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Guruji Teaches

Guruji  is how everyone here speaks of and addresses Mr. Iyengar.   As most of us know "guru" means teacher. The suffix "ji" gives that title a fond, familiar connotation. Abhijata began the Woman's Class with "Guruji teaches this class." He teaches from his corner while he is in long held supported asanas, often upside down!  He tells Abhijata instructions for the asanas and what is truly remarkable the observations he is making of the class.

At the beginning, Abhijata explained that Guruji had observed in Open Practice that we weren't practicing what he had taught in the previous class.  "You must practice what you are taught."

After instructing us through Abhijata on Sirsasana, he reprimanded us.  "Why are you thinking about what points you are going to take back to teach your students?  That is not honest studentship!  You must completely practice the asana."  Actually right then I had been thinking about how I could teach Sirsasana from his instructions.  I talked to some other teachers and so were they. How does he know that?

As the class went on, I found myself becoming more and more present as he challenged us to work more deeply in an integrated way.  For example, in Parivrtta Trikonasana, he instructed us to initiate the rotation of the trunk from the back thigh turning inside out and not just taking the hand down. "Yoga is not a practice of compromise. "

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