An amazing week with 250 dedicated yoga practitioners converging on Gubbi Gubbi country to be together and experience the teachings of the humble, insightful, inspiring and great fun Abhijata Iyengar, who left her family behind for the occasion.
A number of YYC teachers and one student were privileged to join in this opportunity to connect or reconnect with our community and with our practice. Thanks are due to Mark Gibson, Aurora Darby and Kate Bywaters for holding the YYC fort, and to our students for understanding the value of such an event.
Many thanks to Iyengar Yoga Australia and the hardworking team behind the scenes for making it happen.
We look forward to the next opportunity.
Read below for more reflections on the event.
Australian Iyengar Yoga Convention 2023 - Reflection
The long awaited Australian Iyengar Yoga Convention 2023 was held at Twin Waters Resort in Maroochydore Queensland 8-12 February. Attended by 250 yoga teachers and practitioners from around Australia including teachers Madeline, Geraldine, Peter and Amy from Yarraville Yoga Centre and Level 2 student Gaye. Abhijata Iyengar, the grand- daughter of BKS Iyengar was the special guest.
These gatherings offer an important opportunity for the broader community of Iyengar yoga practitioners to come together in practice, side by side on the mat, and to receive teachings direct from Pune, India, the home of RIMYI the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute.
Abhijata learnt the subject of yoga and yoga teaching directly from the Masters, her grand -father BKS Iyengar, her aunt Geeta Iyengar and her uncle Prasant Iyengar, and she skillfully weaves their voices into her teaching. She gave up her pursuit of Phd in the sciences to further her knowledge of yoga and continues to teach in the methodology handed down to her. She said she has never looked back. It was a treat to have her visit Australia.
It was very exciting to arrive at the venue for registration and see familiar faces not seen for a long time. Some from workshops and intensives at other schools interstate, some from visits to Pune or past conventions, some from assessment weekends, or teacher training groups. There is so much history, so many stories, so many shared experiences, and memories associated with the path of Iyengar yoga.
It is a very unique experience to be in a room sharing single pointed focused attention to detail in head stand with 250 people. Or the quiet subtle journey inward following the movement of breath in pranayama and savasana. At one point when Abhijata left the stage to demonstrate an action in partner work more clearly, it seemed even the camera man became fascinated and forgot to follow her with his lens.
Many people have suffered loss and hardship over the last few years and Abhijata acknowledged that on the first day we came together. Her warmth and friendliness and genuine love of yoga brought smiles all round and a sense of delight to be participating. There were some newer students with just one year experience and other seniors with 40 years of experience. There were interviews, panel discussions, and group presentations looking behind at the history of Iyengar yoga in Australia and the importance of Mr Iyengar and Geeta in the lives of many. And looking forward in the realm of zoom teaching and studio closures.
The convention itself and Abhijata’s presence reignited the fire in our bellies, the tapas, the burning desire to practice and to teach and to share the benefits of regular yoga practice.