The following sequences of yogasanas were devised and taught by yogini Rosalind Widdowson at her Kidderminster classes (term 7, week 3, 2013).
The inspiration for this class came from many sources but one in particular comes to mind. It was a workshop I did with Penny Neald-Smith – an Iyengar teacher from London, forty five years ago. We had met at one of Mr Iyengar’s seminars in London and it was at this time that I had just opened my first yoga centre in the Midlands. I can still cast my mind back to the session she did for us, fortunate enough to be a student again, under her tutelage. The revelation came at the end of the session, which was by no means an easy one. We were lying on the floor, in savasana, when I felt the most heavenly touch on my forehead from Penny. I instantly relaxed. Penny had gently laid her own silk scarf, that she had been wearing to the session, over my forehead and eyes. It was at that moment I realised the importance of touch, gentleness and, most importantly, kindness.
Starting any new venture, especially in a backwaters of the Midlands, was not easy for a 19-year-old with limited resources. But no matter. For in an instant, I got one of those ‘awakening moments’ on my journey. Kindness to yourself, in how you treat and touch your body and mind, is as relevant to me as a teacher as to how carefully and appropriately I touch or adjust my students. It does not need much to make a huge difference. Although once the practical asanas are complete and the students are in savasana or in a meditative posture, I rarely touch them. It’s here that we must be even more sensitive. Although Penny touched me to soothe away a few lines of worry, it felt exactly the right touch at the right time. So I wait patiently for that time to arrive, or present itself , when touch is appropriate or might make a difference between merely resting in tension or finding inner peace. It’s all about keeping ‘present’ and focussed on many different levels.