This was hard work. Where was the jubilation and exhilaration I had felt when I attended in 2010? Immediate gratification wasn't on the itinerary.
We started each day with one hour pranayama, followed by 2 hours asana. The full day program included afternoon classes in symbolism, where we further explored the meaning behind the poses. When we introduced ourselves the first day after lunch, I discovered ten of the thirteen who had signed up were in the first or second year of rigorous teacher-training and had to attend because this was part of their curriculum. What had I gotten myself into, I wondered?
I reminded myself that I was there because I wanted to deepen my daily practice, and I also wanted to spend more time with Marlene, a gifted and inspiring teacher.
|B.K.S. Iyengar in Parivrtta Trikonasana|
Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle) seems to be my nemesis. I only need to hear the words and my whole body tightens up, which makes it even harder to take the shape of this asana. What is it about this pose that defeats me? I spent a great deal of time analyzing that and trying to understand new ways to approach the conundrum. I fixated on the pose for quite some time, forgetting there was another dimension to this question. My visceral revelation was that the pose itself is just a small part of my yoga, the real yoga is the pursuit of the answers to those questions. One of the insights I had was to try to find the triangles in space and let that space support me. Of course yoga is far more than asana, it is transporting those attitudes and insights to other parts of your life. As Iyengar himself would say, life is yoga, yoga is life.
Everyone was working with different poses in different ways and today we shared some of those insights and revelations. It was incredible to hear everyone speak from their heart. There were many powerful stories in the room and great diversity. People from other countries, different faiths, some working through the loss of loved ones, a few established teachers speaking about what drives them... I felt humbled and very connected to those other souls who just days before were perfect strangers. What had changed was my level of understanding of their journey, and comprehending we were all sharing the same path to some extent. This feeling of connectedness is also yoga - the 'union'. I love catching a glimpse of this, however fleeting.