I often pay attention to the fundamentals of matters that interest me. This quoted article “3 Lessons from B.K.S. Iyengar” by Eddie Modestini on August 17, 2015 in Yogajournal.com helps me learn some fundamentals in Yoga. The online article is on http://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/types-of-yoga/vinyasa-yoga/3-lessons-learned-b-k-s-iyengar/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=story1_more&utm_campaign=myyj_08252015
(Note: Eddie Modestini is a longtime student of B.K.S. Iyengar )
1. Chase your pain.
When I stopped Mr. Iyengar and told him “I’m really hurting in this pose,” the first thing he would say is, “Let me see it.” Then he would assess if the pain was in a safe place or a dangerous place, and what I could discover about myself from this sensation. He would then often start laughing and say, “You’re just avoiding yourself! Go with it. You’re fine.” If the pain was in a dangerous place, he had the intelligence and vision to adjust it so the sensation was in the correct place and say, “Now work there.”
2. You have to play before you stay.
Vinyasa yoga is so important for the heat and the movement in the first stages of our yoga practice. It’s extremely beneficial for cultivating strength and flexibility and training the mind. Once we have a flexible body with a mind that’s capable of deep observation because it’s been trained over many years of practice, the longer we stay, the more we can see. This is a very profound teaching that only comes through time.
3. Watch the skin.
It’s important for us to observe the skin in our practice, because the skin can reveal what is happening under the surface. The first thing we look for is how the skin is stretching over the joints. We look at how the pores are being pulled (a deeper way to see which way the skin is stretching), and where the wrinkles are (another way to see how the skin is stretching). The way the skin stretches is different for everyone, but it should always be pulled in the direction of balancing all the joints so the pressure is in the middle. If the joint is to the left and the skin is being pulled to the left, that’s not balanced.
Skin color is also important. If skin turns white, that means there’s no blood there. Redness can be a red flag also, because it indicates a concentration of blood. Fleshy pink is ideal as it indicates balance.