So, what did we actually do this morning during the 3 hour workshop?
We focussed on stability, and used that firm stability to improve and increase extension.
We spent time gradually building up to poses. Using basic poses to 'imprint' onto the body, before doing more 'difficult' poses.
One of the beautiful things about Iyengar yoga is the sequencing. When you begin a class, you are never really sure of where you are 'going'. But when you find yourself in Pincha Mayurasana and you feel the base is firm and strong and your shoulders are working correctly and you have the freedom in your spine to extend and your legs are working well to aid the extension, then you begin to understand why you have done the previous poses and how they 'educate' the body.
We worked on poses that students have never attempted before. Taking the time to explore them and ask questions. I love the excitement of learning a new pose. It's like meeting someone new. A little shy at first, but keen to get to know them and make friends.
|(Salamba Sirsasana or headstand)|
Sometimes attempting a new pose for the first time can feel scary, or daunting (like meeting some new people ;-) but, as with most things in life, 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway' is often incredibly rewarding.
I have found that poses I initially disliked (aka: found extremely difficult) have been most beneficial. They are poses I have had to make myself practise, and slowly, over the years I have learned a lot about myself, my body and mind, through practising these challenging beasts! And some, finally, I have learned to cherish. They bring me a stillness, a quiet space inside me, with pin-sharp focus and clarity. No room for my mind to wander or stress.
Yoga means union, to yoke, to join.
This afternoon, I am hopeful that those students who joined me in the class found one or two of those moments of clarity and peace. Moments where you are truly in the now. Where your mind, body and spirit are unified.
|(Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana)|
"Your body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga, they come together in the present." (BKS Iyengar)