Intense Yoga Intensive – Week-Long Yoga Workshop with Manouso Manos
At the beginning of July I attended a yoga intensive in San Francisco with senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Manouso Manos. The week was enlivening enlightening and uplifiting!
The Iyengar yoga community is far-reaching and incredible, and this week offered many chances to connect. I got to spend time with old friends and made some new friends. As I reflect back on the warmth and hospitality extended my way, I am inspired to create the same sort of community in Portland. Thank you San Francisco Iyengar yogis! I want to especially Janet MacLeod, Heather Haxo-Phillips, Cynthia Bates, John Hayden and Elizabeth Whalley.
The yoga intensive lived up to its name in its depth and scope. Every day we listened to a 45 minute lecture on yoga topics, had a 3 hour asana class and a 90 minute pranayama class. I also attended an extra three hour workshop on yoga for scoliosis given by Rita Manos. Lunch time was for rest and taking notes while visiting friends.
Each asana class had a focus on a particular part of the body. Once day it was about letting the hamstrings flow from the buttock bones to the back of the knees. Another day we worked with the middle back. One class the focus was on blood pressure and ways to practice poses “for” blood pressure. My observation was that we stayed with fairly basic poses such as Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose) and repeated them in many different ways to bring about understanding and progress.
The pranayama sessions started with the first day devoted to a long reclining practice and exploration of Ujjayi pranayama. Each day we progressed a little further until we were practicing seated pranayama with retention. Manouso used the methods that Geeta Iyengar used in teaching the Indian teachers last December. I found his explanations and his dedication to repeating the same instructions in slightly different ways extremely helpful.
I continue to practice what I learned at the yoga intensive and am grateful for the opportunity I had in taking a week of time to immerse myself in yoga.