It has been over a year since my last post. If this blog were a house in the country, it would have been taken over by the ivy in the corner, the weed at the bottom of the steps long ago. The blog looks abandoned but I have not abandon it.
Writing down thoughts requires some certainty and some argument that the writer can support. When I used to write more about yoga, even if I did not post here, I did have a general idea as to my views on yoga, what my yoga practice should/ ought to look like and I did have a few people that I could draw ideas from which to develop my own opinions.
It is not like I used to take all of it in and not question but this last year or so has been quite different. I am no longer sure about anything in yoga practice, politics and economics of yoga. There is a huge tangled knot in my head about yoga practice, other types of exercise and the content and my preferred method of teaching yoga. The longer I waited for it to dissolve or transform into some kind of new perspective, the more confused I am getting. So, I have decided to come back to writing even if what I write sounds less sure, more searching, even more argumentative, and maybe a little bit judgmental of others and myself.
So, I have not been lazy, I have been “or what!” I have been reading and thinking a lot on yoga and on other related topics. I shall try to figure out what confuses and blows me away from my yoga practice.
These days yoga classes are fantastic, yoga workshops are splendid, the experience of yoga is divine, the yoga people you meet are magnificent, the flow is sensational, the smell of the food is out of this world, the mats are excellent, the tea, well, of course it is what yoga gods drink, the mat cleaning spray is simply mega, the shoe rack at the shala is breathtaking… Boy! FFS! Can’t we just do yoga, teach classes, workshops and let others decide what it was they felt or thought about the whole thing, after the thing has actually happened. Continue reading
I don’t think any particular movement or yoga pose is inherently dangerous, but I do think that certain movements or yoga poses can be dangerous if done carelessly and mindlessly. Each asana is a challenge to contort the body, and therefore the mind, and some more than others. I’ve been reading about the demonisation of salamba sarvangasana (shoulderstand) and salamba sirsasana (supported headstand) for a while now and I fail to understand the particular problem with these poses. Meanwhile, I don’t see anyone talking about the dangers of super deep back bends, arm balances, or nasty twists, not to mention handstands. If anything, I have to scroll through numerous handstand photographs on Instagram or Facebook! But no-one is writing blogs about how they stopped teaching chaturanga dandasana or phalankasana because the shoulders and wrists have to carry a lot of weight and might easily get injured, instead we talk about the ways to perform such poses safely. Although, one obvious reason for this maybe the relative importance the neck and the head compared with the wrists and the shoulders! Continue reading
BSK Iyengar died at the age of 96 on 20 November.
I, unfortunately, am to young to have met Iyengar and my brief encounter with Iyengar style yoga is limited to a weekend workshop. However, not a day goes by without having to refer to his books more than any other book on yoga and asanas. He is always precise and thorough, pretty much the yoga style he taught. He will always be a teacher to me through his books. He was a central piece of disseminating yoga to millions of people.
Here is a short article about his life and contribution to yoga.
Namaste to him from the bottom of my heart!