11/24/2018 8 Comments
MARRY YOURSELF: INDIA WEEK 3
What an intense week this last week has been! Without getting too graphic, I waited 7 days with digestive issues before finally being forced (by the pain) to start a round of antibiotics. My quote this week was, 'I am not sure if it is the Imodium or the yoga practice, but I am feeling better.' Haha.
We had some days off from the Institute because the full moon this month marked Iyengar's 100th birthday according to the Vedic calendar. His whole family came out to do puja. They spent a whole day building a tall structure from bamboo poles to create a ceiling out of beautiful cloth and silk. I figured it would stay up for all of the celebrations but when I returned to class this morning it was already down! The hall smelled of incense and prayer as I entered this morning.
The classes we had this week were nothing less than potent, even with an aching belly.
Prashant told us, 'Why do you always look out to marry - to marry a partner, or to friendships. You need to marry YOURSELF! Everything you need is within!' I love these moments of remembering, it's like I forgot all along. I look and look outside of myself to find what will make me happy - and then there is that glimpse - 'oh yeah, its all right here, within me.' Prashant is SO good at reminding us this in so many different ways in his teachings.
Geeta was on FIRE on Wednesday. She taught an amazing backbend class that lasted 3.5hrs, because we have the whole Indonesian group with us, many who are beginners. The class started with working hard in standing poses - getting them so crisp and clean. Her reminding us all along, similar but different to Prashant, that the pose if only an action is nothing. You have to penetrate your intelligence inward, and everywhere. We focused a lot on Ustrasana and Urdvha Dhanurasana, which felt like it came so lightly after the preparation from before.
In this class she shared with us some wonderful stories: One of which WHY/HOW Guruji discovered Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (This story you can find on my Instagram and Facebook page). She also shared about her birth. One of the assistants was not fully understanding and she laughed and told us he has 7 day baby at home so he is not getting sleep. Her eyes showed so much brightness as she shared. Her father could not be at her birth because in those days his students would have left him if he left for days. It was a 5 day trip just to get to the hospital. So he sent the message, 'name her Geeta!'
We finished off the class with what felt like 100's of Chatushpadasana's, our thighs burning.
Today Abi taught the women's class. I have shared the sequence with some of her IMPORTANT commentary below.
Next week finishes out my last week of general classes at the institute. Then we go onto the Centenary events Dec 3-14 with 1600 people!! It will be nice to have a quiet week before the big event begins.
This time in India I have been humbled by my health. Having a lot of gratitude for all of the amazing food I eat at home, and gratitude for Western medicine! I am excited to feel like myself again soon.
1)AM Virasana: How wide should the thighs be apart? Start together and then spread wide and FEEL the difference. Close tog it is difficult to get the length. Too far apart your lumbar falls. Start exploring and feeling for yourself, why we teach poses a certain way.
2) AMS: Which part of the thigh doesn't hit back? Would you realize that if I hadn't asked you? Awaken top thigh by extending the bottom of the foot back to the heel. FEEL what happens in the abdomen - space and softness comes.
3) PP: Feel the abdomen when you come down. *Showed with 2 ropes on top thighs. FIRST inner thigh to outer thigh then with ropes helpers rolled groins back in a circular action. See how the abdomen softens. DO NOT come into the pose with a concave back. This hardens the diaphragm. For beginners because they are slouched forward we have to work the chest and concave back. Once intermediate you must learn how to round the back as well!
4) Trikonasana - Buttocks and legs have to be learned first before going to shoulders/chest/spine. Come into pose- where do you lead from? Arm? As you come into pose lead from middle ribcage. Preparation for pranayama. Create space in bottom/side lung/ribs.
5) Parsvakonasana - Same as above. Buttocks IN. Inner knee to outer knee. Free outer heel down to (and will) create more space on side ribs as arm extends over head.
6) AC: Buttocks in to balance. HAS to come first. Arm like in LOY. Extend and sharpen arm. Roll armpit chest up and back, create space for pranayama.
7) UH: Move armpits forward, what happens? Shoulder blades in. Shoulder blades in, what happens? Armpit opens, arms extend. Why do you need to pay $ to come to a workshop?? You can study fully in your body to learn the actions. Teaching should NEVER be parroted - it has to be learned subjectively. It has to be experienced from within.
8) Sirsasana: Shoulders up. Armpits forward. Back upper arm to front upper arm. Same inquiry as above. Separate legs, lift up, bring legs together - what part of groin touches? Bring legs back together and touch middle groin. Do your shoulder blades lift evenly?
9) AM Vrksasana: feet apart - go up, center groins touch
11) Savasana & Pranayama: Vertical pranayama pillow. Bent legs to roll down, extend one leg at a time. Arms spread well. Barely lift leg off floor and extend whole leg away. Feel difference between legs, and then extend other leg. Same with arms. When the karmendriyas are lengthened then body can relax. Base of skull lengthens away from neck, if you feel it retract, grab blanket.
- Longer inhalation, touching all lung/front ribs like in the standing poses. 3 normal breaths in between.
-If you are understanding that - touch breath to outer ribs as well.
-- Turn bolster horizontal. Same breath actions.
12) Savasana - flat
Vicki Lynn (Formerly Hill)
11/24/2018 06:41:18 am
Tessa! We love hearing of your journey. Lauren (new student) and I had a long discussion on Thanksgiving about how much we love Iyengar and this is why. I told her it's not a 200 hour anything, it's a life-long practice.
12/16/2018 08:11:57 pm
Yes! It is such a deep practice! At the celebrations a senior teacher reminded us that Iyengar Yoga is not for cowards it is for people who are willing to go in and truly look at themselves.
11/24/2018 07:01:36 am
Thanks for sharing your experience in such depth. I love reading about your insights, your challenges, and your determination to keep going. It inspires me to do whatever I can each day. You're a wonderful teacher, even from afar!
12/16/2018 08:12:27 pm
I am so happy to hear that! Thanks for reading and see you soon! 🙏🏼❤️
11/26/2018 07:15:07 pm
Thank you for your stories and the notes from the teaching you are experiencing. We miss you here, but know you will be back with enthusiasm! We cannot wait for that moment. Namaste'
12/16/2018 08:12:50 pm
Thank you JoEllen! 🙏🏼❤️
11/28/2018 05:46:52 pm
Oh, Tessa, it is so heart-filling to read your stories. I love that you are having this time in India to immerse yourself so fully in yoga. I have a question...in your blog you wrote that Geeta said that yoga is not just about the pose, but that you have to penetrate your intelligence inward, and everywhere. Did you get a sense of what she meant by that?
12/16/2018 08:13:31 pm
Yes! Let’s chat about it when I see you ❤️
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