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Studying with the spirit of Geetaji

I spent the month of December 2019 at the Iyengar Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India. This was my third trip to Pune.  As sometimes happens at the Institute, regular classes were suspended to accommodate special sessions, in this case, for senior teachers and teacher assessors from around the Iyengar yoga world.  Students in the regular classes were invited to participate in the special session classes, so we didn’t lose out on classes.  Plus… one afternoon, we were invited to participate in a class led by none other than Geeta Iyengar herself.  “But, how, in December 2019, could that be?” you might ask.

The jam-packed classroom waited breathlessly – even though we all know it’s essential to breathe in yoga!  And, there it was, emanating from the rafters, Geetaji’s voice, telling us to “Settle down.  Sit straight.  Close your eyes.  Prepare for the invocation to Patanjali.”  It was eerie, yet so wonderful.  This was, of course, an audio recording of a class Geetaji had led while she was still amongst us in body.  It was joyful.  And with more than one humorous moment… Geeta berating a student for not paying attention, or, directing a student in demonstrating a pose… which, of course, we couldn’t see.  But it was a terrific class and a wonderful reminder of what a gifted teacher she was.  We are fortunate that her spirit lives on and that we can continue to hear her voice.

Carole Carpentier has been studying Iyengar yoga since 2008, at Yoga Centre Toronto.

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