Last thoughts

Moving towards the last week in Pune…

“Always doing, doing, doing and then we die”

Prashant Iyengar

Geeta has been unwell so were surprised and honoured that she came to teach our class…We were working in Adho Mukha Svanasana and then we heard her voice. She gave us a lesson in adduction and abduction and then related this to forward bends, from the basic to the most intense. She helped us understand the actions involved for Eka Pada Sirsasana (leg behind the head pose). It really is inspiring to be taught from the source.

Then in our pranayama class we heard that familiar voice again…another class with Geeta! Her knowledge and penetration of the subject is vast. It was a very quiet group that emerged on Friday night. You really didn’t need anything else!

This week in Pune has taken on a different flavour with the sessions held by Prashant Iyengar, BKS Iyengar’s son. Many people from around the world have come to enjoy this week long ‘unconventional’ convention as Prashant himself has put it. As I booked to come to Pune almost two years ago, I had no idea that this would happen so feel very lucky to be able to participate in all the events that have surrounded the beginning of the centenary year.

The legacy of BKS Iyengar will continue through Prashant, Geeta and Abhijata, not to mention all the dedicated teachers that teach at the Institute.

Prashant gave his ‘orientation’ speech on Sunday morning to an institute overflowing with people. He can be very funny and wondered how he could orientate people when he is not ‘orientated’ himself.

The rest of his sessions were mainly held at the PYC Gymkhana which is a very modern ‘gym’ with lots of facilities. This requires a longer walk and negotiation of the traffic (have I mentioned the traffic?!). We then discovered a more peaceful route through Ferguson College. Pune has some hidden gems when you know where to look!

Geeta also hosted a talk on pranayama. She cautioned that you cannot jump ahead first to this practice, as it is subtle and advised students to prepare firstly with asanas. She reminded us to read and reread Light on Pranayama.

The theme or the message to be taken away from this week, as I understand it, is that we all have our teacher within us. Prashant asks us that we develop sensitivity in our practice and to experiment. He is suggesting more time for reflection, absorption and consolidation then we won’t get despondent when we fail to achieve.

“Everything cannot be taught, but everything can be learned”

Prashant opened the question and answer session by repeating this several times. He answered many questions on the philosophy of yoga and how this weaves through our understanding of the asana practice.

My time here has almost come to an end. When I first arrived a month felt like a huge expanse of time…but really it has gone so quickly…too quickly! It has been interesting, thought-provoking, intense and wonderful. Everyday uncovering something new to explore and to think about. I will be sad to leave but I am already planning my next visit but ssh!!! Don’t tell my children!!!

Read about week 1 and week 2 on the blog…

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