Home' Australian Yoga Life : sample issue Contents Geeta Iyengar in Australia
how they can penetrate into that. For
beginners, it is not necessary -- that's why
we have different levels of teaching.
MH: As people grow older, how should
they deal with their reduced stamina and
strength in practising the asanas?
GI: If stamina has to be maintained, there
are certain asanas and pranayama which
are very essential to do ... You have been
told as a student that you are supposed
to do inverted postures every day. At
least Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), or
at least Viparita Karani (Supported legs-
up-the wall) ... And then if you have half
an hour's time you can finish off your
Sirsasana (Headstand), Sarvangasana,
Halasana (Plough), Setu Bandha
Sarvangasana (Supported bridge), and
Viparita Karani. These are the postures
which bring the recovery, for retuning
the body. These are asanas which
rejuvenate, bring proper circulation,
remove fatigue, and exactly balance, so
that over-exertion will be taken out and
you are able to relax. If that is followed
properly, I don't think that problem
ahead for the aged group will come. And
with an aged group there are certain
things to do with the props, for example
like Setu Bandha on benches, or Viparita
Karani on the bolster, or half Halasana
on the bench, or chair Sarvangasana.
They are all possible for people to do.
MH: Is it appropriate to devote more time
to pranayama, while maintaining a
regular asana practice?
GI: This is an absolutely subjective
question, what a person can do. So it's
not a comparison where you will do less
time for asana and more time for
pranayama. Earlier when I was doing
pranayama, my timetable affected me -- I
had classes, household work,
responsibilities, so that I had to [limit]
my pranayama. But now the time has
Geeta taught with fierceness and tenderness,
displaying an uncompromising commitment
to having all pupils penetrate their bodies,
minds and spirits.
come where even my sister knows, don't
disturb me when I am doing pranayama
because I cannot set limits.
What we call spiritual practice is
such that we are now going somewhere
deeper inside. Then you can't just come
out from deeper inside to ... put your
head, or brain, or mind, into the outer
world. So I won't say I will do two hours
of pranayama: it might take two hours --
and then sometimes not take that much
at all ... It depends upon your physical
strength and physical energy.
But I would certainly say everyone
has to do pranayama, at least a few
cycles, to understand this. How will you
go to that depth unless you have done it?
As you get the experience, then you can
say, OK I can do this much or this many
australian yoga life • december-february 2010 57
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