I had only done three months of yoga at UCLA before I found and converted to Iyengar yoga. The yoga classes at UCLA offer a wide variety of yoga blend and vinyasa styles. There was one teacher I really enjoyed and she incorporated a lot of tai chai into her classes.
The writings and teaching of B. K. S. Iyengar have fostered the development and promotion of Iyengar Yoga as a therapy for physical and behavioral disorders and scientific research on its effectiveness.
It was a stroke of good fortune when, two years ago, I was asked to teach at the Pasadena Senior Center (PSC). Teaching seniors (hereafter called Elders), is both challenging, fun, and an ongoing learning process.
After seeing "Yoga: the Art of Transformation" at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco it seems more appropriate that B.K.S. Iyengar's legacy should be less due to introducing props and more for making yoga inclusive for women ― especially women teachers starting with his own daughters.
In medicine, the general attitude toward yoga and CAM is at best skeptical, with continuing reliance on drugs and surgery, and the attitude that yoga as a treatment may not meet the standards of "Evidence-Based Medicine." It not clear how often physicians refer patients to yoga therapy, probably not much. If asked by a patient they may sometimes but otherwise are likely to advise that yoga is counterindicated for their condition.
As many of you know, I trained as a chef here in the US and also in France, and have been cooking professionally since 1990. So, when I began the teacher-training program at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute, the last thing I expected to learn was something new about food and cooking.
The 35 students clad in gray sweatpants and T-shirts head to the locked cabinets to gather their well-used mats and two foam blocks, and then find a space in the cavernous hall. Prison yoga comes with no frills; no straps, bolsters, or wooden blocks, no Setu Bandha benches, no ropes, and only a few blankets used sparingly for modifications.
Jet fuel, diesel fumes, dust, wet soil, insecticide, urinals, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. Yes, I am back home; home of a previous life, I'm sure. For the second time in two years, I'm back in India—a country I had yearned to see for years.
Upon entering the first gallery, the viewer is presented with the first of a multifolio series of paintings from "Stories of the Naths." Done in opaque watercolor, gold, and tin alloy on paper, they were composed and illustrated in 1823.
The question "what is my constitution?" or, alternatively, "what is my dosha?" is the first thing patients ask their Ayurvedic practitioner. According to Ayurveda, one's constitution is his or her unique balance of the three doshas—the biological forces that govern the body—which are inherent in each of us and established at conception.