Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Going inwards with a shout from Geeta Iyengar

Ever wonder how asanas allow us to get inwards and explore the depths of our minds? This question burns inside me every time I get into a yoga practice in class. While I am focused on being in the asana, awakening those untouched and unused muscles, I frequently question how it is helping in my inward journey.

On Dec 6th Sunset Yoga organized a 2 hour class where a recording of Geetaji's class from August 1 was played, as we followed her instructions. It was the most intense class I have ever taken. The after effects of a 2 hour intense yoga practice where you have been subjected to being in asanas much longer than you normally experience, not by choice but because once she put you in that pose, she spent another 5-10 minutes bantering with loud lectures, corrections, reminding these yoga students who themselves are teachers and experts that they are still on the journey of going inwards. Was the journey in those two hours inward or simply trying to absorb everything that comes out of her mouth? Was it the fear of being caught not following her instruction or simply trying to understand her instructions and the philosophical dissertation that comes along with?

What does come out is incredible! Its incredible how she observes every student and how she can correct them and get them focused on the “right way”. She is self cynical in her banter – BUT after this two hour audio journey of her class, I realized how much inwards the class took me. I only realized it after I woke up the next morning. I could barely move. It was the best damn two hours I have ever spent in a yoga class, with 3 teachers demonstrating and one correcting. It woke up muscles I didn’t think I had. I learned how callous I have been with my yoga practice and how amazing, powerful and inwards focused Geeta Iyengar really is – despite her bantering and really very humorous style.

There was huffing and puffing, grunts and moans – now that is my kind of yoga class. I was thoroughly exhausted – but I relished every moment and it gave me confidence that despite myself I could survive a Geeta Iyengar class – or not! And I only have 3 years of yoga on my belt.

I now know how I can motivate myself to restart my home practice. I need to purchase a CD set of her classes and get started once a week of my own 2 hour practice. It is like being with Geeta without being spotted. Yes all the yelling and shouting along with her really great sense of humor is all worth the journey of going inwards.

My plane journey has been horrible. I am numb on my feet and arms, with non stop pins and needles attacking me. Sitting doesn’t help and carrying 40 pounds of camera equipment and electronic junk on my back makes it worse. I have to endure, but I need to get smart and find a cart at Frankfurt Airport.

In the meanwhile I look forward to arriving in Pune in a few hours... There will be numerous posts and pictures of Guruji's birthday celebration. Dec 10th is his real birthday. So please return frequently :)


The Yogi

1 comment:

Dejan said...

Interesting Article.

Thank you.