16 Jun 2014

Thoughts on Home Yoga Practice from Iyengar Teacher Robin Simmonds

My home practice has taken the form of two intertwined premises: Self care and play.

Because of the demands of teaching and giving body work, my home practice is often spent undoing the residual effects of the last 24 hours. Then my practice becomes purely intuitive, receptive as I listen to the story my body is patiently telling me when I slow down and listen to it.  My left QL, right shoulder, my left knee, the interrelationship between these tender areas in the constellation of my body is a noble litany of the sustained injuries and neural grooves of habitual movement patterns and the unexpected intrusion of the environment expressed and encoded in my well lived in body. These vulnerable places of instability and collapse call out for attention, like a habitually neglected middle child.  I feel like this is a critical juncture, this daily way station  on the journey home to the whole of myself. Those quiet moments lying on the floor, sensing, feeling, breathing and moving I become a simple animal. My dog always recognizes my shift in energy and comes to lay down beside me, two creature simply being together.

This seems to naturally precede an unfolding and with it, exploration.  I practice with the intention of moving through the familiar to the unfamiliar. I often play loud, rhythmic music that inspires me, moves me and creates energy.  I always start with circular, joint freeing movement and move my spine in all directions gently before I begin holding standing poses. I follow a loose structure, based on principles of Iyengar yoga sequencing, always including headstand followed by some version of shoulder stand.  I usually am creating a class sequence, so there is broad focus, but I try not to have a stranglehold on the process, squeezing the life out of it before it can unfold.  Those tangents and forays are only possible if one gives space and time. I often dance if the music inspires me and move in and out of poses as I like, trying familiar things in different ways.  It is a rich and balanced state of mind/body that emerges when fully engaged in this improvisatory, liminal state of being.  Sometimes, the intelligence leads the body, and other times the body.  I come to an inter penetration of self and being, as Thich Nat Hahn calls it…an inter-being.


Thank you Robin!!

Robin teaches all over the city and teaches privately as well. Please message me for her info or find her on Facebook!

3 replies
  1. Kevin Roundhex says:

    This is a testing comment

  2. Jord says:

    Karen: I am sorry I could not make it to yoga last week. The Glee for Adults group I am in was performing yaedsrtey and we had rehearsals every night. It sounds as if you are remaining very positive, with some bouts of anxiety and fear, which is, of course, completely to be expected and natural. I took a class with Colleen on Saturday and left you a few books at the studio that I thought you might enjoy, some of which you may have already read. Each is inspirational in its own way. Please let me know what I can do to help support you through this healing process. I am sending you love, hugs and positive thoughts. Fondly, Kim


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