Have you ever found that everything is going along swimmingly? I mean everything in all the areas of your life: home, work, love, creativity, spirituality. Then one little thing…it could be a comment, an action, even a thought…some little discordant blip in your otherwise harmonious dynamics throws things out of whack. Now, I am not sure what you do in these situations. But as someone who likes to set long-term goals and make short-term adjustments, I often lack the wait-and-see, bite-your-tongue, keep-it-light-and-jolly skill set.
In life, particularly in relationships, I search for understanding–usually verbally based. But this is where it gets tricky. Using words can backfire, especially when others are involved. While language elevates our human condition, it can also be so limiting. Our reality and the reality of those we relate to is constantly changing, but the language we use to describe it is static. The minute we think we know something, we make an evaluation, and we stop being open to nuance or the possibility of adapting to inevitable change. “I know, right?”
Asanas or poses, like reality, like life, are in constant flux. How does one “hold” a pose dynamically without it becoming rigid? Nothing is set in stone — so why do we try and take snapshots to preserve or repeat the same experience in the same exact way? Why try to hold on to moments that are ever-evolving or devolving? In our yoga practice, instructions take us to a state rather than a form — where gross and subtle adjustments occur on the conscious and subconscious levels to maintain direction, efficacy, and comfort. So stability is there, but not stagnation.
Unlike dynamics that take a wrong turn off the mat, the return to neutrality, integration, harmony, and health can happen effortlessly in yoga. The move from dis-ease to ease can be immediate or take a long time to manifest; it can be commonplace or miraculous — if you have yet to experience this, stick around. You will.
In Iyengar Yoga, we often give sequences of poses for various ailments. And yet, it is not the sequence or pose that ultimately heals the practitioner, but rather the way yoga unites the multiple components of our human make-up: The body, by itself, cannot heal itself. Likewise, the mind by itself cannot heal itself. Emotions alone do not bring clarity. And beliefs can hold us hostage. But, through yoga practice, we and ours (our body, mind, breath, intellect, beliefs, values, morals, sensitivities, sensory perceptions, etc.) begin to adapt. We observe and learn our inner space, the contours, textures, and colors of our wondrous human existence. We sense when we need to make a physical or mental adjustment. When it’s best to have a single-pointed effort or an all-pointed awareness. Do we need to be lighter and more playful with ourselves? Do we need to push a little more? Or do we simply have to let the breath take over? Let go, and let it be? All of these adaptations and responses start to happen naturally in yoga. And eventually, with any luck, they begin to seep into our everyday lives and relationships.
Join senior-level Iyengar Yoga instructor Lara Warren as she guides you in understanding the how, the when, and the what to practice. Learn how to work within asanas, not to “perfect,” but to become literate and adept at reading what is needed in any given moment, July 6 – 13, 2024, “The Alchemy Of Practice: An Iyengar Yoga Intensive.”
ABOUT LARA WARREN:
Lara first explored B.K.S. Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga” when she was twelve. Enthralled with the pictures of “Guruji” performing a myriad of postures, a year later, she went to her first Iyengar Yoga class in London.
Lara received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, in 1992. In University, she practiced with a Shingon Buddhist group that combined Chinese Yoga with seated meditation and martial arts. Lara knew she had found her calling from the first class she had ever taught. Lara moved to New York City soon after she graduated from University.
In New York, she studied Iyengar Yoga with Robin Janis and Mary Dunn, began building the HipJoint Yoga Studio, where she was director from 1994-2014, and worked as a project manager and environmental organizer with the Council on the Environment of New York City. In 2001, she decided to go full-time into teaching yoga. Lara felt that as an environmentalist, she was running from crisis to crisis, busy trying to transform her surroundings or influence policy with much effort but without much success–while as a yoga practitioner and teacher, the effects she experiences and witnesses are much more immediate and tangible. She believes that as dedicated yoga practitioners, we are empowered on a very visceral level to make positive and lasting changes in all aspects of our lives.
In addition to daily yoga practice and raising her beautiful child, Lara is happiest when playing guitar, traveling the world, or simply staying closer to home and enjoying all NYC has to offer.
Lara looks for joy and ease; challenge and transformation; evolution and peace in her life and practice, and some of the elements with which she hopes to imbue her students.
Learn more about Lara: yogawithlara.com