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{press} Marcela Clavijo, Yoga Sleuthed

February 22, 2010

Iyengar 101 with Marcela Clavijo
Yoga City NYC 2/22/10, Jim Catapano

Yoga Sleuth, having spent much of 2009 in the nonstop blur of Vinyasa flow, decided to wind down the year by getting back to basics with the alignment focus of Iyengar.

Unfortunately the great man himself was unavailable (it being the week of his 91st birthday), so I turned to one of the Iyengar family’s pupils, Marcela Clavijo. A Buddhist nun, Marcela started teaching in 1985, studied with the Iyengars in India in 2000, and works primarily out of the Iyengar Institute in New York. She also teaches at the beautiful new YogaWorks studio in Soho, and this is where I had the honor to take class with her.

Before I could say “Sukhanasana,” I was on my mat in the vast space of the main studio. I was surrounded by four students who were in turn surrounded by props, sitting on my knees on one blanket, with a second blanket nestled between my knees and ankles. Marcela, a vibrant teacher with an infectious laugh, had us take straps and hold them above our heads, then behind our backs, and finally in front of our chests. With our hands always four feet apart, this created an intense stretch, opening our shoulders for the work ahead.

We descended to our mats for Jatara Parivartanasana, a.k.a, “stomach churning pose.” Fortunately, this intense supine twist is the antithesis of its name. We began with our knees together to the right and we kept them that way, locked together, even as Marcela pulled our right arms up and pushed our left arms to the mat. It was one of the longest and juiciest twists I ever had, and I imagined every bit of toxin in my body gloriously dissolving.  read more

Yoga Workshop with Marcela Clavijo in March…

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