Iyengar 3 Today
1. I was advised to lift my pelvic floor,” sucking up the anus, the walls of the vagina, and the perineum.” That’s right: our teacher was giving anatomical directions involving the vagina at 9:30 in the morning. Though Iyengar people do wear those weird little sexless shorts, Iyengar yoga is not for the modest.
2. It was a backbends class. We spent a lot of preparatory time (even more than the same teacher spent in this week’s 2-3 backbends class) warming up the back with seated twists.
“Of the mind, the body, and the breath,” the teacher observed during this interval, “the breath is the most important tool. Because we’re not attached to the breath—we are attached to the body. My body, my pain, my achievements. The breath you already know is transitory. You’re sharing it with everyone else in the room. It comes in and it’s already saying goodbye.”
3. The teacher related this story about her last moments with BKS Iyengar in December: “He said ‘I’ve been watching all of you [in context, this seemed to mean her generation of Iyengar yoga people in the US]. And you’re getting old. But don’t give up on the idea of progress.’ And I thought: damn. Because it’s a fallback, to think you don’t have to progress because you are old, because now that is for the young. But no one is off the hook.”