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Day 13 Women's Class Abhijata

I woke up a little full of worry and woe and as I walked to class had the feeling that it may take a minor miracle to lift my heavy heart – sometimes when I’m in that state I seriously doubt that yoga will be able to help and yet it always does. It was a brilliant class this morning although it started off a little chaotically as Abhi fired instructions at us like a machine gun and I felt that we were a little like a panicked herd of cattle, wild eyed as we all tried to work out the best course of action. We launched straight into sirsasana, parsva sirasana and parivrtta eka pada sirsasana. She asked us if we had previously been shown the use of the wall for parivrtta eka pada sirsasana and those that said no were allowed to go to the wall and try and those that claimed that yes, they had done previously, had to go straight to the centre of the room to do. Eventually though her soft heart won out and she relented to allow everyone to have a go, even though there had to be many rounds as it took such a lot of space. What was interesting about this, was that she appeared to have memorised every single person in the room and knew what answer they had originally given! Definitely a bit of Geetaji was shining through today! 

She worked us hard throughout, taught us lots and as we lay in a blissful (if brief) savasana at the end, she said that sometimes in Iyengar Yoga you just have to WORK. Work for the freedom. Although you could say the work is purely physical, the benefit is mental. Is there not some joy, some happiness now? Chorus of Yes!! This is important for your life - as practitioners of Iyengar Yoga know that sometimes you physically have to work. As Guruji said “Live, labour and Laugh”.

Prasant gave a question and answer session today for the people attending the Russian intensive with a Russian interpreter. Crikey, imagine being the person whose job it is to accurately translate the Prasant-isms into Russian!! Possibly the world’s most difficult job – those who are familiar with Prasant will know that he is incredibly clever and inventive with language often making up new words all together. I had intended to be present, but a crisis call from my gorgeous daughter at Uni took precedence, although after returning Jenny relayed that the questions were in Russian and no one thought to translate them back the other way, so the non-Russian speakers could only surmise what the questions had been from the answers that Prasant gave. 

I bought some beautiful greeting cards with traditional Indian images hand painted onto leaves by the gentleman pictured below. He is such a gentle spirit and has been sitting on the wall between the park and the institute ever since my first trip and no doubt many years before that too. He is such a non-pushy seller that for almost the whole of the first year I didn't realise he was selling anything at all. In the two years since my last trip he has aged a lot. Do stop and have a look at what he has.

Women’s Class 13th February - Abhijata

AMVirasana – Toes together knees apart. Find out where there is the thickness on the back body and extend forward on the front body to see if you can lessen that thickness and become thin there. • Virasana – Seated between the feet. 

AMVirasana Bend forwards knees together feet apart.

AMSvanasana – strongly lift up the root of the thighs / sides of the waist and push back there. Remember the bricks we worked with last week.


Prasarita Paddottonasana

Sirsasana – There is a tendency for the forearms to roll out. Come down and place the hands like pinca mayurasana with the palms facing each other. Cut the centre of the forearm bone into the mat and lengthen the lower side of the wrist away. Maintain that cutting of the forearm bone and clasp the fingers. Go up. Don’t allow the pelvis to dip back. Backs of the knees open strongly. Lengthen up the sides of the waist, the outer hips reach upward. Parsva Sirsasana Buttocks in, ribs turn. “I am not happy with how much you are turning, come down!”

• Repeat with knuckles close to wall. Turn to the right side and bring the right hip so that it touches the wall turn so much that the outer right hip touches the wall, not the outer thigh (waiting group in parsva virasana). When the groups swapped the wall group repeated immediately x 2 each side in the centre of the room and then did parsva virasana.

Parivrrta eka pada sirsasana at wall and in centre of room – the side you are turning to, that leg against the wall and if fear of falling, the other foot you can bring to the wall too. Waiting groups parivrtta trikonasana x 2 parivrtta parvakonasana x 2