Sharing the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, Juan Carlos Russo brought his enthusiasm and passion for Iyengar Yoga to his students with a focus on study of the self. The practice started with a strong focus on our breath with a sense of awareness and inquiry of the body and mind. As a student, I felt grounded and present with my breath and body. I was then able to carry that sense of connection into the physical practice. We started with the classical asana, Tadasana- bringing inquiry into the body. Are our knee caps lifting? What happens when the quadriceps aren’t engage? When you bend your knees look at them, what’s happening? The questions led me to have great focus on what I was doing, and allowed me to feel the asana in my body versus just performing the asana. Also, with the asanas held for a longer period of time, it challenged me to stay open and connected with the intention of developing the mind, body and spirit.
Since the class was not about flowing from one asana to the next, Juan Carlos spent the time to share with us demonstrations on downward facing dog and uttanasana. Together we studied the physical body and were able to take a better look at how simple movements can bring the practitioner into proper alignment in order to feel the essence of the asana, and without the traditional commonly used props in Iyengar Yoga, we used the most precious prop available, our bodies.
The teachings shared made me feel more connected to my body, my breath, and most importantly the present moment. It was a great opportunity to take-in instructions from a teacher, but also have the space to be my own teacher. The consistent inquiry gave me a sense of curiosity and appreciation for what my body is capable of doing. I am grateful to Juan Carlos for sharing the precious teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. You may attend another one of his classes at the Barcelona Yoga Conference on Saturday, July 22nd at 1 pm.
Light on Yoga (Book recommendation by Juan Carlos Russo)