Reflecting on the Convention

Over the first weekend in May, Abhihjata Iyengar taught at the Iyengar Yoga UK Convention in Harrogate.

Here’s what I thought she emphasized:

Do not let your memories define your present state. She said that it is easier to teach beginners in some ways because they do not have memories and habits that hold them back from what they are able to do. More intermediate students have to remember to approach each day as a beginner.

Use other mental states such as imagination and memory as tools to lead you to a state of yoga (not bhoga or pleasure-seeking.) Abhi presented a lot of imagery in her instruction. She said we should take the trunk to the side in Utthita Trikonasana as if we had hundreds of arms like an Indian goddess sprouting from each rib, along the side of the waist, and pelvis that were all trying to reach the floor. In pranayama, she had us breathe in and open the chest as if a flower was blossoming on the sternum. durga

Be honest about whether you are actually doing what you think you’re doing/Go back to the basics. We spent all of Friday evening really working on openning the back of the knee and broadening the back of the thigh. She was relentless in her instructions, insistence, and varied methods for trying to get the group to achieve something that most people assume they do: straightening the legs.

Please feel free to add your impressions and recollections in the comments!

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