Saturday, November 19, 2016

Zubin: Are you understanding?

When Zubin's five day intensive was announced several months ago I signed up right away. It began the day after sadhana ended, and several of us from the thirty day challenge were back for more. In fact, the studio was packed to the maximum and floor space was at a minimum. Marlene and Neron assisted and for the most part, people were aware and respectful of each other. The large class would often break into halves, with one group working on something complementary to the other, and then switching it up.

Are you understanding? A phrase the teacher used repeatedly.

The first night we worked at the wall, with the reminder that Iyengar used it is a teacher. Just standing with our backs to it, pinning the corners of our shoulders. Trying to broaden horizontally so the top of the back of our thighs align perfectly with the wall, and using a brick in virbadrasana so our knees must pin it to the wall.  Although Zubin had made these demonstrations on his previous visits, I was glad to experience once again how a seemingly simple thing can have profound implications.

He also reminded us we are bigger than our problems, and not to fixate only on fixing a sore shoulder with a specific pose, but rather to approach yoga with body, breath, and mind.

Body, breath and mind entwined for me in moments and I was able to glimpse my skin breathing, mind in body, breath in mind.

To incorporate into my home practice:

  • Stand in tadasana with palms facing back; lift arms backwards.
  • Raised arms with arms behind the ears.
  • Stand sideways, arms-length away from wall with palms pressed flat and fingers pointing down.
  • Stand with back to wall, arms-length away and then press palms flat and pointing down. Work towards arms aligned to shoulder height.
  • Squeeze yoga brick between arms, placed at wrist and palm, with palms facing up; keep arms straight and eyes of elbows facing toward each other. Raise arms above head without brick falling

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