Inspiring and Empowering Iyengar Yoga Demonstration by the students of RIMYI - the Institute in Pune, India in honor of Mr. Iyengar's 101st Birthday!
while our own suffering is palpable, that of our kin, the animals should too be felt as intensely. In that way, we can turn suffering into peaceful flourishing for All Living Beings.
today, it happened,
as when you let the unknown lead
you to plow and cultivate
was like the insides of the shell of a snail
a protected cavern of quietness
that gave pathway to
it became more clear
through each turn,
and after every corner,
space slowing further
in to a place made of calm.
at the very deep of the caverns.
the corners, softer now,
oddly symmetrical, too -
at this quiet depth.
a measured breath inhabits these hallways
that paint the way on their walls,
towards that which
reveals it’s magnificence
A day full of seeing = yoga and Matisse - cut-outs and cut-ins - sun light and shadows and forms and a place where “the Heart is not a metaphor” said Robert Gober.
He calls them acrobats and their form is like yoga. There’s a set of drawings that are all as a beautiful urdhva danurasana. smooth upside down bows from pencilled expressions through to a determined thick black curve set. hmmm.
the famous seated cut-out blue lady figure looks like she’s in to or on way out of some version of ardha matysendrasana / gomukhasana - a soft exhalative version -there’s a letting go in her knotted fullness, relaxing into an entwined state of full receptivity - a captive audience to her-self.
sanmukhi mudra asana practice. or at least partial. I say partial as when i do with the head wrap (as opposed to the fingers), it feels part way because though it’s my eyes and ears that i get to wrap up (along with my temples and front and back brain) it does leave the jaw, tongue, throat all still on their own to learn and follow suit. [ In fact, in Light on Pranayama when Guruji provides the head wrap as a support for jalandhara bandha, I use that too - in seated pranayama to get my throat and jaw and tongue to receive that support and become quiet. ]
but as for asana practice with sanmukhi mudra. the covering of the senses eases letting go of what i see externally, and gives me a chance to let grow my inside eyes. they may not see as well as my outside eyes do, but i learn to see better with practice. there’s a whole lot inside that i can barely see, but there’s a growing light. the light coming from the support that my muscular-skeletal self has learnt to give - so that when I rest my senses, the rest of me can take good care and provide a stable state where I can be in those moments. So with support from my body, and from other props, then I can let the senses go deeper and quieter and to observe the landscape. and see better.
my breath is the light. it might not be the same as the sunlight that gives way to the outline of my form, the shadows, the shape - as clearly, but my breath works like a candle light, that I hold, and have learnt to light up this part and that - and to see here and to see there. The adjusting is where I shine the light onto inside. The sun lights up everything, and I have to learn to see all of that! My breath, i can direct gradually to part by part and see bit by bit and experience, here and there and understand with a rhythm and pace that i can digest. The sun is my Teacher and my breath is that part of me inside that is the pupil, that is the teacher of my self, tutoring me daily at a pace I manage with minimal clumsiness and maximum devotion. It’s like the sun’s brightness gets so strong that eventually, i have to take cover and have nowhere to turn to but inside the caverns of my own self, and hah! I ended up where the Sun was coaxing me to go to all along…
What I see illuminated, I let be - in this quiet practice. So when this practice is over, at some later time, i proceed differently, with these observations, with all of my eyes involved helping to bring further awareness, and sunlight so that my inner being can be more clear. a few more candles lit inside.
It’s like the cut-outs I saw earlier today of Henri Matisse, when i see inside myself - some parts show up fully, while other parts are in parts only. my attention, the scissors, and my breath, my eyes. That’s that day’s viewing. That day’s feeling. That day’s cut-out. Like when scissors cut paper i see what shows up when I do sanmukhi mudra poses. I see the inside pattern - cut- outs on display. and my breath lights it all up.