Today was the first morning of our Autumn Sangha with Abhijata Iyengar. I hope that some of you have decided to join the “party” as she decided to call it this morning. She started by discussing the difference in approach from the first time she taught in the Spring, at the beginning of COVID, and now when we are all going through some amount of habitual motion and living in this new normal. She warned us not to become complacent or sluggish in our approach to practice or even to life. We must continuously be aware and alert to all the changes and energies of Nature (the gunas) and use the tool of asana to move from inertia (tamas) to activity (rajas).
So what better way to move from inertia to activity than to do some jumpings! Of course there are always alternatives for those unable to jump, but the faster movement brings a lighter approach that activates the raja (creative and active) guna (quality of Nature).
To keep us moving she refused to “give lectures”, though I hope she does lecture sometime this week as she has so many beautiful things to share. However, even without the lectures, she still manages to bring in philosophy of the integration of body and mind, and humor to keep us engaged.
“Your mind before class was so eager to begin and your mind now may be eager for class to end. Which one is your actual mind? How do you know?”Abhijata Iyengar – Autumn Sangha 2020
The ability for the mind to go here and there without our control is what brings an experience of feeling disturbed either in a positive or a negative way. Our practice of yoga, and more importantly our ATTENTIVE practice of yoga, is what will bring us to a more knowledgable state of Self. This settling into our “own true nature” is the experience of the sattva guna (balance and luminosity).
Knowing that she cannot see us all and that abilities vary, she made sure to give Savasana (rest) for the whole body – front, back, and side to side. It was a great end to the first day…sending us into the rest of our day a little brighter and refreshed…even on this chilly and cloudy Fall day.
Who knows what is in store for us the rest of the week…