Archive for February, 2010

Full Moon Over Mulchi Lake

February 18, 2010

© Bobby Clennell 2010

Women’s class

February 17, 2010

It turns out that the person Guruji is working on is deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujal, not someone in the police force as I had mentioned in my last blog. This interesting story can be found in DNA, an Asian on-line news service:

Wonderful women’s class with Geetaji yesterday. We are still in Backbend week. One of the things we did was to curve back away from the rope wall, tailbone over the stump, legs extended to rope wall. The stump was placed between two sets of  ropes which we held. The taller people held the tall ropes, with another set of ropes slipped through the ends. We curved back and placed our head on a bolster. There were many interesting setups, and I am looking forward to teaching them when I get back!

© 2010 Bobby Clennell.

Monday in Pune

February 15, 2010

Day one of back bend week. We pretty well went straight into Urdhva Dhanurasana. We started with Adho Mukha Virasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Prassarita Paddotanasana and Sirsasana, then pushed up into Urdhva Dhanurasana. We did lots of them. Emphasis on turning the toes in and lifting them. Pressing the outer heels down and keeping the heels pressed down as we came up, first onto the crown and then completely up. To bring the hands and feet closer together, we walked the hands in. We were not to disturb the feet! In order not to drop the outer body, we compressed the outer hips in and broadened the back hips and buttocks.

After class Chandru announced to the class that we were no longer to congregate outside of the main gates to the Institute, or even inside. Groups of foreigners are soft targets. It’s very bad news for the coconut man and the vegatable lady who’s livlihoods depend on the Iyengar students.

© 2010 Bobby Clennell.

Sad news from Pune

February 14, 2010

Got home last night to hear the terrible news that the German bakery had been blown up. Quite a few students had narrow escapes and were very shaken up. One  had seen the blast and quite a few others had heard it. All our hearts go out to the kids that were over there last night, the foreigners, the locals and the people who worked there.

It’s strange, because there was a conciderable police  presence in and around RIYMI last week. Guruji was working on someone high up in the police force who has two very seriously frozen shoulders to the point where he could hardly use his hands. He had the undivided attention of the great Master himself, B.K.S. Iyengar, plus many assistants getting props etc.

You feel nothing but friendliness here from the local population.

Peace and blessings.

© 2010 Bobby Clennell.

Conversation from Pune.

February 6, 2010

Just sharing this little interchange between myself and Stephanie Quirk on face book earlier today. Hope it makes sense to those who read it:

Bobby Clennell: Woke up this morning to discover I had calf muscles. Awesome class with Geetaji last night — lots of Virabhadrasana I and III.

Stephanie Quirk . . . Probably was the sankatasana at the beginning of the class, and the virabhadrasana 4’s.

Bobby Clennell. Virabhadrasana 4 was with the arms straight back and arms to side, right?
Stephanie Quirk. nope virabhadrasana 4 (1st version) was like parigasana but extended arms parallel to to the extended leg, (2nd version) had 1x leg like parigasana and the other like mulabandasana.
Virabhadrasana 3 with arms out to sides was given reference to vimanasana.
Bobby Clennell. Thanks Stephanie! Walking through the park to class this morning with Rita. She told me which pose was called Sankatasana: Kneeling with toes turned under, palms on floor under shoulders. Then lift knees, so shins parellel to floor. Yup! That’s the one I can still feel in my upper calves.
Stephanie: Every one was lifting their hips up way too high in the sankatasana, like they were on the starting blocks for a race, buttocks were meant to be kept on the heels.
© 2010 Bobby Clennell.

Letter from Pune

February 6, 2010

The practice sessions at RIYMI are from 9 – 12 am. Most of the visiting students attend, and there are also some local students. Also in attendance are the teachers who assist in the classes. Guruji and Geetaji practice in these sessions, along with Abhyjata, Guruji’s granddaughter.  One morning, Guruli was teaching Abhyjata how to jump from Uttanasana to Adhomukha Svanasana and back again. When Guruji works with someone (often, its Abhyjata), many of us gather around to watch and learn.
When jumping back into Adhomukha Svanasana from Uttanasana, compress the outer hips in. Jump forward from the inner thighs: Lift them and move them into the inner thigh bones. There should be a stronger sound as the feet land back into Adho Mukha, and hardly any sound as the feet land in Uttanasana.
After the mini “master class”, we all drift back to our places and resume our practice, some to practice what we have just learned. Guruji continues with his practice, very often comprising of deep supported back bends.
In the afternoons the strong go shopping. Yesterday, myself, Richard Jonas and Sue Salanic (teacher from An-Arbor) explored one of the jewelry districts. We found M/s Bharatkumar Jewelers (established for over 100 years the owner told us) specializing in traditional silver jewelry which is popular with Iyengar students.
The jewelers has gone into the Pune Guide, which I have been updating since I arrived here. It is now with Fran Carlen a professional proof reader and student at the Institute. After that it will go to two other students who have volunteered their services: Robert Cory, who is going to make a table of content — it’s 60 pages long now, and Daphna Ascoli, who will clean up the type and work on the graphics. Then it will replace the 2008 version, currently on the IYNAUS web site.
© 2010 Bobby Clennell.

Geetaji’s class

February 5, 2010

The asana room was electric last night. We were all held on the edge of the moment with Geetaji’s powerful teaching. Among other things, we did lots of Virabhadrasana I and III. Long holdings in Vira I. We did Vira III with three arm positions: 1) Straight ahead in the classical manner (triceps drawn onto the upper arm bones). 2) Straight back. 3) Out to the sides, like an airoplane.

The variation in arm positions give those who cannot easily (such as breast cancer surivors with scar tissue that they are working on) or should not (hypertension) take their arms above the head. And for the rest of us, it’s good to work in a different way sometimes.

Sorry, I haven’t posted Prashantji’s sequence yet. I am waiting to talk to someone who observed the class and who took notes.

© 2010 Bobby Clennell.

Prashantji’s class

February 2, 2010

When Prashant taught last night’s standing poses class, he gave us the space to make our own explorations and discoveries. The focal point was Udyana Bandha which we worked on in Adho Mukha Svanasana, Uttitha Trikonasana, Uttitha Parsvakonasana, Supta Padangustasana I, and Rope Sirsasana. He suggested that we exhale to the count of 10, not so easy to do!

Let me know if you want the precise sequence. I loved this class.

© 2010 Bobby Clennell.