A Brief Report on Yoganusasanam 2015 with Geeta Iyengar

The Badminton Hall at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune, India came alive for seven consecutive days with over 1,400 people in attendance to receive Geeta’s extraordinary teachings.

Participants stood and enthusiastically applauded as Geeta entered and exited the hall each day. She was welcomed and treated like a celebrity.

Students were still and silent as they watched Geeta light candles and express gratitude to pictures of Krishnamacharya, her parents Ramamani and B.K.S. Iyengar, and a Patanjali statue, all adorned with fresh colorful flowers.

The resonating Oms and the Invocation to Patanjali connected everyone who represented all countries in the world. We were one voice while chanting all together. So uplifting, inspiring and beautiful.

The United States had a good showing at Yoganusasanam, with many senior teachers, general members, and six IYNAUS board members.

Morning sessions began with asana (sequentially taught – standing poses, seated forward bends, inversions, backbends, twists, and supine), followed by pranayama. Geeta’s teaching was clear, succinct, and eloquent. She said we need to honor where we are and how we feel on any given day, at any time, and practice asana/pranayama accordingly.

Geeta talked, among many other things, about the importance of creating space, having the courage to open up. She said that it is then that the quiet comes. Geeta encouraged everyone to be witness to if this is happening. She invited us to bring consciousness into each pose and not allow it to be forgotten.

In asana, she said, we fix our open eyes on the outside world (like when driving a car, looking out the window, and talking with others). In pranayama with the eyes closed, we move in. There is a difference in being still.

Afternoon sessions included a demonstration on props, a film clip of Guruji’s 75th Birthday class, a classical Indian music concert, Q & A sessions with Geeta, and senior teachers sharing their experiences teaching Iyengar Yoga.

Each day was full of learning and celebrating Iyengar Yoga. Those who attended are primed to share, so we can all continue to grow in our individual yoga practices and as an Iyengar yoga community.

Ann McDermott-Kave