Updated: Feb 24
Twining Entwining Intertwining
Mind, body, breath.
Breath, body, mind.
Body, breath, mind.
Mind, breath, body.
Breath, mind, body.
Body, mind, breath.
Mind, body, breath, organs, psyche, consciousness, senses...
The classical aspect of yoga, as discussed by Prashant in today's session, is the interactivity and interplay of the mind, the body and the breath. They act on each other and are affected by each other. This concept - or, as he calls it, 'precept' - takes the student far beyond the limitations of yoga as a mere physical exercise.
That did not stop him from taking us through a physical practice of entwining Asanas!
Amongst others, he had the participants do Swastikasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana, Garudasana, Gomukhasana,Vatayanasana.
He followed this with other, non-entwining Asanas - Utkatasana, Parighasana, Viparita Dandasana.
Not everyone could do all these Asanas. I certainly could not! Old, damaged joints mean some of these are simply not in my repertoire. Prashant actually addressed this. Not specifically for me, out of the 700+ participants, but as a discussion of whether difficult Asanas should be attempted or ignored.
The verdict was, of course, attempt them. Use props. Back them up to a doable state. Do them for short periods. He emphasised that even if you can't do the full Asana, there is still much benefit derived from doing it to the extent that is possible.
He discussed benefit in another context as well, that of holdings or timings, i.e., how long an Asana is held. He stressed that greater benefit is derived from longer holdings. Some Asanas can be held a long time readily. Sirsasana is an example. Many students stay in Sirsasana for long periods of time. But,how long can anyone stay up in Urdhva Dhanurasana? People will go up and down many times, but they don't tend to hold the Asana. Yet, there is great benefit in a longer holding. And that is where props come in. Urdhva Dhanurasana through the chair provides the support that enables long holdings. He encouraged us to explore this in our own practices.
Revisiting the basics in Iyengar yoga’ - thematic classes by Prashant Iyengar. These sessions are taking place from 12-19 February 2021. Don't forget to check out posts for other days in the program.
Carole Carpentier has been a student of Iyengar yoga since 2008.