Yoga as a life process

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Asana practice as a learning experience to improve inner and outer alignment. Marcia Monroe about Yoga for scoliosis and a path towards stability, mobility, balance and most of all: self empowerment.

claudiyengar: Dear Marcia, first of all, how did you find your way to Iyengar Yoga? Or did Iyengar Yoga find you?

Marcia Monroe: I have a history of idiopathic scoliosi that took me to Guruji. And his book, fate and determination took me to Pune. After meeting Shri BKS Iyengar I knew there was no return to my yoga path.

claudiyengar: What is it about the Iyengar Yoga system that – in your eyes and from your experience – makes it such a helpfull guideline for students with scoliosis?

Marcia Monroe: The Iyengar Yoga system provides the most important principles and application for the various curves of scoliosis. They consist of the peripheral and axial extension, the limbs and relationship to the trunk and midline, stability, mobility, balance and proprioception, breath, and most of all: self empowerment. We learn to take responsibility for ourselves. The student learns the basic structure to practice and the flexibility to adapt. The practice can be taken to their home, a hotel, even in the plane.

From my personal journey: The on going search that Guruji and the system has inspired is the many layers of alignment from the physical or gross to the subtle. It is like deconstructing to a new construction and way of being. And most of all the daily process of embodiment.

He used to say: »Move the bone as muscles and spread the nerves, the inner skin to the outer on the collapsed side, lift the inner spine.« I could not grasp his words but with the various stays in Pune and with the proper focus on the committed practice, the body intelligence began to sprout.

claudiyengar: Since many years you come to Berlin to teach a weekend workshop on yoga with Scoliosis, who is the workshop aimed at?

Marcia Monroe: The workshop is for students with structural and non structural scoliosis as well as postural asymmetries, yoga teachers, and general practitioners who are interested to expand their learning.

claudiyengar: What can participants expect?

Marcia Monroe: I would say instead of an expected result participants come with an open mind to receive the workshop as a seed to learn the basic and practical protocol to work with the tri-dimensional aspects of scoliosis as well as asymmetries through a specific yoga program tailored for the individual condition.

claudiyengar: What is your intention with the workshop, what do you wish that participants to take with them from your workshop?

Marcia Monroe: To view Yoga as a life process and the asana practice as a learning experience to improve the inner and outer concepts of alignment, yet addressing and prioritizing their specific condition. For that it is important to have a good teacher. Lastly, to incrementally integrate the aspects of Yoga on their daily life.

claudiyengar: Thank you so much Marcia, and all the best for the up coming workshop!

Marcia Monroe is certified as a Yoga Teacher by the Iyengar System of Yoga. She has also been certified by the somatic methods of Body Mind Centering® and Feldenkrais®, RSMT. She has a degree in Dance and Movement Studies from the State University of New York, and is registered as Somatic Movement Therapist (ISMETA).
Author of the book »Yoga for Scoliosis«

All images by Marcia Monroe.

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