Mexican Yoga Intensive, Abhijata Iyengar

April 26, 2019, 8:00-11:50 am

– Adho Mukha Virasana

– she began the session by asking us to look at the illustrations in Light on Yoga for Utthita Trikonasana and P. Trikonasana; she pointed specifically to the position of his back foot which is not turned in. She explained that the way many of us turn the back foot well in is not correct, especially for practitioners of yoga. She said that it helps new students to get their hand outside the foot so that they don’t feel too defeated in the pose; also Guruji would teach this to someone with paralysis of the leg, for example. However, she emphasized that the movement in the hip which is created when the foot faces forward is a very positive thing.

– Utthita Trikonasana – Check the space between the feet; most of us had the feet too close together and the pelvis on the back leg side ‘looks like a mountain.’  She said that the line from the left armpit to the outer ankle should be continuous with no bump at the pelvis when you are doing the pose to the right. We experimented with the distance between the feet to get the optimal result. Then she asked us to take the toes and the ball of the foot of the back leg off the floor and transfer the weight firmly on to the outer heel. Keep the outer heel firm and put the ball of the foot and the toes back on the floor.

She talked about the importance of standings in Iyengar Yoga particularly for beginners. It is in these poses that students find it easier to make the connections between the different parts of the body.

She divided them into 3 categories:

1. The body faces forward like Trikonasana

2. You  have to make a turn to square the hips like Virabhadrasana 1

3. Poses that are in fact twists like P. Trikonasana

– P. Trikonasana – with the emphasis of getting the lower abdomen to turn

– Utthita Parsva Konasana

– P. Parsva Konasana – one of the main poses she covered

We had to keep the back heel  on the floor with the foot facing forward. She asked us to keep a block close by for the hand but not to automatically use it. She told us to use the force between the arm and the knee to deepen the twist and that a block may not be necessary; perhaps a blanket under the hand would be sufficient.

– Janu Sirsasana as a twist observing how the pose develops when the knee goes from a more neutral position as opposed to taking it further back. We did some repetitions of this pose and then;

– P. Parsva Konasana using what we learned in the previous pose;

– Marychiasana 3 – first working on the classical pose; then leaning back to make room for the abdomen to turn and then extending forward before putting the arm outside the knee and sitting upright. The heel of the bent leg has to be very close to the sitting bone so that the back leg flank can rest on the bent leg – there should be no gap.

To create more height in the trunk instead of keeping  the  arm bent outside the bent leg we had to put our hand under the foot and create a strong upward lift from there.

– P. Parsva Konasana

– Ardha Matsyendrasana

– P. Parsvakonasana

– Supta Padangusthasana 3 – relating this pose to P. Trikonasana

– P. Trikonasana – in the previous pose the muscles could soften more allowing for a deeper twist which allowed us to go deeper into P. Trikonasana

– Adho Mukha Svanasana

– Uttanasana

– Sirsasana with variations – Parsva Sirsasana and Parivrttaikapada;

– Adho Mukha Virasana

– P. Ardha Chandrasana lying face down

– Supta Swastikasana

– Savasana


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