Home' Australian Yoga Life : sample issue Contents Geeta Iyengar in Australia
cycles ... You are not forced to do
15 cycles, from A to Z, every time. But
try to understand your body, try to
understand the mind, try to understand
yourself ... The basic thing is that you
penetrate in yogic practice. It's a free
journey from the body right up to the
soul. So how will you have covered that
journey, whether you are doing asana,
whether you are doing pranayama, or
doing meditation? You penetrate, you
penetrate from body to the soul ... And
then you totally understand that journey.
MH: How should people restricted by
health or injury approach their yoga?
GI: According to yogic theory itself, karma
will always get in the way. It's not a
smooth path. We meet with an accident:
we don't know when it's going to happen
or how ... So we have to face that karma.
And that's why Patanjali says 'tapah
svadhyaya Isvararanidhanani kriyayogah'
(burning zeal in practice, self-study and
study of scriptures, and surrender to God
are the acts of yoga). He says that
knowing very well these hurdles will be
there, these karmas will be there, we have
to have that tapas (discipline). So when
someone with injuries or the ageing
process gets that limitation, one should
not be afraid of it. According to my age, I
can adjust. That's why, when people come
with injuries, we have taught them.
Because at least they want to learn how
they can lead a better life, and that is
possible. Instead of remaining in bed all
the time, saying "I cannot, I cannot, I
cannot", at least do this much. So if you
make it possible [for the student], if he's
lying down, to sit, and if you make it
possible to stand ... that is progress.
Geeta Iyengar may or may not
return to Australia for future retreats,
but the teachers she taught at the Twin
Waters retreat will take back to their
own students her timely reminders of
the essence of yoga. In Geeta's words:
"Patanjali says, knowing very well the
mind of the human being, that we
always race for the quick result. He says
in the path of yoga, do not expect that.
The mind wants fruit, results, because
the mind is unstable. He says wait,
continue, without any break. It's a long
journey -- he doesn't say how long!"
Michael Hollingworth, Iyengar
practitioner and past teacher, learned
yoga from Dona Holleman in Italy,
where he lived for 10 years. His life has
more twists and turns than asanas.
He began as a journalist, studied
literature in Canberra and Italy, and has
worked as a translator, tourist guide,
public relations consultant and trainer.
He is now a facilitator of leadership
and change management programs.
Nearly 350 Iyengar practitioners perform Sirsasana
(Headstand) at the Twin Waters retreat.
australian yoga life • december-february 2010
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