He began with Pranayama, which is not what the schedule has down, and he said that instead of seeing how Asana informs our Pranayama, let’s see how Pranayama affects our Asana practice.Throughout his five days of teaching, he discussed the importance of exhalation and the abdomen (as I had mentioned). The space created through exhalation is meant to be discovered and explored. As beginners, when we are propped up for Pranayama, for beginners, it’s about the opening of the chest and the lungs, but ultimately, it’s about the abdomen.
The exhalation is an ‘internal wash’; a cleaning process. It’s versatile and has enormous potential.
Another philosophical point he discussed is how we learn Yoga. He and Geeta have said many times thus far, that Guruji did not teach them Yoga. They practiced, they observed, they were corrected, they practiced, they listened.
Prashant brought up The Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15 verse 15 which discusses The Supreme Self: The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s own heart. We all have a guru inside us. While both Prashant and Geeta say their Father was their Guru, there is an internal guru within us that we must know.
So, how does one learn yoga? He emphasized over and over that we should learn not just by being taught.
For example, we often say, what asana we did. But we should not think about what we did, but how did we do the asana; what did we do IN the asana.
He moved on to discuss a ‘noble concept’ of Dharmandriya. We all have tendencies, associations through our identities through our surroundings, “If you ‘love’ yoga,” then you face attachments. What is essential? Through Asana and Pranayama we can achieve a non-dual state, and identify what is essential. We can move beyond our identities as man, woman, sister, brother, spouse, etc. Something you have heard me say many times.
When we sleep we are not identifying as man, woman, sister, brother, spouse, etc. Can we exist in yoga in that same state as if we were asleep without being asleep!
After the classes and lunch, Geeta came and ‘talked’ with us. Abhijata asked her questions and so did others, and she was light hearted, heartfelt and loving.
It was her 74th birthday!
Here are a few photos of the day.
The group shot is from a student from another country that I am sharing. Also, I was invited to be part of the California teacher photo. I was pleased to be included. Gotta go!