Pranayama

ImageAfter the medical classes, people frantically carried the wooden props outside to the metal balcony making room for Geeta’s Pranayama class.  I see my teacher Zoe.  I give her a quick hug, say hello and continue to transport props outside.

The herd of students make their way to the prop room to grab mats for class and Geeta’s assistant yells instructions that I didn’t hear.  I grab a sticky mat and a teacher comes close to my face and yells, “Can’t you follow instructions? Get the other mat!”  I look into his eyes and tell him that he doesn’t have to yell at me.

“But she instructed…,” he says.

“But I didn’t hear her; I can hear you perfectly, so there is no need to yell”, I say.

He nods his head, smiles conceding, and moves away.  I move to get the right mat.

I carry four mats to help set up the room and align them in the order instructed.  We sit.  I hear Geeta’s assistant say, “Anyone who has not practiced Pranayama with Geeta go downstairs and see Pandu.”  I watch as the first-time students left the room, including my two friends, knowing they would not get to experience Pranayama with Geeta.  I remembered how disappointed I was when this happened to me my first time at the Institute.  We were sent upstairs for Pranayama with another teacher.  Although it was a perfectly good Pranayama class, it was not Geeta. The rest of the month I abandoned the first-year student’s Pranayama class and paid to watch Geeta’s class from the stairs.  San Mukhi mudra was instructed with Geeta’s brilliance.

My friends did not get to participate in any Pranayama class this evening; to my surprise they were given another schedule and sent home.

With all of the chaos, my mind fought and my body resisted for the first half of class. Then during Ujjayi Pranayama with Bahya kumbhaka, my body was rooted, the chest lifted, the inhalations became deep and smooth and I was able to wade in the pool of stillness at the base of the exhalations.

After class we formed lines to return the props.  When I returned from the prop room, Geeta was still  there answering a student’s question on the proper lift of the chest, and release of the chin into Jalandhara bandha.  She discussed the potential consequences to those with depression if these actions are not performed correctly.

It was difficult for me to hear since I was at the back of the crowd watching the expressions on the faces of my teachers and fellow students as they listened intently to Geeta.  How generous she was with her knowledge and time this evening.   I look forward to listening to, and studying, the audio recording of tonight’s class.  Next week she informed us we will be practicing digital Pranayama and Bhastrika.

After Geeta left us I went back to the apartment to see my friends.  Their doors were closed.  I know they were disappointed.  I left, taking a walk to process the class and enjoy a quiet dinner with myself.

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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