Between Body and Mind, Part 3
So, what makes Iyengar Yoga so unique? And how does it relate to fashion design and the business world?
B. K. S Iyengar, the mater of the yoga technique titled by his name, is now 92 years old. Yoga, as a rule, is one of the six systems of the Indian philosophy. The word itself derives from the same root in Sanskrit of the word "union". And perhaps here lies its strength. The system Iyenagr developed enables each and every person to take part in the yoga wisdom by constant practice, whilst combining eight aspects of Ashtanga yoga. Iyengar's unique teaching style is what made his technique so popular.
Iyengar's exceptional method enables each and every person to practice it; whilst it mainly emphasizes complete accuracy in every asana. A devoted practitioner must become aware to the continuity principle in performing the asanas. The Iyengar method also combines its own unique accessories; for example, straps and ropes tied on walls in a specific manner.
Yoga does not only help in acquiring inner peace, but also health. I believe, as do many of Iyengar's pupils, that practicing yoga routinely protects the body, thus enabling to achieve mental balance. In the Western world, we can help the body to overcome many crises by maintaining a balanced routine of practicing Iyengar yoga.
I felt the connection yoga establishes between body and mind intensely when I was pregnant with my daughter, Alma. At that time, I finished the first two years of the yoga instructors course. When I got pregnant, I decided to take a break.
It was very difficult for me to make that decision; as I was trying to realize how yoga fits in this tremendous change I experienced. When studying how to be a yoga instructor, one also ventures on personal training. This inner discipline is something you take wherever you go. This commitment is also one of our greatest challenges.
As a person, I find it hard to deal with fixed sets of rules; we don't mix. However, my departure from Iyengar yoga's strict rules enabled me to establish a new-found relation to it – especially since my pregnancy allowed me to listen to my body in a new way.
My commitment to practicing yoga during my pregnancy permitted me to be attentive to my body and experience it to the fullest. Yoga gave me self confidence, when it comes to my body and my identity as a woman. In fact, yoga became a part of my body. Following the meaningful connection I found to yoga, I decided to take a 10 days Vipassana workshop in mount Tavor and found myself meditating everyday under a giant tree.
When looking at pictures that were taken of me during the pregnancy, I remember just how much I was at my prime, both mentally and physically. Eventually, I practiced everyday for at least two hours. To be honest, my water broke during a 10 minutes headstand. The birth was natural, very long but experiential. I know that my body was up to the challenge because of yoga.
Nowadays, whenever I say "yoga" to Alma and go to the mattress, she comes over to give me a kiss. She knows something important is discussed and she listens carefully. By the way, she already began practicing with straps. We not only practice together, she also teaches me the best techniques to do headstands.