What has the pandemic brought to light for you personally?
- Lena Ang-Silverman: The pandemic reaffirmed to me the importance of community functioning with a shared purpose and caring for one another. I realized amidst the darkest of times during the pandemic there is comfort in doing the right thing to protect everyone’s wellbeing.
- Carolyn Christie: “In the beginning, there was a “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” thrill come true. Everyday, I reminded myself to wake up and use the confinement as a light shining onto my yoga and meditation practice, not just on the mat but throughout the long days. As the pandemic continued the inner voice telling me to stay in retreat weakened. What kept my spiritual practice alive was the connection I had with my students and teachers. The Iyengar Yoga world didn’t stop. It continued to turn with classes generating a light for all of us.
- Dan Shuman: The pandemic showed me I am very content to stay home and practice and teach, and that commuting and other obligations that were perhaps superfluous were eating up a lot of my time. I’ve realized the importance of time at home, family time, and long periods of time for practice are very important.
- Lucienne Vidah: A good life is based upon basic things. If there is safety and health one can move mountains. A lot of my own limitations are self imposed.
What pose/poses are you currently exploring?
- Lena Ang-Silverman: Arm balances. I’m learning to bring lightness and balance to these earthbound asanas.
- Carolyn Christie: The two Lion Poses, Simhasana 1 and 2
- Dan Shuman: One area of practice that I’ve taken on more seriously is backbends, which I think had an aversion toward because they are difficult. Seeing incremental, steady progress, in an area that has always felt stuck for me, has given me some encouragement.
- Lucienne Vidah: I am into seeing different connections between poses, always keeping a wide range of asana. Interest in movement and balances.
What is your favorite quote from the Iyengars?
- Lena Ang-Silverman: “How can you know God if you don’t know your big toe.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
- Carolyn Christie: “Bring your mind to your breath first, then see how the breath changes the mind, after that see how the mind changes the breath.” – Geeta Iyengar said it in one of classes when I was in Pune.
- Dan Shuman: “Nowhere in the ancient texts is it said that yoga is only to be practised by the Hindus. On the contrary, Patanjali describes yoga as “sarvabhauma“. ‘Bhauma‘ means the world; ‘sarva’ means all. Yoga is a universal culture. Just as it works on the whole of the individual, so it is meant for the development of the whole of mankind on the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual levels. Two thousand five hundred years ago Patanjali did not divide East from West. Why should we do so today?” – B.K.S. Iyengar, Tree of Yoga
- Lucienne Vidah: I dislike quotes for the very reason that they take words out of their context.
What words of encouragement do you have for new students?
- Lena Ang-Silverman: Approach your practice with an open mind and a willing heart.
- Carolyn Christie: If you do it, the results will come.
- Dan Shuman: Take on a personal practice, even a small one. Many students hold themselves to too high a standard, and won’t practice because they can’t devote, for instance, an hour or more each day. Even 10 minutes over a bolster is a practice. Stick with it.
- Lucienne Vidah: Don’t limit yourself. study with different teachers for a while and then stick with one and learn a lot.
What is your favorite ice cream, work of art, place in the world, book, movie
- Lena Ang-Silverman: Work of art—Japanese Zen garden
- Carolyn Christie: My “favorite place in the world” is the place in which I wake up after a nice nap, night’s sleep, and savasana.
- Dan Shuman: I love Morganstern’s Ice Cream.
- Lucienne Vidah: The book ‘Restless Creature’ by Wendy Whelan.