Over the past two weeks, Prashant and Geeta-ji’s teachings have been full of gems. I am very grateful to have been present with them for the Centenary Celebrations. I will share some quotes I wrote down in my notebook and share a little context and reflection.
Some quotes and highlights I wrote in my notebook from Prashant’s classes and talks:
“Mechanically doing, that is not practice.”
Prashant spoke about this in the context of approaching practice as exploration, that was how B.K.S. Iyengar approached practice.
“The subject is difficult, the art is difficult.”
Yoga is something that takes a very long time to understand on many levels, on the cellular levels, the mental levels, the physical levels. Through practice, yoga samskaras slowly evolve the person who practices. But it is a difficult art.
“Treat the body as your child.”
For what? What are the aims? The body is at once a source of suffering and a vehicle of liberation. Better take care of it as it is our means to practice.
“When we are busy we are occupied in reacting.”
“Don’t be a technician in asana and pranayama. Yoga doesn’t allow anything to be done mechanically.”
Sometimes getting stuck on the points of technique or doing the same thing everyday mechanically eludes us from seeing the vast scope of practice and finding freedom, exploration and spontaneity.
“Breath is a sculpture of mind.”
Prashant explained that observation of the breathing process and pranayama leads one to understand the different psychosomatic and emotional states, and that prayamana leads one towards cultivating vairagya (dispassion).
In Iyengar yoga you are drawn beyond your limits. This is its signature condition.
By facing and transcending limitations, physical, mental etc, I am brought into a fuller sense of what it is to be human. The pain doesn’t kill you. You don’t die. But you do realize that one day you will die and you begin to imagine how you would like to face that moment and every moment of your life.
Nothing will escape the samskara cortex.
Everything we’ve done, experienced, felt, thought, nothing is lost. It is all there.
Concepts: Lab condition. Playground psychosis.
Sometimes we think, “this is not taught, why would I do it?” Prashant emphasized that you are your own teacher and student. There is something inside that can assess, that knows what is essentially right and wrong. Experiment, explore, play.
This globe is a paltry speck of dust. Within yourself, you are the universe.
Notes from Geeta-ji’s classes. Actually I did not take notes during Geeta-ji’s classes, as she explicitly asked us not to. I will share my impressions.
Geeta’s classes and talks were powerful, intense, full of compassion and made me feel absolutely with myself. I felt like I was learning yoga again for the first time, with a scope much vaster and deeper than I had thought possible. She emphasized the Yoga Sutras and talked about 1.20 which inspired her. She taught both movement and action in asana, and especially used receptive movement to bring us deeper into the asanas, Chalana kriya, as she called it. One day, she taught the children’s class and had us join along with jumpings and surya namaskar in different formations. She showed many examples of therapeutics on stage, her eye penetrating and seeing to the root cause of each person’s ailment. I was inspired by her embodiment of yoga.
I will end here, as I am catching a flight to Chennai shortly. Filled with gratitude for this opportunity.
“Where need ends and where greed begins, you have to have discrimination.” – Abhijata Iyengar quoting Guru-ji