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

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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

Melbourne: October 5 – 7, 2018

February 11, 2019

Workshop at Yoga Atma

Adho Mukha Svanasana with arms back and block and belt.

Utana Baddha Konasana. This pose is particularly effective in creating space around lung and breast tissue. This pose features in my book, Yoga For Breast Care: what every woman needs to know.

I am coiling myself around the block, and getting ready….

…to hold onto a handy pair of ankles.

Sarvangasana. Roll your outer shoulders under. Press the outer/upper artms down and extend from outer shoulders to outer elbows. With the palms facing the floor, and the thumbs and forefingers separated, press the hands sharply between two ribs, and lift the back ribs. Clip the outer shoulderblades in.

Halasana. External rotation of the arms at the sockets. Iift from the inner groins.

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Singapore: September 21 – 23, 2018

February 9, 2019

Workshop at Cocoon Studio Pte Ltd

Adho Mukha Svanasana. Practicing with the forearms on blocks provides better access to armpits, and breast and lung tissue.

Adho Mukha Svanasana with Baddangullyasana, arms behind.

Rope Bhujangasana. Here the feet are one ft. apart. Then learn to practice with the feet together. Rotate the inner thighs back, and move the tailbone forward and up. Raise the ribcage and the entire torso up. Curve up and back.

Rope Purvottasana. In this variation, the ropes are doubled over. To curve further back, open them to their full length. See page 89 of Yoga In Action. Intermediate Course -1, for the best instructions for this, and Rope Bhujangasana.

Uttitha Trikonasana on the Ropes

Virasana with upper body curved back over a chair.

Upper Body Back Bend over a chair.

Urdhva Dhanurasana. Press down through the hands, raise the heels, press the tailbone up, and extend and open the top/front groin skin.

Continue pressing the tailbone up, and maintain the extension of the front groin skin while slowly bringing the heels down (outer knees to inner knees).

© 2019 Bobby Clennell

Jakarta: September 14 – 16, 2018

January 24, 2019

Workshop at C Studio Jakarta

We began the class with Parvritta Swastikasana.

Uttanasana with Head on Block.

Adho Mukha Svanasana.  Stand facing the wall with the rope slipped around your waist. Step over both sides of the rope with one leg, and then turn around to face away from the wall. Slide the knot down onto your sacrum. Bend your knees and fold forward into Adho Mukha Svanasana. Keep your heels at the wall and as close to the floor as you can. Reach your hands forward. The rope extends the lumbar spine toward the wall, while the hands draw the spine forward. These opposing movements extend the lumbar, decrease compression of the disc on the nerves and reduce low back pain. Turn toes in.

Working with a block between her hyper extended elbows helped reduce the pain in her arms that occured whenever she did this pose.

Salabhasana on the ropes.

Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana 1, with Back to The Wall and Pully Ropes.

Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana 2, with Back to The Wall and Pully Ropes.

Standing Twist to Wall with Pully Ropes.

My host, Rany Fetrix made t-shirts from my drawing.

© 2019 Bobby Clennell