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Help! questions about Iyengar!!!

ASTRIX2010-07-05 03:22:46 +0000 #1
I have been practicing Iyenga for a while now on and off, but now more on... Last night I got a talking-to from my Iyenga teacher telling me if I wished to continue doing iyenga, I would become "rigid and robot-like" . Did I wish to lose my flexibility, and "softness" - does anyone know what does this softness mean? does iyenga make your mind rigid and robot like? I kept telling her that I do nto know how to get my mind into my left foot as it were and could she teach me that... YOU need to concentrate, she said! that's ok... but I don't know how to do this...I always like the esoteric connected (or at least have enough lattitude to find it myself!) to the practical excercises.

Does Iyenga really make you like a robot? or rigid? or was she trying to tell me to find another class because she does not want to answer my questions do I do this, or can you show me that again...kind of questions?

I am terribly confused. immensly hurt and unsure whether I should go back to her classes....

hope someone can help...



InnerAthlete2010-07-05 03:31:30 +0000 #2
I find it best when posting these sorts of questions to use as few generalities as possible. IN your post I am wondering how long you've been doing an Iynegar practice? You say "a while" which could be 10 weeks or ten years or ten classes. My feedback abut this differes based on this sort of thing, sometimes dramatically so.

Yoga deosn't "make" you anything. Yoga merely puts a person in position to make something of themselves. In the better classes, a toolbox is opened and you are free to take one tool or many.

Specifically to your question, if you are a raw beginner (less than ten classes) or a beginner then an instruction to put your mind in your foot is not an instructio crafted for your level of practice. If you wrangles your way into a level three class then this is your responsibility. If the class is a primary level then the responsibility falls to the teacher.

The instruction itself is sound but it is not appropriate, clear, or concise enough for a beginning student.

It also sounds like the teacher was either being sarcastic or playing Devil's Advocate or some such other thing. INstructions should be given in a way so that they cannot be misinterpreted.

If the class doesn't suit you try another instructor, not another style.
ASTRIX2010-07-05 03:36:25 +0000 #3
thanks for your response.

I am not a beginner. nor have I wrangled myself into an advanced class. thank you for asking tho' I have been doing yoga - Iyenga for 5-7 years with 2 year break. so in essence 5 years in classess.

No I do not follow how I can put my mind into my foot. i wish for someone to teach me. if she is playing devils advocate, then I did not understand...

I think my inner eye is opening up and I want more from my classess. I DO and have started to question my practice - then I feel it is her responsibility to teach me, not to tell me off sharply that I will lose my "softness"

I attend an advance class. we mainly -almost always only do practice. with her dronning on about face soft/mouth soft... that's about the extent of instructions for me to follow to get to my foot!!

surely there are other lessons out there that I could learn and keep to my iyenga?

with thanks,

Nichole2010-07-05 04:13:31 +0000 #4
Hello Astrix,

Would you be willing to shift the focus and the phrasing of your questions to what seems to be the real outer issue here: your individual teacher? This not an issue with B. K. S. Iyengar the man nor with the Iyengar technique. I would hate for your postings to unfairly misrepresent Iyengar Yoga to the new-to-yoga members who visit Yoga Forums.


Originally Posted by ASTRIX

...with her dronning on about face soft/mouth soft...

I say this to you with true compassion, it seems that you are already sure about not going back to study with this particular teacher, but not listening to your own guidance about it. To use your words, you are immensely hurt and confused and now your are using insulting language about your teacher here. If you feel you are done with this teacher, then move on with integrity to a new Iyengar teacher or to another style of asana. If you feel like you still have unfinished business with this teacher, uncomfortable as it may feel, then stay and finish your work.

In times of emotional pain and confusion, it is better to wait on outer action (your original post with all the exclamation points in the title asking outsiders on what you should do) and best to go inside yourself with an attitude of self-reflection and contemplation. -- What is my teacher really saying to me? Is this an opportunity to grow where I've stuck? Is this teacher coming from a place of compassion for me? Is this teacher unethical? Do I need to attend class with another teacher to gain some perspective on what I am feeling about this teacher? Is my pain and confusion the result of avoiding my individual lesson? Do I use pain and confusion to avoid growth? Am I done here or do I need to stay? You already have all the answers you need.

I wish you the best.




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