After my daughter was born, I took refuge in yoga. My teacher would not let me do any asana for the longest time, but eventually I was back to an active practice. Being a new mother had its share of stresses, and I loved escaping for that hour and a half to calm my mind and open my chest. I would go to three classes a week or more. I have very fond memories of those times when all I did was take care of my baby and go to yoga class. It was dreamy. When my daughter was about two-years old, Manouso Manos was coming within 5 hours of where I lived. I couldn’t resist the chance to study with him, so I enlisted my best friend to come along and to take care of my child while I went to class. I couldn’t be away from my daughter because I was still nursing, and we had never spent a night apart. I was so excited for this adventure. Manouso was teaching in an old church not far from the Iyengar yoga studio. The place was packed with students from every walk of life, but I noticed most students were older than I. The place was atwitter with excitement until Manouso barked out the words, “sit straight and tall.” Silence and focus enveloped the room, not in a weird creepy way but in a beautiful respectful way. It’s like the room knew the importance of the teachings.
The pollen count was absurdly high that day and Manouso led us through a series of poses and then stopped to explain. “Yoga is to take care of you. When you are faced with circumstances such as a high pollen count, you have to take control.” He taught a sequence of poses that reduced inflammation and opened up the sinuses. My head felt clear and open. I could jot down the poses here, but it wouldn’t be the same. It’s the way Manouso brings the asana that seems like he’s inside my body. He seems to describe a sensation moments before it surfaces in my consciousness. He’s got a gift for making the sequence tailored to each student in the room. I know that sounds absurd, but I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered students after class who thought the sequence was specifically for them.
My teacher and a few friends were with me. We were inspired and giddy after each class. We couldn’t get enough Manouso Manos.