Purity and Discernment


What a great first day with Abhijata! I am sure we will all be feeling our hips and buttocks tomorrow after all our “hip replacements” in standing poses this morning. Vrksasana numerous ways – standing, lying prone and supine – were the basis and keys to “unlock” a deeper understanding of our hips in many familiar poses.

But, aside from the physical practice which is deep and delightful, Abhijata brings yoga to life with stories and philosophy. And what better place to start than with the definition of yoga – “Yoga citta vrtti nirodha” – the cessation of movements in the consciousness. She made us first RECOGNIZE that our consciousnesses are all fluctuating, and then it takes STRIVING and actually CHOOSING to not follow the fluctuations in order to finally still them. Like first driving a car, we may have to never take our eyes off the road and we physically hold tension to be able to be correct in action and attention. But, in the end, when we truly have driving down, we relax, don’t have to stare so intently at the road, but ease into the journey as our more natural state.

Even in the physical act of yoga we are reminded of Guruji’s words – “We cannot know where the body ends and the mind begins” – they are tied to one another and both need to be known so we are not a slave to either.

The afternoon brought great gifts!! Chris gave a great speech about her experiences with Geetaji. IYNAUS has dedicated this Convention to her memory and Chris has some great memories to share! I am sure she shares many in class, but also just ask if you are curious! Then we were blessed with a full and amazing and moving speech by Abhi about the current environment of our community. Many of you may not even know all that has been going on, but what you do need to know is that WE ARE FAMILY and with that comes great love and support and dedication in practice. We as a community strive to make our teaching clear and safe and profound for every person that walks through our doors, and the Iyengar family is dedicated to that safety and joy of practice for all its students! Please speak to your teachers if you have any issue – as we have been charged by Abhi to do today, we will be pure and discerning in our intentions and deeds.

The future of Iyengar Yoga is a bright one! Abhijata is a perfect balance of strength, humility, grace, and power. In her teaching she is demanding, but carriers her own vibe completely separate from BKS and Geeta. She is refreshing, clarifying, and just plain beautiful in her approach. She reminds us that we must be joyful in practice! Guruji never wavered in his practice nor did he ever let negativity mar his relationship to asanas. There was always a way and always a reason – for the practice of yoga.

ATHA – the sacred word that keeps us present and in the NOW – keeps us clear headed and clear minded for the experience of each new moment!

So, now and now and now and now the practice of yoga begins….

Jennie Williford CIYT

Jennie Williford (CIYT Level 3) is a transplant to LaCrosse via Montana, Illinois, and originally Texas. Throughout her life moves and 5 trips to India, Jennie has acquired a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to Iyengar Yoga since her start in 1998. Jennie loves the experimental and explorative nature of yoga in accessing deeper knowledge of the Self on every level. The practice of yoga can be intense and introspective, however as practitioners we can be light-hearted and open-minded in our discipline. Jennie is intrigued by the philosophy of yoga and hopes to share this depth of subject while teaching the physical and mental benefits that come from the practice of posture.