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More Adventures in Pune – by Lori Neumann

IndraDeviThis month Lori Neumann is visiting RIMYI – the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune – our mothership!  Lori is based in Mountain View where she teaches yoga and studies at the California Yoga Center. She also is a student at Adeline Yoga. We hope you enjoy her missives from India.

Well, we survived our first week. The jetlag is almost over and I almost slept through the night. I love getting the chance to read a book, especially one about yoga! It’s the new biography of Indra Devi. I highly recommend it.

My SI joint on my right side has been very painful and I’ve needed to take special care to take away the pain. May Mei Chong, who some of you may know, was here in June and we were able to spend a few days together. She told me about this wonderful therapeutic yoga center, Prana, run by one of Iyengar’s longtime assistants, Amit Pawar. He has a very wealthy patron who built this state of the art yoga and holistic health center in a very modern building on the 9th floor. The views of the city are spectacular and I went to see him on Friday. He was fantastic. He gave me a sequence that I practiced today and it works wonders: going into yoga speak now!)

Sequences for lower back / SI Pain
AM Virasana seated over a bench – forehead and torso supported, arms straight with a blanket rolled up in the lower abdomen.

Prasarita Padotanasana – also supported

AMS at the ropes, feet on the heart benches, head resting on bolster on chair

Arda Uttanasana at the ropes, feet up on the wall, torso hanging, arms crossed. held each of these for 5 minutes.

Baradvajasana seated at the wall, foam block next to hip and between knees. Moving from the abdomen. 2x

Standing Marichiyasana against the wall, block at hip. For my right SI joint, he had me turn my left foot in slightly when the right leg is bent and the right toes in, heel out alot when standing on the right leg.
Same arm and torso actions as Baradvajasana.

Supta Padangustasana with 2 straps 2x, then out to the side.

Rope sirsasana and ending with supported halasana.

I’m going to see him again on next Friday so will be interesting to see the next sequence. This one was pretty basic but works like a charm!

Prashant’s class will take a few more times to get used to but its wonderful to see how much he enjoys teaching. His philosophy is interesting but hardly understanding much! And playing musical mats is the best part! You never know where you’ll end up.

Geeta’s Pranayama class was very different! She wanted to know how much knowledge the class had and what our practice was. She wanted someone to explain digital Pranayama and no one could. She wasn’t happy. This went on for quite some time. The importance of Pranayama seems to be out of sync with the assessment process, which doesn’t place as high a level of importance on it. At least this is the gist of what I could get out of it.

gita-iyengar4Then went to Geeta’s women’s class today and it was memorable. She is familiar with my back issue and she saw an opportunity to help me, I think, and it was surreal. We started in AMV and AMS then Uttanasana. Her focus was on the feet, the outer heel. Then on to Uttita Trikonasana. Slow and steady. I think my arms fell off I held them up so long! Then on to Parsvakonasana. We did it once and she was talking about using the block, I think.

Then she’s looking right at me and says to come up and do the pose. I started on my left side with the block. She asked me why I used the block. what had my teacher told me. I said that I drop my chest and the block helps give me more lift and space for my torso. She said that was OK but not what she was thinking. My right leg was shaking so much that she started talking about how to get rid of it and how its caused by the nervous system. I was nervous! With that much shaking comes instability and she had be come out of the pose looking up which made me almost lose my balance. Luckily, Abhi was behind me and caught me!

Then I switched sides. She had me look down first, which really helped calm me. Then I looked straight ahead, and then looked up turned my chest up and felt much calmer as I came out of the pose. Looking down made the difference. It gave a bit of time to compose myself and relax a bit. It was cool! Can’t wait to hear it again when I get the CD. All her classes are recorded. This one’s a keeper!

It’s getting late and we’re doing the heritage walk in the morning. Its a guided walking tour through the historic part of the city.

More later…