When I went to Pune, India, I had seven years of arduous practice under my belt. It was 1987 and I was on my way to study yoga with the master himself B.K.S. Iyengar. I thought I was ready, but I was secretly worried about two basic postures: Reclined Hero’s Pose and Shoulderstand. Maybe I could hide in the corner or go to the bathroom when these poses were addressed. Fat chance! Geeta, Iyengar’s daughter, had me demonstrating Reclined Hero’s Pose on the first day. And B.K.S. Iyengar looked at me with massive disapproval during Shoulderstand. To my delight he manually adjusted my pose making it light and aligned.
Returning home, I realized he and his daughter had inspired me and shown me what was possible. But now it was up to me to recreate and rediscover the magic that had been revealed. Many years of home practice was the answer, going into my own body and asking it to be my teacher. Listening is the practice of yoga. Nothing replaces the home practice. It is a time when you can find your own rhythm, your own breath, your own revelations. It is where the genuine knowledge arises.
I was told early on that in science, when one invents something, everyone benefits and can utilize that invention; however, in spiritual practice you must discover the wheel on your own. Get on your mat. Colleen and I can inspire you, but you have to sweat your own prayers.
Cofounder of the Gaiam Yoga Club