Later in the day I went to an Iyengar based class with Libbie Mathes at the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs. If you have not heard of Iyengar he is a 94 year old yoga guru who studied under Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Krischnamacharya is the known as the "the father of modern yoga" He taught Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga yoga), Indra Devi, and my teacher today Libbie. Most forms of what we now call yoga stemed from Krischnamacharya. To me I listen most intently too these practices because of the history, tradition, and theory behind these practices. Each student under Krischnamacharya ended up teaching a different practice due to their physical condition, emotional state, or other circumstances. In fact Krischnamacharya taught his students differently so they could experience their own form of yoga. Here's a pretty cool video I found of him.
The Iyengar teaching is based on getting your asana (posture) techniques down. So you typically will hold the posture for a long time and correct your posture to try to get the correct form. We were in headstand for about 3-5 minutes and shoulder stand for about 8 minutes. Today's class had a lot of inversions (which I have been wishing for). She based a lot of her postures depending on the phase of the moon. The class also uses a lot of props (blocks, straps, blankets). Props are another common practice in Iyengar. I did feel very good in her presence, and took a lot of knowledge from the class.
Today's class had no music, it was not about doing situps, and there was not a lot of self absorbed life lessons and philosophies being thrown at us during class. To me it was about learning about traditional yoga and how I could combine it into my own life and yoga practice.
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