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Day 2 at the International Conference on Yoga, Naturopathy and Arogya Expo 2012

February 11, 2012

Okay so I’ve decided to take a little lesson from all the nationalities that I have come across here, the Serbs, with a slightly serious attitude, the French with their free flowing and anything goes style, the American’s who just don’t give a shit about anyone else, the Australians who do as asked and the Indians’ where Anything is possible madam (I don’t think I have been called madam this often in my whole entire life! Don’t get me wrong, they are absolutely amazing and wonderful, beautiful people but one can really tell where everyone comes from… I am just wondering what they now think of South Africans J

So after a slight delay with getting to the venue this morning (the Americans were still mulling over their eggs and rooties for some unknown reason – apparently taking 36 hrs to get here and suffering from jetlag is an excuse to keep others waiting!?!?!?!)

So when we finally got to the venue Iyengar was in full force with demonstrating Iyengar yoga with his current students. The good thing with being late and being an international “dignitary” is that you get to go right to the front, and since there were no more chairs available, sitting in front of the stage was permissible (best view, with no obstructions in front was totally amazing… and a little scary, as he seemed to zone in on me (okay maybe US in the front rows), but it did seem like he was talking directly to me in his hard and firm voice… let’s say that I was quite pleased that he is a 90 odd year old man and that there was a high stage between the two of us!

So the demonstration was quite an eye opener, now I know and have heard how brutal Iyengar can be in his teacher training sessions and classes, and if he is anything like what he was today, I would be mildly petrified to do Iyengar yoga (at least back home we have Brigitta, who makes it much more pleasurable!) So when we arrived his 8 demonstrators were in Sirsasana, headstand, and holding it and holding it and doing one variation after the other – never mind trying to stand on your feet in one posture for that amount of time, trying doing it on your head, with having Mr Iyengar, poke, prod, slap and punch you into using the correct muscles… He takes the asana practice to a whole new level, trust me, my students have come off so so so extremely lightly compared to what I saw today.


The fascinating (and scary) thing though, is that you can actually see what he is doing and talking about, you can see the muscles engaging, working correctly, you can see the practitioner using the breath to work deeper into a posture… So there must be some benefits to all his craziness. Needless to say that this outspoken man (he went on to criticize the conference for talking too much about politics and other unimportant stuff instead of discussing yoga, he got a loud applause from the audience who agreed with him whole heartedly, as yes, we have come to the conference to discuss yoga, yoga therapy and the benefits and growth thereof and not to acknowledge and hear speeches from each and every person who made the conference possible. Needless to say, the audience was happy to have Iyengar carry on and demonstrate more and more until eventually I don’t think there were any more postures to demonstrate!

So after his presentation, I got caught up with watching kids practising yoga outside the main conference hall – it was like acro-yoga, kids of about 10years doing nauli, the peacock, back flips up and down the stage, mind blowing stuff that you normally only see in Circ-de-Sole… wow…

Anyway, all of that made me a little late for the first speakers presentation on yoga and naturopathy in Australia. Let’s say that I haven’t been all that “wowed” with the lectures and discussions thus far and I decided on a whim, to take advice from people at home who said “go experience local India” , so when my awesome new French friends Andre and Natasha, got picked up by their local friend and invited me along for lunch I agreed! Yes I decided to be a real rebel for the first time in my life and bunk the lectures that afternoon (I did ask Bosiljka from Serbia who did go to all the lectures if I missed anything earth shatteringly important and she said NO… so at I don’t feel too guilty anymore!) We had an awesome lunch at a local joint… Where we had traditional South Indian food, you have rice and or rootis, and then a selection of a few little dishes (I had a spinach and potato dish, veggie curry, dahl and then one or two other things that I couldn’t quite decipher, but tasted awesome). At the moment my tummy is still doing well – knock on wood!

Then after one or two more stops we headed off to the Leela Hotel where one can do some good shopping, I did buy some extra tops, as I didn’t really realise (an no one prepared or warned me, that strappy tops and short skirts or dresses are not appropriate attire in India…), so now I have stocked up on a few more items and will feel a little more like a local! And no I haven’t gone that far to by a sari, yet 😉

Tomorrow I promise to attend all the lectures and report back!

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