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Tips & Resources

Yogi of the Month interview March

This month we chat to two of our Level 3 students Emma and Karen about their Yoga practice, how Karen uses it to help manage a chronic pain condition and how they have both used the benefits of yoga to help during lockdown.

In this third Yogi of the month interview, Jo Mitchell CIYT chats with Emma and Karen about their favourite and least favourite poses, what they enjoy and gain from their yoga practice and how moving from 1 to 2 classes a week has changed their practice.

The interview was recorded in March 2021 during lockdown and over Zoom.

Here is a transcript of the interview.

Jo: Hi everyone welcome to our 3rd Yogi of the month interview and this month we're talking to Karen and Emma. Now Karen and Emma I know you both from our Level 3 class on a Wednesday night but perhaps you want to just introduce yourselves and just chat about how and when you started yoga. Who wants to go first?

Karen: Me okay I started yoga in probably in 2000 with Lillian Biggs. Now she was one of the old school teachers I think she was probably one of the first wave that went out to Pune probably in the 70s 80s or I'm not sure but Julie knows her. She was brilliant but she was also quite scary you know how Julie comes around with the stick. Lillian didn't even have a stick you just gotta slap up the back of the legs!

Jo: Yes there's a lot that now seems quite old-school and maybe quite old-fashioned but that I guess was part of the practice at that time I mean it's evolving all the time isn't it Iyengar Yoga.

Karen: Yes if you watch the old videos from Mr Iyengar and the way he he did things, I think they very much just took that training as a thing and just moved it across. It wasn't softened for the European market like it does now.

Jo: So it sounds quite she was quite a formidable teacher but you stuck at it?

Karen: I think was the it was the ability to challenge myself to discover my limits and to see if you could reach past them. Yoga is not supposed to be competitive but I think you can be quite competitive with yourself. I know you probably are aren't you?

Emma: My introduction to it was through Karen really needing to have that in her life for for physical reasons and so going with you was kind of non-negotiable but now now I'll go by myself because I like it!

Karen: And she's better at it.

Emma: I'm not better, we're all better at different things there's different because different body types allow for that and I didn't appreciate that until we'd gone. You look around the room and somebody's on top of their head and you think right, I want to be able to do that and that's where the competitiveness comes in for me because seeing somebody else do something, you want to know how to do it. It's that interest that sparks you and makes you think can I do that?

JO: I know and what I find with Iyengar Yoga that it's exactly like that. You see other people doing poses and you're like, wow how are they doing that but you know there is a process going on with them and this is why I find Iyengar Yoga so accessible. It's not about being flexible. it's not about being the most flexible person in the room because they're never the ones that are going to be in the pose in the right way and be able to hold it and have the stability. So you know that these people you're like I will be able to do that if I just stick at it.

Karen: Yoga is for people who can't touch the toes!