Ok, so I’m new at this blogging stuff, and now that I have it up and running, I’m playing catch up by going back over my previous month and chatting about the things I’ve done that have been really exciting! Like taking a workshop with Sri H.S. Arun from Bangalore, India. He has studied extensively with B.K.S. Iyengar and his children (Geeta and Prashant Iyengar) and has taught yoga for over 30 years. He has a very disarming manner that puts you at ease straight away, not to mention a great sense of humor. This is one of the first workshops at the Institute that did not require at least 6 months of prior Iyengar Yoga practice, so I was able to talk my husband into attending it with me. Arunji was here for three days, but we decided to attend the Saturday workshop ‘From Roots to Branches’ focusing on standing poses. One of the things I found so inspiring about him was his ability to teach every level of student in the class without leaving anyone behind. He did it with lightness and ease and gave everyone, even the advanced teachers in the room, something to work with, something that they hadn’t gotten before. That is a sign of a great teacher.
He showed us how to use a chair for all of the various standing poses, but not in a way that I had ever used one before. We must have done 15 versions of Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle pose) with the chair – sometimes facing us, sometimes facing the wall, sometimes sideways. We used the chair to support the thighs in bent leg poses like Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II pose) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle pose). He took supported versions of standing poses and made them new and inventive in a way that made even a well-seasoned practitioner grab their notebook after class and scribble down notes. This is something that I appreciate most about the Iyengar system, that it is endless and limitless. There are a million permutations of the asanas, you can never get bored or feel like you’ve come to the end. This path is one that can last you a lifetime – a lifetime of exploration and discovery!
Anyone who is going to be in the Bay Area in September, Arunji will be teaching a weekend of workshops at the Iyengar Institute of San Francisco.