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Re: The last week . . .

Posted by Jo Anna on November 25, 2012, 4:55 pm, in reply to "Re: The last week . . . "

Mmmm, well Daniel, sort of. I find that any attempt--mine included--to define Iyengar yoga must necessarily fall short. What this teacher says is true, in part, but . . . . Well, let me address some of the specifics.
Alignment -- yes, this is important, the suggestion in this video is that a focus on alignment may not be a good thing. Why, I ask, would one want to do a pose without striving toward one's best possible alignment? To do otherwise is to risk imbalance, loss of focus, even injury.
Sequencing -- also important, but not, as the video might suggest, in order to accomplish a large number of poses per class, rather, in order to promote harmony in body, mind, and spirit. To skip, willy nilly, from forward bends to inversions to twists to back bends to standing poses is to create chaos. Most poses are repeated at least once on each side, usually more with twists, in order to deepen the effects of the pose.
Pacing she describes as "pretty slow" -- well, an Iyengar class is certainly not a marathon to be accomplished with sweat and heavy breathing, though I would never call the pace slow.
Long holdings -- this is relative. An 8 or even 20-minute headstand, for example, would be practiced by only students with significant experience. Headstand is not even taught until a student has been practicing for a number of months, even years. Length of holdings is geared to the students a teacher sees before her or him and is not dictated by some preset plan. Long holdings in inexperienced students can promote boredom and unnecessary stress on the unprepared body.
"To become an Iyengar teacher you have to go through sooooo much training" -- This is true and one of many strengths of this method of yoga.
"If patience is not your strong suit, Iyengar yoga may not be your first choice." I don't know that I've ever been described as patient; however, from my very first class in Iyengar yoga, I knew I would be there for the rest of my life
--truly. I was completely engaged.
Finally, Iyengar teachers are taught to SEE the students before them, to teach to what they see, and to correct what they see that may not be in the best interests of their students.
Though I did not do extensive research on this teacher, I've been unable to find any connection between her and Iyengar yoga and wonder why she chose to post this video.
Daniel, thank you for presenting me with this opportunity to do what I love to do and have been dying to do anyway: talk about Iyengar yoga in greater depth. :o)

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