Furniture Yoga (by Karina van Lieshout)

Die hele kast met yogahulpmiddelen die in de studio tot je beschikking staat, die mis je nu zeker wel? Tijd om thuis creatief te worden, en rond te kijken welke dingen uit je huisraad kunnen dienen als props tijdens je Online Yogales. En als je toch steeds misgrijpt, zijn er bedrijven genoeg die ze kant en klaar bij je afleveren.

Iyengar Yoga wordt weleens schertsend Furniture Yoga genoemd. Wat is eigenlijk de functie van de props? Hoe gebruik je het hulpmiddel, wat kun je ervan leren, en hoe kan je het geleerde toepassen? Dat hangt af van de ervaring, de rijpheid en het vermogen van de beoefenaar.

Als je een blessure, een aandoening of een beperking hebt, geven hulpmiddelen fysieke en mentale steun. Ze zijn behulpzaam bij het aanpakken van problemen met bijvoorbeeld gewrichten of organen. Ze kunnen verlichting geven en bijdragen aan genezing. Een riem, bolster, blok, of ja, een krat (zie foto’s!) is dan een redmiddel, waardoor je een houding kunt doen die je anders onmogelijk zou kunnen uitvoeren, zeker niet op de klassieke manier. Als er verbetering optreedt, kun je kijken of je de houding zonder hulpmiddel uit kunt voeren.

Dezelfde prop die voor een beginner of iemand met een probleem een redmiddel is, kan voor een gevorderde beoefenaar een middel zijn om dieper in de houding, en daarmee in zichzelf, door te dringen. Props geven het lichaam de juiste tonus, nemen fysieke en mentale vermoeidheid weg, en geven er lichtheid en energie voor in de plaats. Ze leren je de houding elegant, evenwichtig en begripvol uit te voeren. Ze kunnen ook dienen om angst voor sommige āsana’s onder ogen te zien, te verminderen, en uiteindelijk te overwinnen. Denk aan balanshoudingen, achteroverbuigingen of omgekeerde houdingen. Daarom doe je Sālamba Śīrṣāsana, kopstand, eerst bij de muur om meer stabiliteit, alignment en balans te krijgen. Zo word je minder bang om te vallen, en dan kun je het bij de muur vandaan gaan doen, vrijstaand in de ruimte.

Props dragen bij aan het uithoudingsvermogen in een āsana. Als je langer in een houding blijft, ontwikkel je fysieke en mentale stabiliteit, evenwicht en concentratie. De geest keert naar binnen, nodeloos gedenk kalmeert en je ervaart meer objectiviteit en bescheidenheid. Patañjali noemt dit cittaprasādanam, ofwel “gelijkmatige verdeling van bewustzijn.” Dit helpt ons op weg naar binnen, richting het Zelf. Wat we door middel van de props leren, kunnen we niet alleen gebruiken om te verfijnen en te verbeteren wat we op de mat doen, maar ook daarbuiten, in het leven van alledag.

We gebruiken props dus naar gelang de omstandigheden, situatie en ervaring van de beoefenaar. In het ene geval heel basaal, in het andere heel verfijnd. Door de innovatieve en diepgaande manier waarop Mr. Iyengar de props heeft ontwikkeld kunnen mensen van welke leeftijd en gezondheidstoestand dan ook āsana’s beoefenen en er de vruchten van plukken.

Gebruikt als bron voor de tekst: Certified Advanced Iyengar instructor Dean Lerner, Yoga Journal, 2007/update 2017
Met dank aan Marga Rotink, Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, voor het idee en de foto’s.
Geschreven door Karina van Lieshout. www.iyengaryogautrecht.nl

Kratjes in handen in Tadasana 20200403_173815 Kratje in Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana 20200403_173835

 

Pratipaksha Bhavana, or cultivating opposite thought

These are insecure times, no doubt. We’ve started this newsletter a few times already – first to tell you that we have an online schedule until 6 April, then to tell you that we’re staying online until 1 June, and now… we don’t know. But one thing that we’re sure of, is that yoga helps. It can help you counteract the stiffness of being confined in your home, the sore shoulders from stress, and to take some distance and find solace, and feel that despite all the outer turbulence you can still find a still point inside yourself. We have heard from a lot of people that have taken our online classes that they feel better with a regular yoga practice. So, if you haven’t yet: take a look on our website to see how it works, roll out your mat, and join us in our living room!

The class schedule is now online until 6 April. We tried to offer regularity in the classes. Early morning classes help you to get going and stick to your rhythm. Your ‘regular’ 9 o’clock class is still there of course. A lunch hour class for a break from work. And we offer a late evening restorative on tuesday, wednesday, thursday and sunday so you can roll into bed ready for sleep. And last but not least: 45 minutes of ‘family yoga’ on Saturday afternoon. For everybody who needs a little yoga break. Few props but lots of movement!

And finally: in times like these we see both the bad and the good come up in human behaviour. Not just in others (that’s so easy) but if you pay attention, also in yourself. In times of doubt and despair, try to emphasize positive thoughts instead. In yoga philosophy this is called Pratipaksha Bhavana, or the cultivation of positive thoughts when negative thoughts arise. Here you see some examples of people in our neighborhood who are practicing this principle.

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Virtuele Vrijdagochtendkoffie

In these times of social distancing, it’s hard to keep up the casual contact with those people that are not your immediate relatives or close friends – but those that you see regularly in a more informal setting. Like your yoga class mates. This is why we have decided to set up a time online to meet up and chat. It’s a tradition that has been going for years, even before we started iYoga, that the Friday morning crew goes out for coffee after class. Now, class is at your home, and you have to bring your own coffee, but you can meet up here (click to start zoom meeting- note, it only works Friday mornings from 10.30-11.30)!

No props? No problem! Welcome to our Prop-o-theque

Our Live Online yoga classes have started! We’re still very much in the experimental phase but to begin with it’s fantastic to get together online and do yoga, and we are getting positive comments. Some people even find it nicer than the regular classes! Another nice thing about this whole situation is that people from further away can also join, so we have had iYogi’s from outside Utrecht and even outside of the country! And this Friday morning we even had our ‘regular’ friday morning coffee club in a virtual room. It feels great to stay connected. Which you may also notice from the newsletters, we haven’t ever sent as many as this past week!

Of course we hope that you’ve already tried an online class or are planning to do so soon! We’re constantly in the process of adjusting and improving the schedule so keep an eye on the website and sign up for the classes!

But… what if you don’t have a yoga studio at your home?

You don’t need to have all the ‘standard’ props to do Iyengar yoga. Your kitchen chair doubles as a yoga chair, and your bathrobe waistband becomes a yoga belt. But it could be that your home-setup is not quite perfected yet. Maybe you suddenly find yourself missing our grey blankets, or an extra block, bolster or chair!

Well, we happen to have quite a big stock of props here at the yoga school that are not being used at the moment. So you can borrow the props – all you have to do in return is to bring them back clean and in one piece when we are allowed to open the yoga school again. Blankets, blue mats, bolster covers and belts all can be washed in the washing machine. So if you live locally, email us what you need and we will make a pickup appointment with you. We can do this completely contactless: we put your stuff outside, you ring the bell at the gate, we open the gate remotely and you pick up your stuff.

Would you rather have new props or are you planning to continue in your home practice space in the future? We also have mats, bolsters, belts, blocks for sale in our store, and you can even buy a second-hand chair. Email us what you want, the pickup ritual is the same and we send you a payment request with a Tikkie.

We’re coming to your living room! Start cleaning up :)

We’re missing you already! So: starting tomorrow, wednesday 18 March, we’re offering live online yoga classes. Live, because we want to see you on video so that we can verbally cheer you on, help, and correct you. Start preparing your living room, bedroom, office or attic.

Read more here.

 

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#flattenthecurve – We’re closed until April 6

iYogaUtrecht is gesloten tot 6 April. We hebben alle workshops en andere evenementen al afgelast of uitgesteld, en nu ook de reguliere lessen. We vinden het natuurlijk ontzettend jammer om te doen. Dit is ons levensonderhoud en we houden ontzettend van ons werk – en het betreft niet alleen ons: ook de andere leraren zijn mede afhankelijk van het inkomen uit het lesgeven. Maar er is geen andere weg op dit moment. Als samenleving moeten we allemaal ons deel doen en elkaar ondersteunen, en zorgen dat de druk op de gezondheidszorg niet nog meer toeneemt.

Ondertussen denken we hard na over manieren om jullie te helpen om te blijven yoga-en! Dit is een mooie gelegenheid om ‘echte yoga’ te leren en zelf, thuis, te oefenen.

Als ondersteuning hierbij willen we online lessen aan gaan bieden zodra we hebben uitgevonden hoe dat werkt. Dus… wordt vervolgd!


iYogaUtrecht is closed until April 6th. We have already canceled or postponed all events, and now we’re also stopping the regular classes. Of course we are very sad about this. This is our livelihood and love, and not only for us: the other teachers also depend on the income they gain from the classes. However at this point there is no way around it. As a society we have to all take our part and support each other, and do what we can to prevent putting more pressure on the health care system.

Meanwhile we are thinking about ways to keep you practicing! This is a great opportunity to learn ‘real yoga’ and practice by yourself, at home.

To assist you with that we plan to offer online classes once we’ve figured out how to do that. So… to be continued!

Modifications for the Immunity Sequence by Nadia

Do you want to practice the ‘immunity sequence’ from our previous post but you’re unsure how to modify the poses? ‘Our’ lovely Nadia (in our shirt!) – now in the US – has put a lot of effort into putting together a series of explainer videos, taking you through all the poses. So if you’re stuck at home, wanting to practice, but needing a little guidance, see this post!

 

Use support when you need it. (Covid-19 news)

You must have been waiting for yet another ‘corona-virus’ update… but of course given the current situation and the recent government measures we also need to be responsible and help avoid spreading the virus further. So here is what we all can do:

  • please don’t come to class even if you have mild symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, mild cough or low-grade fever). The teachers will do the same!
  • wash your hands well before and after class. We will provide disposable hand towels.
  • bring your own towel to dry your feet.
  • clean your mat before and after class, or bring your own mat! You can even buy a mat at iYoga. If you wish you can also bring a towel to cover bolsters/blankets.
  • we will take extra care to clean any door handles and surfaces multiple times a day.
  • please keep a reasonable distance from others when you place your mat.
  • to help this, we will temporarily lower the class capacity. So please sign up before coming to class! This also ensures that, should we be forced to cancel a class, we can let you know.
  • also we are postponing all planned events (the workshop with Garth McLean, the Advanced Patañjali Course with Gitte Bechsgaard, anda the In-Depth Course and Yoga Lab sessions) to a later date.
  • since you are requested by the government to alter your working times or work from home, come out of your ‘bubble’ and visit some of our quieter classes! We have a few classes a week that are very full, but also many that are quiet.
  • and last but not least… keep up your practice! Especially when you’re quarantined at home, it’s an excellent opportunity to practice a lot. Below you find a practice sequence that is advised to practice to support the immune system. Also Eyal Shifroni has been requested by the Chinese Iyengar Yoga Association to make a sequence that you can see in this video. Or maybe this video is a bit more accessible for your home practice.

PS and of course, if you feel insecure, you can always build yourself a fort out of yoga blocks!

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