Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Iyengar Course 2 Week 43 (Ariana)

I was going to post this a while back. My grandfather, Sam Caplowe, passed away on December 23rd. He was my last living grandparent from my immediate family. Coincidentally I had been talking about him a lot the week before he died. I recently found a photo of us during my awkward phase (we all had one, right?). My papa (that's what I called him) has him arm around me and he looks proud to be with me. I joke about how he loved me despite my awkwardness, but it meant the world to me.

I learned a lot from him.  I suppose my fascination with the mind-body connection has a lot to do with his influence. He taught me how important it is to remain physically active as long as you can. He did as long as he could. He also taught me the importance of wearing comfortable shoes that don't squish the toes and cause bunions. He was a podiatrist. To this day I only buy shoes that are good for my feet and when I lift and spread my toes in Tadasana I think of him.

Here was my post:

Still consolidating all the poses from weeks 31-40.

I am reminding myself that Iyengar wrote this at a young age, in prime physical condition, and he had hours upon hours to practice. The practice was and still is his life.

Winter is here and my joints and muscles are stiff once again. I moved a lot slower than usual. Even after some sun salutes I did not feel warmed up so I eased off on some of the poses - especially some of the revolved poses like Parvrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle).

My left lateral hamstring is very tight - this has been the case in Parvrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle) lately. So I stayed in the pose longer on that side. Seemed to help.

Skipped the alternate breath exercise at end due to congestion. My body was ready for a meditation. My body was still. But my mind was ready to do other things. What a contradiction and not what I would expect. How can the body be ready for meditation but not the mind? How could I be aware of this distinction as though they are two distinct entities with minds of their own.  This was a new experience. My mind obeyed for a while and then I was off to other things. 

Most of the sequences end with pranayama or breathing techniques. However, hardly (if any) Iyengar classes include pranayama or meditation. I think there is a misconception that they are not of concern to Mr. Iyengar whereas I get an impression that they are more important than the asanas. The asanas prepare the body for this breath work. The breath work then prepares the body/mind for concentration and meditation. Meditation then prepares the mind for pure being awareness or the ecstatic state.

1 comment:

gatrekfan1111 said...

So glad I found this blog. I've been working my way through Iyengar's courses (currently on week 20, but I started 8 months ago). I'm doing it on my own, so I get a little discouraged sometimes. It was so inspiring to go through the archives to when you were on week 20 and see that someone else had the same challenges and stuck with it and is now deep into course 2. Please keep posting. I love to see what comes next!