Yesterday, Liz and I went up to the Iyengar Institute in LA for a workshop with the famous teacher, Manouso Manos. He is our teacher Bob's teacher, and I can certainly hear the roots of Bob's own style of teaching in Manouso's calm, matter-of-fact voice, tinged with humor. He is blunt and capable, detailed in his instruction. This is the style of instruction I most prize, probably not just in yoga either. It is the kind I aspire to in my own teaching of writing.
I was somewhat afraid to go to Manuouso's classes. He is the kind of teacher famous for his brusque instruction of students who are trying (and failing in various ways) to do Iyengar yoga. I guess, at one time and asana or another, that is all of us. But rather than a killer class, the afternoon class we attended yesterday, probably the 4th session in a workshop series that started Friday morning, was a restorative class composed of relaxing, meditative asanas.
Despite the fact that I had not been able to attend yoga class on Friday because of the workshop at school I wrote about earlier, it was good for me because I have been so anxious lately about my parents and the responsibility I have and also about my ability to do everything I need to both for my job and for my parents at the same time, now that I have come to a point where it is only going to get harder with my parents and I have to be ready to spring into crisis mode all the time.
So I enjoyed the 5 minute relaxation poses, with their interesting instruction. For one thing, he told us to examine each thought as it arose, as if it were the bubbles in a perculator, trying to look at it from the outside, in fact to catch the spaces between thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves.
I wish I could go more often to his workshops. He comes on a regular basis, but at that price, I cannot afford to go more than once or twice a year.
By the way, last night was another movie in the series, The Treasures of Sierra Madre (the one with the line about "stinkin' badges"). Only one person came, the same student who came to Frankenstein, and she thanked me profusely for my email commentary about her draft, saying how much it helped her and how she appreciated it.
It was so good to get some strokes rather than slaps for my teaching.