One should not overstretch or understretch

“One should not overstretch or understretch.  If one thing is overstretched, something else gets understretched.  If overstretching comes from a swollen ego, then understretching results from a lack of confidence.” BKS Iyengar

 “The challenge of yoga is to go beyond our limits – within reason.  We continually expand the frame of the mind by using the canvas of the body.  It is as if you were to stretch a canvas more and create a larger surface for a painting.  But we must respect the present form of our body.  If we pull too fast or too much at once we will we will rip the canvas.  If the practice of today damages the practice of tomorrow it is not correct practice.” BKS Iyengar

These are quotes I keep in mind when I practice.

BKS Iyengar, Logan Airport Boston 2005

I purchased “Light on Life” in 2005 when Guruji came to Boston for his ‘Light on Life” tour.  During this time my practice was very different.  I had to keep my ego in check and not blast past my limits. I had to work on finding the intelligence of the pose and remind myself that the beauty in the asana is not the advanced variation of the pose, but the journey it takes to get there.

Now, as I grow older I have to make an effort not to understretch.  Not to practice mechanically, to reach toward my limitations and dance along, and a little beyond those limits.  The challenge is stretching the canvas without tearing it.  I have to work through my injuries safely, but at the same time I have to work harder to get stronger.

My work is to reignite the joy of playing with stretching the canvas, to find the balance between overstretching or understretching and creating a larger surface for painting my asanas.

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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2 Responses to One should not overstretch or understretch

  1. yogibattle says:

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful original photo of Guruji!

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