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Rooted in Practice 2021 with Abhijhata Iyengar: Musings from the mat (by Kari Dul)

May 27, 2021

An inspiring day 1! My sarvangasana was so much better after all of the arm work we did today. I felt so much more 'lift'. My neck also feels amazing and free, long after the practice has been completed. This effect gives me a clue that this is the work I need to keep doing as I practice. I am grateful and humbled.

Day 2 – While I am in my 40’s, I am doing asanas I have never done before. I felt like a kid again (at least for the 5 seconds I could hold eka pada koundinyasana 1)! I am learning the intelligence of when to ‘push’ and when to hold back. I am a work in progress. I am young at heart.

Day 3 – We are reminded to break away from what is ‘preconditioned’ and to get out of our comfort zone. This brought me new joy in asanas that I have practiced many times before. I think today was my favorite so far with Abhijata. Since my recent back injury, I have become more aware of the lack of connection with my abdominal area/lumbar spine. I am more aware of the necessity to lift from the thighs vs. the foot/ankle. Connecting these principles, I was able to two foot jump up against the wall (with bolster support behind me) to get into arm balance – for the FIRST TIME. And kicking up into full arm balance with my weaker/heavier left leg was SOOOO much lighter when moving from the thigh. Today I broke through some barriers to create space in my mind in order to access the asanas in a novel way. Again, I am grateful.

Day 4 - Today I needed to step things back...I came into this class REALLY tired after yesterday's exertions.  The beauty of Iyengar Yoga is learning to take care of yourself when needed. So, I brought out my blocks in uttanasana. I moved to the chair in paschimotanasana. I reached for the wall to support pasasana. I allowed myself space and freedom...in my body and my mind...to embrace these adaptations. The "potpourri" class today touched upon many areas of my body where I needed some extra care: backbends, forward bends, and twists. Often, I heard myself saying "yes, this is just what I need".  Thank you, BKS Iyengar, for your compassion. I am also so appreciative of all the demonstrators to help guide our modifications.

Day 5 – Today I really experienced the POWER of the BREATH. The focus on the breath lifted me up (adho mukha vrksasana) with more ease; the breath provided stability and allowed me to hold my asanas longer (sirsasana away from the wall); the breath moved me deeper than I could move with the efforts of my body alone (chair urdhva danurasana). Much gratitude for these teachings!

Day 6 – Preparing the body and mind for pranayama. Carrying on from yesterday, we continued with the breath. No matter what level of practitioner, Abhijata made this practice accessible for all. For me, pranayama is exceedingly difficult. But today, the breath moved with more ease. I had more awareness of where the breath was moving, an where it was not. Once the body became more open, the breath moved more freely. And finally….savasana.

 

Thank you IYAC and demonstrators for putting on this amazing Iyengar Yoga event! Thank you Abhijata from sharing BKS Iyengar’s teachings with us.

 

Submitted by Kari Dul

Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (L1)

Vernon, BC

 

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