601916_10151606824601797_1953909343_nEXTENDING & EXPANDING YOUR INTELLIGENCE IN ASANA

with Neeta Datta

Saturday, February 8th from 12:00-5:00pm

I don’t necessarily consider myself an “Advanced” practitioner of yoga, but when given the chance to take “Advanced” classes at the Iyengar convention in San Diego last spring, I jumped on it. In Iyengar yoga, we are careful and methodical about the way we progress in the practice based on the long and deep knowledge of our teacher and guru, B.K.S. Iyengar. I absolutely agree, but on the other hand, I’m curious….In the latest issue of Yoga Samachar, Birjoo Mehtha who was the headline teacher for the convention said,

“As long as you are within the boundaries, you are not doing yoga. You are just doing some actions that could lead you to the practice of yoga, but for the practice of yoga to actually manifest, you have to cross the boundaries every time. When we cross the boundaries every time, there is always something new that is going to come. That’s why Guruji has said, “Yes, you have to go on finding something new.You have to cross the boundary and that’s where you can actually see your growth.” (Yoga Samachar, Winter 2014)

Two of the advanced classes I took were with Birjoo’s sister, Neeta Datta, a long-time senior teacher who trained many of today’s teachers from Southern California. While I was able to get a glimpse of manifesting and spreading the consciousness in the sessions with Birjoo, Neeta did an amazing job of further elucidating the teachings. She is a teacher’s teacher and helped to break down the practice into step by step pieces. She also has an amazing eye and I could see that she was in the present moment making constant micro-adjustments to her teaching so that we could all experience what was being taught.

We have a unique opportunity to continue this study of consciousness from the convention with Neeta Datta on Saturday, February 8th from 12:00-5:00pm. I strongly encourage you to attend! I will be there!

Neeta Datta is the eldest sister of Birjoo and Rajvi Mehta and lives and teaches in Cupertino, California. She has studied with Guruji Iyengar since 1975 and assisted the Master, Geeta and Prashant in their classes at the Mumbai Institute from 1981 to 1987. She has taught in all the American National Conventions and in many countries worldwide including Spain, Australia, France and Belgium. She travels to India every year to study with Guruji and teach at RIMYI. She has a great vitality and a deep knowledge of Iyengar yoga, and is widely respected for her integrity and vision on yoga: “One does not just practice yoga a few hours per day, one lives yoga.”

January marked the start of a new year, and at IYISF it means the beginning of a journey for the new class of Advanced Studies/Teacher Training students. Excitement and curiosity filled the air as the students arrived at the institute eager to learn and ready to take on the commitment that comes with joining the program.

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Orientation and the first AS/TT session took place on January 3rd for 23 students enrolled in the program. “I approached my first weekend of Teaching Training with curiosity, hesitancy (is this the right time for me to start?), and post-holidays exhaustion.  As I left IYISF studio that Sunday night, I felt refreshed, even more curious, and very inspired.” said AS/TT student Boni Cruz.

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It is inspiring to go through a program that many of the senior teachers at the Institute went through themselves, and are now teaching. It shows the students that this is just the beginning of their journey, and one day that could be them at the front of the room teaching future students. “I graduated from the Institute’s Teacher Training Program in 1982. It was an extremely demanding program testing us not just on our practice and teaching but also on the sciences of the body and philosophy. At that time it was probably the only one in the city; it is very heartening to me that these days when there are so many teacher training programs out there which require so much less effort that consistently we have 20 plus students who are serious enough about yoga to enroll in our program. I applaud all of you who started this month and wish you all the best as you make your way through this transformative course of study.” Said Senior Teacher, Janet MacLeod.

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