Starting Iyengar at Flametree : Gary

My Friend Gary came out from Sth Korea to work in Darwin January- June 2017. Here is what he wrote about starting IYENGAR YOGA at Flametree Yoga Studio – Chris, Principal Teacher Flametree Yoga Studio.

During my time in Darwin, every Monday night I ate dinner with Chris, and we talked about many things of which yoga was one such thing. She is a practitioner and teacher and I listened and allowed the subject to take its natural course. I wasn’t ready to be upside down in a room with strangers.

But, let’s go back a step or two. In my long ago past, I was an elite athlete. And, I still consider myself athletic. A long time ago, I completed a degree in physical education and consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to the human body and its possibilities. But, I resisted yoga’s call. As I got older and less flexible, my resistance may have been more about fear of failure than the idea that yoga was a luxury I didn’t need. Whatever reason, I continued to think that I was beyond yoga although I agreed with Chris that there were great benefits to be had for some, but I was not part of that some.

Time past and many Monday night dinners and conversation past along with the time. And then, one Saturday morning, some time ago, I turned up at Chris’s yoga study. I’d succumbed to the dark side, and although I’m not going to say I’m hooked, I certainly feel that I need yoga far more than yoga needs me.

Chris had told me about the props that are used in Iyengar yoga, and I’d always thought they were a good idea. But, now, I cannot imagine yoga without them. I once thought they were a crutch for those not capable of completing a move. I was wrong. Without the props, my old and stiff body would distort and curl in an attempt to reach the unreachable. With the appropriate prop, I can maintain the correct yoga posture while moving along the continuum of completeness. The prop is not a crutch; it is a support, guide and tool that helps me stretch toward completeness.

I now sit at my computer with my back straight and my shoulders relaxed and I wonder what happens in other yoga studios. I wonder what the body does when it cannot reach the desired position. Does it distort or does it hang suspended somewhere between the beginning and end?

I confess; I am a yoga convert, not a flag flying card holding proselytizer of yoga but I am a believer in the benefits and I do believe that the block, the belt, the bolster, the shoulder mats, and the chair will assist my body to achieve the range of movement that it ought to be capable of.

Finally, Chris has talked about the emotional benefits of yoga. And, again, I have agreed with her that for some it could be a saviour of sorts. I have not felt that. But, at the completion of my most recent yoga class, I did feel the need to continue; I did feel a break in my resistance to be helped.

Yoga is slow and sometimes it drags to its inevitable end; I sometimes find myself looking for a clock to see how long I have to continue laying on the floor concentrating on my breath. I don’t want to concentrate on my breath; I want to go to my favourite café and waste time drinking coffee and searching for nothing on the internet. And, there lies the absurdity of my life. I’m more comfortable racing to do nothing than I am concentrating on my breath and my being.

I wonder how much those props cost?

Other Student Testimonials

Speak up … don’t give up

I have a mental illness known as major depression and have long been aware that exercise is touted as an effective antidote, but I was never able to stick at anything, until I found yoga. I do not know why yoga appeals so much. Perhaps it is because I can be in my own space in a room full of people and I have so many things on which to concentrate that I have no time for depressing thoughts.

How yoga taught me patience

I had always been the type of person going from one activity to the next. I thought that a good run, or game of sport meant that I had worked out. And really, what did it matter if I couldn’t touch my toes? Or, even after trying to stretch, my hamstrings were still really tight? But seriously, no matter how damn hard I tried I couldn’t bend forward without feeling my concrete hamstrings and that was that.