Aligning on the Path of Yoga - A Path Inspired by the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar.
I began practicing yoga in the fall of 1991. In 1994, I entered my first Iyengar Yoga Studio pregnant and ready to learn about my breath and growing body. This was at the Center for Wellbeing in central Pennsylvania, and I was young, curious and inspired by the interesting space full of ropes, blocks, bolsters and more, guided by two Iyengar certified teachers that awakened me to embodiment - experiences of exploring how it feels to live inside my physical body. Their methods were lecture, asana (the postures) and pranayama (breath).
Iyengar yoga was just one of many styles which I explored early on and then taught from over the next 15 or more years, until being accepted into my first yoga teacher training in 2010. That training was led by a brilliant Iyengar “style” instructor, Dariel Woltz, at the Studio at Panterra. Dariel provided me with a deep understanding of alignment and an introduction into the philosophy and teachings of yoga as inspired by B.K.S. Iyengar. She also introduced me to the teacher that I am currently studying under, Francois Raoult. Francois studied extensively with B.K.S. Iyengar, is the director of Open Sky Yoga & an Internationally Recognized Teacher (among many other amazing accomplishments) and I am blessed to be part of his “advanced” training program… although I think of myself is an advancing beginner ;) because the study of yoga is the journey of a lifetime and I’m only 28 years into the yoga portion of my journey.
Since 2010, I have been inspired to continue to study the teachings of Iyengar yoga and use these teachings to provide a foundation for my students, in the Alignment Based classes that you’re familiar with if you’ve experienced a class at my studio. I believe that having a foundation in alignment helps us develop a deeper experience of life in the home of our bodies, our human structure. I believe choosing a path or tradition to focus on, is fundamental for any student who is serious about yoga and wants to advance. so that a deeper learning may occur. After years of dabbling between styles, on a less than efficient path, I made my way back to choosing Iyengar yoga. Truth is one, paths are many… but without a path we can wander for many years without clear direction (just ask me!).
B.K.S. Iyengar was the teacher that my teachers studied with and provides the inspiration that inspires my path. I am NOT an Iyengar certified teacher, but I am highly trained and certified at the E-RYT level (experienced registered yoga teacher) with my lessons and practice inspired by Mr. Iyengar and my teachers who had worked with him directly, before his passing in 2014. I hope that Iyengar’s legacy and the work that he inspired can stream through me in the weekly work that we do together in class. As your study of yoga becomes more serious, I recommend that you find a great teacher and pick one style of yoga that settles with you. Then take it deep. Remember, truth is one paths are many, so there are many styles and teachers to choose from, but choosing one style or tradition is important if you want to go deeper. If that style is Iyengar yoga, or if you are inspired it learn more about this style I recommend you read any or all of his works including: “Light on Life”, “Light on Pranayama”, “Light on Yoga”…. Yoga is a taught as a tradition passed down. Mr. Iyengar influenced my teachers, who inspired me and I hope to influence you; but keeping that tradition authentic and aligned with the intention is a guiding principal that I take seriously. So we always begin with the careful alignment of our physical bodies.
Namaste ~ Nadine