Janet Swimney

The Wrong Question by Janet Swinney

Janet Swinney teaches Iyengar Yoga at Morley. She has studied with many senior teachers from the UK, Europe and India, and has attended workshops given by members of the Iyengar family themselves, both here and in Pune. 

The Wrong Question by Janet Swinney

The guru was not in the mood for guru-ing. The burfi from the day before lay heavy on his stomach. The minute he’d touched eighty, he’d developed a sweet tooth. Kheer that had been days in the making, and dahi with a nice thick crown of malai on top had him licking his chops, but badam burfi, with the nuts nicely toasted was his absolute favourite. His disciples were well aware of this and, as yesterday had been his birthday, had brought him box-loads of the stuff, which he had been unable to resist. It feels like a public holiday, the sort of day when everyone heads for the ghat. Long before one gets to the yoga shala, one can tell who’s heading there. Groups of five and six thread their way through the town’s back lanes, dressed in their best. The Western men wear shorts with multiple pockets and sandals that bristle with straps, while the women have been shopping in some over-priced emporium and have chosen cotton kurtas with crude, block printed patterns and over-generous pants. This is their take on authenticity. The locals have a different view. The men are dressed like bank managers in stiffened shirts, and well-pressed trousers; a daughter or a servant has polished their shoes vigorously for them before they left the house. The women are cocooned in silken saris that are as tightly coiled as croissants from the German bakery. Sleek plaits, as thick as tyre tread, hang down their backs and wag across their backsides. On street corners, the fruit and vegetable vendors uncloak their barrows, wondering what trade they might attract at this early hour of the morning..

..Yoga is unity, the unity of the mind with the body and the body with the soul. It goes back to the days of the rishis, and even beyond. They say yoga is the gift of the god Shiva to his consort Parvati. A gift is given with love and received with love. A gift is given with joy and received with joy. A gift is given with blessing and received with thanks. So why are you pounding on the door begging, “Please may I come in?” My friends, this is the wrong question. The door is already open. It has always been open. In fact, there is no question. All you have to do is thank the One who has given you the key.

Read the full article here.

Janet's next Iyengar Yoga course starts on 29 April 2017. Places are on a first come first serve basis book now to avoid disappointment.

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