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excerpt from "Iyengar Style Yoga with François Raoult"

“It was karma,” says François Raoult, that put him on the path of teaching yoga. “My teachers left. I liked yoga, but I kind of got put on the spot [to teach] and I had to respond to it.” Now François gives workshops nationally and internationally, and will be coming to High Desert Yoga next month.

In discussing what we can expect from our personal practice of yoga, François says, first of all, know that yoga is not a cure-all: “You don’t cure back pain. You may minimize it. You will be happy walking around doing what you want to do.” Secondly, we need to have realistic expectations. A well-rounded practice of forward and backward bends will be sufficient for most people. “You may not need advanced poses,” says François, “but if you decide that’s your path, then you have to put substantially more time into your practice,” which he says must be balanced with enough pranayama, savasana and meditation, “or you won’t get what you think you are supposed to get.” He adds that an hour is a substantial amount of time.

François cites the Yoga Sutras, emphasizing the importance of controlling the vrittis, “the whirly things in your mind that obscure the core of your being.” Through pranayama and meditation, as we learn to minimize the fluctuations of our mind, we can go deeper into a pose and avoid projecting superficial things onto the pose that aren’t there. “There are tons of books on the market, but they are the experience of someone [else] who has gone very deep inside,” says François. “You have to recognize the poses yourself.” Read the full article.

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