Blog 5 – The Institute

We are ushered into the main hall of the Institute. It’s beautiful inside. I am standing next to a young woman from Iran. She is a Junior 1 level teacher. She has been here once before and is telling me about the various rooms. Her face changes…I turn to see Mr. Iyengar (Guruji). He has come in to greet us. Then Prashant (Guruji’s son) walks in. Amazing.

We are ushered into the class. Guruji is in supported Setu bandha sarvangasana. My mind is not on my practice but scanning to view Guruji’s. The teacher begins. We start in Tadasana and Urdhva hastasana. The teacher gives us instructions for the inner heels, thighs and upper arm bones. You can hear Guruji in the background ‘re-instructing’ the teacher and she in-turn tells us his modifications.

We move into triangle pose. We do it in rapid succession over and over and over.
Go down come up
Go down come up
Go down come up
Otherside

Then we move into Parsva konasana – keep both side bodies long, draw the buttocks away from each other, bend the front leg by taking the back leg buttock straight down and keep that back leg shin active.
Go down come up
Go down come up
Go down come up
Otherside

On to Virabhadrrasana II – bend the front leg by taking the back leg buttock straight down and keep that back leg shin active.
Go down come up
Go down come up
Go down come up
Otherside

Now for Virabadrasana I – strongly turn the back thigh in, keep both sides of the tailbone even. Bend the front leg keeping the back leg straight.
Go down come up
Go down come up
Go down come up
It’s just about now when a strong wave of nausea (caused from the heat) hits me like a brick. Everyone goes down and up…

I go down and sit…

An assistant comes over. What is wrong? I tell her. She pulls me through the crowded room to a wall and says, “Practice here”.

Okay. Ardha chandrasana at the wall; I can handle that. But now the teacher wants us to do that ‘up-down’ thingy again and my stomach isn’t having anything to do with that. The assistant puts me in Supta Baddha konasana…bliss.

Get up! Time to do Sirsasana – “You do rope Sirsasana”.

Okay.…at my studio I have those nice, simple inversion swings.….not so here. I have to tie ropes together and if I do it wrong I’m going to land on my head. I ask the woman next to me for help. She looks annoyed, but quickly ties my ropes.

Up I go…ahh…nice. Five minutes go by and the thick ropes are starting to become uncomfortable…ahh becomes ugh… Another 5 minutes go by…. People are dropping out of Sirsasana like flies. The teacher makes them go back up … 2 more minutes……

From here we practiced Adho Mukha svanasana, Virasana, Supta virasana, Baddha konasana, Supta baddha konasana , Halasana, Salamba sarvangasana and Paschimottanasana. More bliss.

The class ends and Guruji comes out to greet us again. I notice him walking down the stairs, you can see his knees hurt, especially his right knee. I notice how much older he is looking, a little less vibrant in his movements. I’m glad I came.

Now we break until 4:00. My cook starts tomorrow. I still haven’t found a restaurant. The food court doesn’t look enticing so I have been surviving on granola bars, water, and guava juice. I found an insect wing in the juice so I’m not too keen on drinking anymore of it right now, but if I don’t find any good food soon, I may just eat the wing.

4:00 practice session
I was initially concerned about this first practice session.. but practicing in a room of a hundred people is very much like practicing alone. The poses just flowed out of me. My practice turned inward and in-tune to what my body and mind needed; time flew.

7:00PM FOOD!
I went to a restaurant at a nearby hotel. I had some delicious spinach and cheese with naan. Yay, I won’t have to eat the bug wing. I’m starting to adjust to Indian life.

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About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and has been teaching yoga since 1994. She has trained under master yoga teachers Swami Padmananda, Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Father Joe Pereira, Zoë Stewart, Karin Stephan, Liz Owen and others. She continues to study with her Iyengar teachers, Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's intensive in Pune, India December 2016. Roberta is currently enrolled in Peentz Dubble's two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program. Additionally, Roberta completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor. She completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and has been an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. Roberta's Personal Practice Philosophy: Health issues have changed and deepened my practice. You will see many photos of me using a variety of props. On days I don't feel well, instead of saying, "I can't practice today", Iyengar Yoga has taught me to say, "How can I practice today".
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5 Responses to Blog 5 – The Institute

  1. Jennifer Small says:

    Thank you for the blogs. You are truly a very brave and inspirational woman. God bless you. I hope by time I’m fifty (ten years) I will have developed a personal sadhana to the point where I can make the trip to the institute. I’ve been very inconsistent with practice over the last ten years. And my teacher is getting ready to retire in a couple years! You are in my prayers and I will look forward to your next entry. Take care…be safe and watch out for those insect wings.

  2. Jan says:

    You are one tough gal! Glad you found something to eat. Isn’t what you were drinking called “bug juice”?

  3. Nancy Humphrey says:

    So happy to hear you are adjusting…..I am relieved for you!!

  4. Sherri Reddick says:

    I’m so glad you’ve finally gotten a decent meal.

  5. Lisa says:

    Did I tell you how much I loved this? The rythm and your perserverence (sp)

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