Now that I’ve been sick I feel like my fear has gone and I’ve surrendered to India. I can stop fighting it and just go with the flow (so to speak!). After two days in bed I finally lifted the phone and whispered “doctor” to the guys at reception. The lovely doctor said “classic food poisoning” and gave me bright blue pills and orange pills to kill everything.
I tottered off to Geeta’s Convention on Tuesday, having missed the orientation and the first day. There is so much happening now in the classes and presentations it’s hard to pin it to the page. Geeta is going over a lot of the basics, but each time I hear them there is more to be learned. It’s one of the fascinating things about Iyengar yoga – the more we plow the ground with our practice, questions, teaching and study the greater the richness to be found.
I was not yet quite compus mentis but these are the snippets I remember according to how I heard them. If anyone can elaborate or clarify please feel free to do so in the comments.
Jumping feet apart (what’s this one called again James H?) feel the indents of the buttocks. Maintain the indents as you go to tri’K’onasana and then ardha chandrasana, reinforce the indents in ardha chandrasana and lift the leg higher and higher.
Return to tadasana to settle the nerves. The fire element is in the nerves (as anyone who’s had shingles would know!), the earth element is in the tisssue and bones and the ether element is inside the bones. Tadasana between the standing poses is important because that’s when the fire in the nerves settles.
In the afternoon we watched a video of Mr Iyengar teaching at his 1993 75th birthday celebrations at Panchgani and he said the vibrations should continue after the pose – the ether continues to move.
On Tuesday Geeta explained the connection between parsvottonasana and paschimottonasana and the importance of extending the side chest and then the slight twist necessary to elongate both sides equally over the shin bone. Keeping the outer calves and the outer thighs in. (These technical points are best demonstrated – difficult to describe).
We then did a long paschimottonasana with the arms wide – holding our new foam props – then with the arms resting on the two ‘foams’ and elbows up, taking the dorsal in and lengthening forward from the abdomen 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 times – each time with Geeta exhorting us to GO further. Felt amazing.
She told us to spread the body like you spread butter, to every corner of the toast. The muscles have to be sober, not tough and hard.
In pranayama she said let the breath rise like the sun god coming over the mountain. In brahmari the breath goes from the front of the larynx, not the back of the larynx, to soften and prepare for Ujjayi.
Geeta also made the point that Mr Iyengar said certification was the beginning of our teaching and practice because the responsibility to look at our practice was then so much greater.