Getting Into a Daily Rhythm

Just outside gates to Institute on the right

It’s always exciting and nostalgic to return to the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India. You may not know that its official name is the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI). Guruji dedicated the Institute in memory of his wife, Ramamani, in 1975. Since then, it’s become the mecca for Iyengar students who come from all corners of the world to study with the Iyengar family. Students usually register for one or two-month blocks. This month there is a large Russian contingent and quite a few students from Japan.

I LOVE our schedule! I don’t know if it’s just luck, but the schedule works out extremely well on a day-to-day basis. Somedays start earlier than others. For example, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, I have Prashant’s class (Guruji’s son) from 7-9 am, followed by a three-hour practice in the hall. On Wednesday and Saturday, class begins later at 9:30 am (just when you need it!), taught by either Geeta (Guruji’s daughter) or Abhijata (his grand-daughter.) There’s a break and then practice at 4-5:45 pm. On Fridays, the day begins with a three-hour practice session at 9 am and then we go back in the evening for pranayama class with Geeta. We haven’t yet gone to help in the “Remedial” (Medical) classes, but will do so soon. They happen every weekday for two hours.

Prashant continues to offer his prophetic and sage-like (he would say “sagacious”) revelations in every class he teaches. He says that we’re all caught in the trap of working only for our bodies, wanting more and more flexibility, more and more strength and staying power, more and more technical points. We’re “technocrats” and “technophiles.” The other morning he said that if we continue to only work on the body, for the body, with the body, than we will become irritable, we will be discontent, lost and frustrated.

So he teaches us ways to have more of a “community” approach/consciousness in our asana, where all the components work for and with each other for a greater cause. Attention is given not just to the bones, the limbs, the muscles, the connective tissues, the skin, the senses, but also to the organs, nerves, the breath, the condition of the intelligence, the mind, the memory, the imagination. We are constantly reminded that the asana are not mere postures, but they are balanced states, balanced conditions. Of course he said everything much more eloquently. His parting words to the class spoke to the heart and crux of the matter and made both Ray and I want to cry.

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