To be doing this, I have to repeat a statement that Gurumayi ( Swami Chidvilasananda ) made to those of us who were involved in offering our energy and skills in the seva of teaching hatha yoga to others in Siddha Yoga Meditation centers, ashrams and programs :
” Teaching hatha yoga is an honor , a privilege and a blessing. “
I began to do this, actually in 1980 ~ after having completed an 8 week course with James Rippy, ‘Rip’, a martial arts, scientist – master of sorts who lived with his wife, son and daughter in the Newtowne Courts housing development off of Main Street in Cambridge near Central Square. Persons individually began to find me and ask me to tutor them~ which I did in between being a graphic artist and production consultant. I welcomed this . Not only was I proficient at it; I also realized that I was able to communicate and easily share it with others.
It was in 1984 that I was first asked to teach a hatha yoga class on a Sunday morning after the ‘Guru Gita ‘ chant @ the Boston ashram located in Chestnut Hill, South Brookline, Massachusetts. The usual teacher had gone away for the weekend and was unable to be there. I had been studying Iyengar style hatha yoga with Patricia Walden in Cambridge for about a year.
This style is very rigorous , exacting in it’s attention to detail and demands a persons total attention while performing the asanas. The feedback I got from several of the people who attended ~ all of them meditators ~ was that ‘it was too intense ‘ and that ‘I killed them’ .
I have realized over years of self -practice and study with teachers of other styles of hatha yoga ~ that the Iyengar method , though it is a bountiful source of information and can be a comprehensive foundation for one’s practice ~ is simply not suitable for everyone who wants to experience the challenges and benefits of having a yoga practice.
At that time however, I was so much ‘on fire ‘ with the shakti of my sadhana of Siddha Yoga meditation ~ that the Iyengar method was perfect for me.
It helped me develop a deeper awareness of my entire body; it helped me become more aware of the workings of my mind ( often, while I endured Patricia’s practice of having us hold asanas like ‘janu sirsansana’ ( head -to- knee pose~ a forward bend ) and sirsansana’ ( headstand ) for 5 to several to 10 or 12 minutes, sometimes with variations and, at other times ~ just by holding the pose with no ‘entertaining ‘ variations.
To be continued ~ love om peace
copyright Ray Iasiello ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2015