Blog 17 – Guruji teaches

I attended the women’s class taught by Sunita (Guruji’s daughter) yesterday morning. Guruji was at his practice area watching as he sat in Padmasana. He instructs from the side clarifying or changing Sunita’s instructions. He is watching us in Uttanasana.

Sunita instructs us to let the skin of the side body, the skin of the arms, the skin of the back, move down toward the floor. Raya (one of Guruji’s assistants) comes to the front and asks, “Guruji wants to know how many of you are teachers?” Many raise their hands. Guruji asks, “How can you be teachers if you can’t understand what I want you to do in Uttanasana?” He has us do it again, and again, until we understand.

Today’s Practice Session
During the practice session, I set up near the windows not too far from Guruji. I listened to him as he taught his assistants the proper action in Urdhva Dhanurasana, Virasana and Urdhva hastasana. I watched their assent indicating the pose changed with his instruction.

In Urdhva dhanurasana he had an assistant place his hands on blocks and come up. While he was in the pose another assistant slid a wedge between his arms and the wall. The narrow edge of the wedge was placed toward the wrists. I couldn’t hear what was said, but from what I saw, this action encouraged a lift in the chest and an opening in the upper back.

In Virasana he had each of them press down and draw the skin strongly away from the pit of the knee toward the feet, not down and out to the side. More indications of assent were seen as they move in and out of the pose.

Sunita came over to talk to Guruji and he said: (paraphrasing) “Look at that one over there. They come here and their practice is sincere but they are stupid. They don’t understand the connective tissue.” He tells one of his assistants, “Lift your arms up. Where is the connective tissue?” The assistant points to a spot in the arm pit. “Lift your arms from there. What happens? The arms go up!”

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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6 Responses to Blog 17 – Guruji teaches

  1. susanne says:

    stupid?? why this disdain, bert? please find out…and stay healthy! :))

  2. Jan says:

    Ouch! Technically, it is the muscles that make the arm go up, not the connective tissue. Better not point that out to him any time soon, though. Hydrate!

  3. Sherri Reddick says:

    I want to learn and do the asnas correctly but I don’t relish being brow beat. I guess I’m too sensitive.

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