‘Wednesday morning at seven o’clock as the day begins …’ (with apologies to The Beatles)
Tony Morris has been a member of IYIMV since 2000 and served as a trustee of the Institute between 2002-2005. He is a regular at Amparo Rodriguez’s Wednesday class. Here he explains why he resists hitting the snooze button and takes out his yoga mat instead.
Yoga is as good a way to start the day as any other. Yet my home practice does not always meet the frequency of my intentions; as and when it is on the agenda my mat is unrolled by a little after 6. So, as an early riser and a long-time member of IYIMV, I need no persuading to head for the 7 am Wednesday morning class. I started taking this class very shortly after its inception about 8 years ago.
As with all of the wonderful teachers at IYIMV, Amparo imbues the Iyengar tradition with something of herself – characterised by the short but poignant yoga infused homilies with which she sometimes starts the class. Practice always commences with the three oms which resonate with a timbre that is altogether more peaceful than is often the case later in the day. The silence of the dawn is never punctuated by McEnroeesque grunts and groans belching from Paddington Rec.
When there are new students in attendance, Amparo takes care to ascertain their level of experience so she can tailor the level of the class for everyone. On the occasions when the group largely comprises general level students, she will have us hold the poses for longer and perhaps aim for more exacting sequences. She always maintains close attention to those who are beginners, however few they may be, to ensure they are working at a level that is comfortable for them. Amparo teaches in a gentle and subtle way. Without realising it, irrespective of your ability and experience, students always enjoy a session that is both challenging and fulfilling.
Ignoring the advertised 8.15 end-point, Amparo is conscious that many of us park on single yellow lines in Randolph Avenue and need to be away at least a tad before 8.30. Nevertheless, there is always sufficient time for Savasana to enable our bodies to enter the truly relaxed state that serves as a mellow starting point for rest of the day.On those occasions when Amparo is teaching overseas, her more than able deputy is Sissi Gill. Sissi has clearly been chosen to provide continuity to the early morning rhythm and feel of the class – for both its regular aficionados and as well as any newcomers.
My colleagues at work know not to arrange any Wednesday morning meetings before 10 am. Unless I have to travel, I aim never to miss this early morning class which is always reliably and cheerfully administered by the indefatigable Mary Newton. Without Mary, the class couldn’t happen. Mary completes this special class by sending us on our way to work with fresh fruit that is always waiting on the front desk with our yoga cards.
All we need now is for early morning classes on Mondays and Fridays and the Yoga week would be complete.