Delray Beach, Florida: January 22 – 23, 2019

June 17, 2019

Workshop at iYoga Delray Beach

First we opened up the dorsal spine. Give yourself plenty of support, especially if the neck feels compressed when you curve backward.

Collen Gallager supports her head with her hands.

Dropping back onto the chair rest (and if you are ready, walking down onto the chair seat), then flipping back over onto the floor.

Recover by flopping over the chair back.

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

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Retreat in Kamakura-City, Japan: December 6 – 9, 2018

June 15, 2019

Yoga retreat at Amrita Ofuna

To remove rigidity, we need fluid in the joints. The element of water is accessed through movement, which is associated with the element of air.

Fast jumping pranisizes the legs with the element of water. Your legs will not become strong. You will however, sharpen…

…the intelligence, especially if in a class the jumping sequence is not repeated…

…the same each time by the teacher.

When standing poses are practiced from Tadasana, the legs become pranisized with the element of earth and the legs become very strong.

I was much taken by this certified Iyengar Yoga teacher who attended my workshop.

She is over 8o years old.

Here she is in a very light looking Parivritta Sirsasana.

Her name: Naoko Itoh.

The enormous bronze Buddha is located on the grounds of the Kotoku-in temple in Kamakura City. The monument dates all the way back to 1252 and was originally gold-plated. The statue has stood in the open air since the temple building was destroyed in the tsunami of September 20, 1492, and only traces of gold-leaf remain around the ears.

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Kobe, Japan: November 30 – December 3, 2018

March 13, 2019

Workshop at Iyengar Yoga Institute of Kobe

Urdhva Hastasana; but even with a block and a belt, the student cannot straighten her arms.

Another belt was added below the the first belt. Now she can extend her arms. This memory will help her straighten her arms without the belts later on.m

This student also has a carrying angle, where the elbow projects forward. By clasping the upper arms, revolving them in and raising them (and at the same time applying a little pressure on the elbow) alignment comes and the arms begin to feel peaceful.

Helping this student to ‘find’ her legs. By tipping the foot up, she will eventually be able to find her thigh muscles and straighten her leg.

To strengthen the mind, strengthen the legs.

To fully straighten the leg, and take the kneecap back into the joint practice Ardha Chandrasana with a block under the sole of the foot.

Diagonal Uttitha Trikonasana. Practicing the pose this way takes the pressure off the front leg so it’s helpful for those with hip problems. It also provides more opportunity to revolve the trunk toward the ceiling.

Raising the pelvis in this version of Viparita Dandasana stimulates the abdominal organs (which can wake up ovarian function).

Sirsasana; The belt gives a visual reference (to the observer) of the mid line. Here the student needs to take her buttocks forward.

Sarvangasana. That which is behind the mid line – move forward; that which is in front, move back.

Parsva Halasana. Keep the torso high. Keep walking the legs around to the side – aim to bring them level with the shoulders.

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Beijing, China: November 21 – 24, 2018

March 8, 2019

Workshop at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of China, Beijing

Practicing Uttanasana with the legs separated allows for more mobility and a deeper forward extension than when the legs are together.

Practicing Uttanasana with the legs together compresses the abdominal area against the thighs (except where the student has tight hamstrings, and the trunk moves away from the thighs). This massages the abdominals, and helps keep the area healthy.

Tadasana. To ensure that the abdominal organs move up, roll the tops of the thighs back and take the tailbone in.

Uttitha Trikonasana. Revolve the tops of the femur bones out at the sockets. This ensures that the thigh bones will move into the sockets in a healthy way.

Rope Sirsasana. To ensure a deep internal alignment of the abdominal organs, make sure the belt is place exactly on the sacral bone.

Parsvakonasana. Similarly to Trikonasana, turn the tops of the thighs out.

Ardha Chandrasana. Turn the trunk and pelvis away from the standing leg. Can you touch the lifted leg shoulder blade and buttock to the wall?

Parsva Upavista Konasana. Turn from the navel toward the front leg. Everything below the navel is influenced by the activation of the left foot — press out through the left foot big toe mound.

Sirsasana. To avoid eye pressure, be exactly on the center of the crown of the head. Press the forearms down. Lift the shoulders.

Chatush Padasana over a chair. Raise the pelvic area off the chair, and placing the trapezius on the front edge of the chair, curve it around the edge of the chair. The upper back/shoulder skin will  get dragged away from the head and area just below the collar-bones will open.

Supta Konasana/Chair Halasana. This gives low back relief. It’s also a better way to go for those with long spines, where it’s not so easy to climb through the chair.

Coming out of Viparita Dandasana over Crossed Bolsters. Allow the lower back to spread.

Bolster Supported Setu Bandasana. Make sure the shoulders just touch the floor (and that you haven’t slid too far off the bolster).

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Urmqi, China: November 14 – 18, 2018

March 3, 2019

Workshop at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of China, Urmqi

I arrived in a snow storm, which I was told was good luck.

Uttitha Padangustasana 2. In order to maintain the upward movement of the pelvic organs, move your lifted leg buttock forward, and your standing leg thigh back.

Urdhva Dhanurasana from a chair. Straighten the legs to standing.

Recovering from backbends:

Janu Sirsasana with Two Blocks, a Bolster and a Wall….

….and with a chair. To help maintain a quiet abdominal region, extend forward from the sides of the trunk, rather than the center.

Chair Sarvangasana with elbows hooked through the front legs. Here, the chair seat height has been increased to facilitate the extension of the spine.

Urumuqui is close to the Mongolian boarder.

This dancer kept the bowl on her head through her dance. Talk about balance!

Uger musicians.

This was such a happy evening!

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Guangzhou, China: November 8 – 11, 2018

February 28, 2019

Workshop at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of China, Guangzhou

This was a special beginner’s class. The simple instructions still work when teaching the standing (or any other) poses: From Uttitha Hasta Padasana, come into Trikonasana by extending the left side torso to the left, bringing it in line/parallel with the floor.

Parsvakonasana. Get the basic shape first — make a perfect square with the bent leg and the floor.

Virabhadrasana 1. Another square: Drop the bent leg hip to the level of the bent leg knee and simultaneously, raise the trunk and arms.

Planet woman!

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Taipei: November 2 – 5, 2018

February 25, 2019

Workshop at Shelly Yoga

Pincha Mayurasana makes me look thin.

Raise the left leg hip maintaining it level with the right as you move into Eka Pada Sirsasana.

Photo bombed by my interpretor.

In this version of the head-up stage of urdva prasarita ekapadasana, the belt provides a fulcrum from which the spine can be curved and extended forward and upward. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the strength to do this without the belt.

Parivritta Svastikasana at the wall. These students are maintaining the fixed inteligence at the base of the pose by pressing their right knee to the wall as they rotate to the right.

Parivritta/Ghomukasana, legs only, combined with a spinal rotation.

In this Celestial Beings class, we practiced Ghomukasana again, this time the complete pose. Cows are held in high esteem in India.The reason has to do with cows’ agricultural uses and gentle nature. Hindus rely heavily on cows for dairy products, for tilling fields, and for dung as a source of fuel and fertilizer. So, cows are seen as a ‘caretakers’ or maternal figures.

More Celestial Beings – Eagle Pose,  Garuda was the mythic “king of the birds,” the vehicle of Vishnu.

Supported Backbends. Knees and shins against the wall. Upper arms turned in.

Supported Backbends. This pose, Baddha Konasana in Viparita Dandasana over Crossed Bolsters helps deal with abdominal scar- tissue, associated with endometriosis.

More supported Backbends.

Pushing up from Viparita Dandasana with Chair into Urdhva Dhanurasana.

At the end of the Active Restorative Class: from Halasana,

…roll…

….up ….

….and over….

….into Paschimottanasa X 6!

 

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Glebe, Australia: October 25, 2018

February 21, 2019

Workshop at Glebe Iyengar Yoga

The streets in this suburb of Sydney are lined with bottle brush trees.

Fabulous lizards everywhere on this National Park walk.

Preparing for Hanomanasana. This student is not ready to practice Supta Virasana flat on the floor. Therefore, I am not pulling her leg up to a 90% angle from the floor.

Hanomanasana. Have enough support under the hands to lift the torso to an upright position.

Hanomanasana. Level the pelvic bones by rolling the back leg hip forward.

With Tamar Kelly, and Julia Pederson who hosted the workshop in Glebe.

This is the final photo in Julia Pederson’s new book Guruji BKS Iyengar and RIMYI in the 70s. Through the pictures taken at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) taken in the ’70s and the stories of his early students, this book gives an insight into the teaching and inspiration that has led Iyengar Yoga to be the worldwide phenomenon that it is today. Julia is looking for a publisher.

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Australia: Petersham, October 19 – 21 & Bondi Junction, October 27 – 28, 2018

February 16, 2019

Workshop at Yoga To Go Studio

In this women’s workshop, we practiced wide leg poses, especially helpful in getting prolonged and excessive bleeding under control (a situation that more often occurs during menopause). Here is “L shaped” Upavista Konasana.

Lifting the inner ankle – Guruji had once done this with Julia to correct her severly dropped arches.

This supported variation of Prasarita Padottanasana helps reduce abdominal scar tissue cause by endometriosis.

Another wide leg pose. This teacher is pressing on my sacrum which is decompressing my sacral area and alieviating low back pain.

Aligning knees: Julia demonstrates how to do it with metal rods and two belts for each knee. I show how to use a wooden (important!) block and belts. The knee aligns itself to the firmness of the block.

Knees respond well to Sirsasana. If there is a problem with them, align the center of the thighs, knee caps and shins.

More knees: Bhekasana. Roll the bent knee hip and torso down. Press the elbow to the floor, and raise the chest.

Supported Kapotasana: The bolster provided much lift and support.

With my host, Tamar Kelly who is adding a touch or glamor to the occasion.

Iyengar Yoga Institute Bondi Junction

I made this collage of the Goddess Durga out of colored tissue paper at RIMYI, Pune, maybe 25 years ago. Kay Parry carried it off to the Iyengar Yoga Institute Bondi Junction where it still hangs (albeit now very faded) in the entranceway, and where I taught a two day workshop.

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

St Kilda, Australia: October 12 – 14, 2018

February 14, 2019

Workshop at St Kilda Iyengar Yoga Studio

Ustrasana with wall, Chair and Bolsters. Roll outer arms in. Move outer elbows to inner elbows. Keep the navel as close to the wall as possible.

The belt which I placed at the upper back provided tremendous length through the entire spine, and a fulcrum for an upper back curve. I asked her to connect her outer/upper arms back into the backs of the shoulder sockets.

This shape is similar to Urdhva Hastasana in Dandasana.There should be an internal rotation of the arms. Locate them back into the sockets.

Holding a belt between wrists and side hips…

…helped us see the midline. Student is being instructed: in order to avoid dropping the lumbar forward, to roll the buttocks down.

The brightly painted roads are a memory of the victory in the Australian courts earlier this year for same-sex marriage.

The St Kilder theme park is the oldest theme park in the world. Visually, the inside is as wonderful as the outside!

© 2019 Bobby Clennell