Practicing yoga at home was the focus in February’s workshop led by IYNC teachers Pat McLoughlin and Maria Reyes.
Mr. Iyengar tells us, “Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice.”
The workshop helped guide practitioners to cultivate right habits, thoughts, words and actions that will lead them into doing a home yoga practice that is sustained and fruitful.
Studying the Self
Participants were reminded that as Iyengar yoga practitioners we follow Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga (Astanga Yoga), namely, yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Participants shared everyday examples of how yama and niyama guide and deepen asana, the third limb, and our home yoga practice.
One of the 10 wall charts, each representing a yama or niyama, described the niyama Svadhyaya. Participants worked in pairs and discussed the meaning of Svadhyaya: the study of sacred texts, the study of the self from the skin of the body to the core of the being. They added, “Finding literature that is easier to digest, for example, The Tree of Yoga and Light on Life, helps on the mat and off.” And, ”Practice is the one time of day that I observe and reflect.”
What Was Heard After the Workshop
Workshop participant Shawn Feisst said, “I learned many things about starting the practice – how to arrange the poses for a well-rounded session; how to visualize the intention through yamas and niyamas. Maria and Pat were great teachers together. They complemented each other well and knew their material.”
Kathy Ranges said, “The hints at how to establish a home practice, the handouts, and the sequence they presented were excellent. I have an established home practice and learned a lot from the workshop.”
“I believe that home practice is a process,” Pat explained. “Get your feet on your mat and see where your practice leads you. If one day you do not make it to the mat, start over the next day. Your home practice is a way to cultivate the many benefits of yoga.”
Remember, each time you step onto the mat at home or in class, your personal transformation begins anew.
New Level 1 Pose Sequence Sheet Now Available
New students might benefit from a Level 1 Sequence handout produced by Iyengar Yoga North County. Carolyn Belko developed the sequence for beginners to help them practice at home. A side benefit is learning the Sanskrit names! Download the pdf here.