I am so thankful for Manouso Manos’s daily online one-hour classes. They have been a godsend for me during this difficult time of a global pandemic, tanking economy, raging wildfires, natural disasters, racial tensions, violence, and political polarization. And, that’s just in the United States. These problems exist daily world wide. Air pollution doesn’t seem to matter to many until the air they breathe is polluted. These problems are bigger than me and my stupid blog, but I do notice that my hour of yoga with Manouso brings me out of my default setting of self-centered head and into a space of interconnectedness and love for all my brothers and sisters and all that exists. I cringe as I write that but it’s true. It’s these glimpses with the divine, where simultaneously everything recedes and comes to the forefront, that bring me back to my yoga mat day after day, and, more importantly, make me strive to be a caring human being willing to make sacrifices for others. Skillful action.
I appreciate Manouso’s yoga studio in San Francisco formerly known as The Abode of Iyengar Yoga. I appreciate it because it is no frills- nothing but yoga. Manouso never advertised nor did he take credit cards, so students who walked in the door had to know what they were getting into or at least have cash. When I walked through that door, I let everything else fade away. I was there to pay attention not to forget. The Abode of Yoga has a beautiful aesthetic- impeccably clean and organized and well appointed with props. The ceiling has a huge skylight which opens to allow in the delicious and cool ocean breeze. Manouso has hinted at reopening his studio at some point soon.
I know it wasn’t easy or natural for Manouso to transition to online classes, but he did it in a way that only Manouso could and would, a way in which it is safe for the CIYT’s and easy to follow. Manouso is a luddite and teaches to those who are in front of him and now he is stuck in a room teaching hundreds of students he cannot see. For many who do not live in San Francisco, it’s a dream come true to be able to take his daily online classes. His assistants, to whom I dedicated a previous post, are rockstars! This past week he took care of them by teaching daily sequences to soothe the lungs from the dangerous levels of pollution in the bay area. These sequences are also applicable for strengthening the lungs against the ravages of COVID-19.
I am thankful to Manouso for continuing to offer these daily online classes and sharing the proceeds with his teachers, and for encouraging me to pay attention and stay awake so that I may serve others during these challenging times. Yoga is more about what I do off the mat than on it.
Thank you, Manouso and all the assistants!