When I first started Iyengar yoga I thought it was strange. Why do we have to use all of these props and why don't we flow from one pose to another? But this style of yoga really grew on me after a couple of classes. I understand now why we use all of the props. It's so we can actually get our bodies into the pose even if we aren't flexible enough. And I actually like the small break between poses. It helps me to stay calm and relaxed because I'm not rushing to keep up with the flow. What I really appreciate about Iyengar Calgary are the personal touches. The teachers know everybody by name and are very attentive to people's needs. Even if the class is full, the teachers make sure to walk around and give us feedback and adjustments. I've even had a chance to connect with other people in the class which I never did at other studios. There's always tea and conversation after class so I don't have to rush home after class. Lastly, the classes are fun and lighthearted. There's room for laugh, smiles and jokes at every class. I love that! I highly recommend checking out Calgary Iyengar Yoga. There's something for everyone at every level!
Lower back pain is one of the most common health problems in North America and whether due to a modern, sedentary life style or to an injury, it's affects can be debilitating. My lower back suffers from the side effects of an epidural with my first child. It is weak, has poor mobility and can flare painfully sometimes. After many attempts to ease my symptoms, I found Iyengar yoga four years ago. Over time I established a regular practice and learning from Sharoni's wealth of knowledge and experience, my back became stronger and mostly pain free. I recently had a very painful flare, which brought my home and studio practice to a stand still. I met with Sharoni for a private consultation and she skillfully provided me with a therapeutic practice plan. Bringing my yoga practice down to just six poses was steadying to my mind as well as my body. Each pose focused on really creating space in my lower back and the use of yoga props (and the clever use of furniture to create props) gave me support to hold the poses for a therapeutic length of time and educated my body to feel the action from within. For example, using a piano bench to support my legs in arhva halasana (half plough pose) relaxed the muscles in my back and gave noticeable relief immediately. This introspective aspect facilitated by the props has been a huge learning experience for me and I will take that knowledge as I navigate my own journey of Iyengar yoga teacher training. After just four days of working mindfully with six poses, focusing on my posture and very precise alignment in the poses, my back was pain free. Iyengar yoga is a big part of my life and the practice provides me with strength of body and clarity of mind. My regular teachers at Calgary Iyengar Yoga, Sharoni and Inga are highly trained and are dedicated to helping every student work to the best of their ability to access the wellbeing that Iyengar yoga provides.
Practice is like a long hike, a hike that takes a lot of days. You start with a map, but the map does not prepare you for the things you see, hear and feel. You walk with others, who will move a little different, taking challenging ascents easier than you but might be afraid at a rim which you enjoy. You need guidance to find the path but the path you walked is a little different than the path described. You go in a group and also on your own. Seconds can be endless when the slope is steep and the sun strong but a day just goes by in a minute. You are surrounded by the distant stillness of the sky, when the night is cool and dark. You reach for it and sometimes you touch.
I wanted to thank you for the workshop as it was so wonderful. I really loved the 3 aspects of talking, asanas and pranayama. Your sequencing was so incredible as my body worked well. I have been practicing Iyengar yoga for about 2 years now and Calgary Iyengar Yoga opened my eyes to this practice. I have tried many types of yoga but this practice has allowed me to look in depth at the poses and to really observe my own body and mind. I appreciate the continuous guidance and knowledge that all teachers share here. I had never used props before coming to an Iyengar class so this was intimidating at first but now I see how using the props enhances the poses and can prevent injury. This practice is accessible for everybody and can be adapted to each individual. I am seeing many positive benefits in my body and my mind through this practice and I would encourage anyone to come with an open mind and heart to try this. Every class is a new experience for me and a challenge. I always look forward to being in the room with one of the devoted teachers at Calgary Iyengar Yoga.
My first yoga class was about 2 years ago. I was motivated to go because I am pretty diligent about my fitness, but I knew that my balance and flexibility were not great. So, I went to yoga to supplement my fitness. I can now say that I maintain my fitness to supplement my yoga. What got me hooked on yoga was how great I felt after I left a class. Slowly, I could see small improvements, until one day, I unexpectedly and miraculously was able to touch my nose to my knee. Don’t misunderstand: there are many, many poses that will likely forever escape my grasp, but this is perhaps another attractive aspect of yoga. There is truly no end to it. I guess you could say that it is infinite. It just so happens that the yoga studio I attended is in my neighbourhood. This was by design because, like so many of us, I have a busy schedule and sometimes I find it rather self indulgent to be spending time on my fitness and state of mind. I noticed that many of the students at Calgary Iyengar Yoga travelled far and wide to attend. Some come from as far afield as Lethbridge, Canmore, and all corners of the city of Calgary. This caught my attention because it spoke volumes for the quality of teaching. I soon learned for myself why one might travel a long distance to attend one of the classes here. In the Iyengar style classes, the teacher does not stand in the front of the class while students follow along. Students don’t simply do their best to mimic the poses as they transition from one to the next. Instead, the teacher very carefully demonstrates the pose, and supervises while students move deliberately from one to the next. The attention to detail is impressive, and important. The teachers also encourage students to develop and maintain a home practice. I can honestly say that I feel physically and emotionally better aligned. I am fortunate to say that at 48, I am totally pain free (touch wood). My balance is improving all the time. My flexibility is better than it has ever been, and my strength and range of motion make me feel vibrant. The poses really do positively effect my state of mind, and I am slowly learning through experience that the yoga poses ultimately serve the purpose of quieting the mind and calming the soul. I am so grateful to my teachers at Calgary Iyengar Studio, and to the wise people who have brought this practice and all of its benefits to the world. It is simple, timeless, and effective on so many levels.
Thank you so much for your teaching and your studio! I am so grateful for everything you are doing. The last few years have been such a positive change for both Dan & I. I have been amazed at how much yoga has done for me. For me it is my "church". After the class, I always feel like a new person, calmer and lighter. I guess I just wanted to share how much we appreciate your efforts and what a difference it makes. I can't believe we are lucky enough to have this level of yoga available to us.