Lessons from Iyengar Yoga

There are three ways to correct your posture: 1) by using your eyes; 2) by feeling with your skin; and 3) by feeling with your mind.

Use your eyes. Look at yourself. That will also keep you from looking at others.

The only way to see your legs is to look at them while in seated pose. Now, look at your legs. You may not like what you see but look at your legs.

Move your muscles to the bones, not the bones to the muscles.

God gave you two legs; use both of them. God gave you two arms; use both of them. You are the reason why there are people who are born with only one arm and one leg. God must have thought that since you are not using both, maybe people don’t need a pair after all.

Yoga is union. How can there be union if you cannot coordinate your arms and legs? And your arms and legs with your mind?

Do you feel the pain this morning after yesterday’s workshop? Now that you know how pain feels, why would you like to inflict pain to others? That’s the essence of ahimsa.

Pain may be there but you just ignore it. Pain may also be hidden. Pain may also come and go. And there’s a pain that just does not go away. The goal of yoga is to show you what needs to be adjusted. Even if you have neck pains, you can still do sirsasana—there are adjustments for it. What you need to do is to find that which needs adjustment. Inside.

These are but some of the lessons I learned from Jawahar Bangera, a senior teacher based in Mumbai and has been a student of BKS Iyengar since 1969. He is now conducting a series of workshops at the Iyengar Yoga Center Manila (www.iyengaryogamanila.com) which will run until this Sunday, September 20, 2009. I am so privileged to have attended even at least two of his sessions. So happy that I did (thanks YT for pushing me…both in asanas and other yogic matters 😉 ). Do catch him.

Next time you see me in the shala don’t be surprised if I would take three hours to finish my sequence.

My skin is facing there and it should face here…and I have to coordinate this movement with my limbs…hmmm, I need to feel my bones now…where is the pull? Oh there, so I need to balance it with this…activate my legs…activate my arms…there…concave my spine…relax my tummy…my navel should be here…now breathe.

That’s just getting into a pose. One pose. One side.

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2 thoughts on “Lessons from Iyengar Yoga

  1. Oh, and two more:

    Headstand against the wall is purely physical; headstand with support is psychological.

    Managers should do yoga. They do not teach problem-solving in management schools. (This he said in the context of how 10 or so students fit in the not more than four-meter-wide wall to do the wide-angle forward bend or prasarita in ashtanga. He was so funny! And we did fit. 😉 )

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