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Spring into vinyasa exploration, Iyengar style

Garth McLean performs an arm balance.
Garth McLean performs an arm balance.
Cindy Leuty Jones

Hear the description of “vinyasa” relative to a yoga class, and you might think sun salutations. Beyond that, you might think vigorous movement. The true meaning of vinyasa is both broader and more specific.

In the broader sense, vinyasa is: “Moving from one position to another to reach a final position and returning back to the starting point,” as explained for a workshop to be led by Garth McLean on Sunday, March 23, at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles.

In the more specific sense, vinyasa is a movement that flows with the breath. As Iyengar teacher H.S. Arun taught once at the LA institute, you can stand in tadasana, mountain pose, bring your arms up with an exhale, lower halfway with an inhale, raise with an exhale, and so on back and forth, until you return to tadasana. This is a vinyasa.

In “Spring into Spring – Understanding Asana through Vinyasa”, Garth will lead students in coordinating movement from one pose to another. This exploration serves as a means of sharpening awareness of the actions needed to acquire a deeper understanding of the poses and self. Spring serves not only as the time of beginnings and discovery, but also a time of movement, bringing fresh light on the familiar.

Yogacharya Iyengar, at his 95th birthday gathering in December 2013, encouraged yoga students to “practice extension and expansion of our intelligence and consciousness . . . the two inner vehicles of the soul, to live intellectually, consciously and conscientiously in the body,” according the IYILA promotion of the workshop.

The workshop, which runs 2-4 pm, is open to intermediate practitioners with a minimum of one year of Iyengar experience. Special needs and therapeutic applications will not be addressed during the workshop. Class size is limited and advance registration is suggested. Garth is certified as a Senior 1 level Iyengar yoga teacher.

Location: Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles, 1835 La Cienega Blvd., Ste. 240, 90035; 310-558-8212.

Cost: $45 for members of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Los Angeles; $50 for non-members.

Register online.

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