position.

Then practice the pose with one strap around the back of the sacrum, between the knees and around the feet. 

What is your experience of the difference?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Light on Guruji

There are sculptures of B.K.S. Iyengar that are attached to the sides of the Iyengar Institute building.  As I was coming out of class today, I caught the morning sunlight reflecting on this one of Guruji doing Padmasana (Lotus Pose).

The word “Guru” (gu=darkness and ru=light) means the person who takes one from darkness to light.  The Guru takes one from the darkness of ignorance to the light of wisdom.

The suffix “ji” indicates a personal respect.

Guruji translates as my esteemed teacher.

Pune Practice Tip for our Portland Iyengar Yoga students:
Practice any simple pose.  Let the body, mind and breath communicate with each other.  Prashant Iyengar says "Let body, mind and breath have a conference call."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Country of Contrasts

Pune is a city of 2.8 million people.Theses photos are of the Laxmi Road area of Pune, which houses the traditional Indian shopping markets.  “Laxmi” means prosperity.  You can find everything from fabric, ready made clothes, gold and silver jewelry, bangles (stay tuned for a bangle shopping blog post), candy, legumes, fruits and vegetables and trinkets of all sorts.

Now fast forward to the Pune Central shopping center, which is right across the street from the Iyengar Yoga Institute.  Notice the “Shop.  Eat.  Celebrate.” motto and the hip young woman that is depicted on the side of the building.  This is quite a switch from the sari-clad women of days gone by.  I went into Pune Central and turned around and came right back out.  The loud pulsating music made my head ache.

Pune Practice Tip for our Portland Iyengar Yoga students
Do Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog pose) on the lower or middle ropes.  To improvise the rope set up, loop a belt around secure doorknobs.  Instead of taking your hands to the floor, take your arms behind your back, clasp a pole (read broomstick) with the palms facing your back body.  Slowly bring the pole up toward the ceiling and toward your head. What is the result in your body of these actions?