"Every day you must walk that fine line between courage and caution."

- BKS IYENGAR

PHOTO BY TAI KERBS

GARTH McLEAN

Garth is a Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT, Level 3, Intermediate Senior III), a Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists and a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance.
Based in Los Angeles, Garth teaches public classes, and specialty workshops in the US and internationally. All classes are taught in the Iyengar tradition.  Private instruction is available.

Photo by Tai Kerbs

Certified Iyengar
Yoga Teacher

E-RYT500
YACEP

WHAT'S NEW...

Summertime
and the living is easy

…and heating up!

In the early days of summer this year, much of the U.S. was  gripped in what’s been dubbed a “heat dome” sending daytime temperatures soaring and hovering in the upper 90°-100° Fahrenheit (30-38°C) range. With record breaking high temperatures in many places around the planet, it promises to be a long, hot, and for some, a challenging summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

While it can be a struggle to navigate the heat at times, there seems to be an inherent promise of ease whenever summer rolls around. Longer days. Picnics. Beach activities. Time to relax, vacation, kick back and take it easy.

The subject of ease is something that we can also look to in our asana practices. It is not seasonal but rather comes with dedicated and consistent, ongoing practice.

In the yoga sutras Patanjali alludes to effortless effort or ease in asana. 
prayatna saithilya ananta samapattibhyam (YS.II.47)

“Perfection in asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being is reached within.” 

Perfection and eventual ease may seem out of reach for those who regularly practice asanas. BKS Iyengar encouraged practitioners to aim for perfection in asana but to be satisfied with whatever progress we may accomplish, however small, towards that goal. Prashant Iyengar also recently offered further insight and a refreshing perspective on perfection: “To master an endeavor,” he suggested, “means you are able to work with your endeavor to be functional. This doesn’t mean you are proficient in every aspect.”

For many of us, thankfully we don’t have to be perfect to experience great joy, good health and relief from life’s struggles as a result of our yoga practice.

Even though we may not be proficient and perfect in every aspect of our yogic endeavors, we can still be functional in the practice to keep our body cool and mind calm.

If hot’s got you in knots…
Open up
Hang Out
Hang In
and Hang On!

Here are a couple of asanas to help keep you cool as we roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
U Rope Adho Mukha Svanasana
(Flying Downward Dog)

If you have access to wall ropes, you may wish to reach for this cool dog over a hot dog. This cooling, suspended U Rope version of Downward dog, offers an opening for the arm pits, extends the spine, relieves back aches. Separate the legs hip distance apart; further if you have additional props to support the feet. Avoid if subject to vertigo or vision challenges.

Support forehead with a second chair + bolster  or similar prop to help cool the front brain.

Practice at your own risk

Eka Pada Prasarita Savasana
(One Leg Extended Relaxation Pose)

Feeling wiped out?

Transport yourself to another dimension with this cooling version of one-legged version of Savasana. 

A versatile pose, it can be practiced anywhere you have a chair, or even on a sofa — rest the bent leg on the back rest of the sofa, while lying on the cushioned seat. Repeat on second side. Quiet space recommended.

Instructions on these cooling suggestions, and more, can be found in my book:

Available on Amazon Worldwide
Check your local Amazon platform for delivery options.

* * *

Online Classes

Current oline classes

 

Saturday MS and Movement Challenges Class
Saturday mornings
9:00am-10:30 am (Pacific Time)
(No Class July 24, 21)

 

 Wednesday MS and Movement Challenges Class 

Wednesday mornings

8:00-am-9:30am (Pacific Time)

(No Class July 20, 27, Aug 3)

 

Register for all online classes through Punchpass

 

Links to online classes for which you are registered are automatically emailed within two weeks before the registered class and again approximately 1 hour before the class starts.

 

✨

Private Sessions and Consultations

ONLINE and IN-PERSON

 To schedule an online Private Session or Consultation
Click here 
✨

 In-Person Private Sessions in Los Angeles! 

Contact me at yogarthman@gmail.com with questions or to schedule an in-person session.
 
 

2024 In-Person Workshops

SEPTEMBER 13, 14, 15 – ATMÂ YOGA STUDIO
PARIS, FRANCE
Click here for info

SEPTEMBER 20, 21, 22 – GENERACE CENTRUM
SLANY, CZECH REPUBLIC
Click here for info

SEPTEMBER 27, 28, 29 – iYOGA UTRECHT
UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS

Click here for info

OCTOBER 4, 5, 6 – CENTRE de YOGA IYENGAR de VANNES
VANNES, FRANCE 
Click here for info

OCTOBER 11,12, 13 – IYENGAR YOGA LONDON – MAIDA VALE
LONDON, ENGLAND
Click here for info

NOVEMBER 1, 2, 3  –IYENGAR YOGA IRELAND
DUBLIN, IRELAND
Click here for info 

NOVEMBER 8, 9, 10 – MANCHESTER and DISTRICT IYENGAR YOGA
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
Click here for info

NOVEMBER 14-17 –ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILIERA IYENGAR YOGA
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
Click here for info

✨

Book Review

” … a little masterpiece”

 Honored to be reviewed by the New York-based, internationally recognized neuroscientist, Dr. Patrizia Casaccia, in the Spring 2021 issue of Yoga Therapy Today.

Originally published in Yoga Therapy Today, a publication of the International Association of Yoga TherapistsReprinted with permission.

Resources Page

Check out my

RESOURCES PAGE

to
Order books,
Find vendors for yoga props,
Info on vaccines as they specifically relate to MS,  
Asana Sequence for Immune Enhancement, 

Recent Interview

and more….

Yoga, MS, and Health

With my direct personal experience of overcoming some of the most frightening symptoms associated with MS, I can wholeheartedly attest that the practice of Iyengar Yoga offers the practitioner a pathway to manage many symptoms associated with MS, and to also navigate the challenges of life.

Through the practice, some of the symptoms I’ve managed to ease and work through include: gait abnormality and imbalance issues (ataxia);  drop foot;  muscle weakness; inability to judge distance or scale with arms (dysmetria); burning neural pain in arms hips and feet;  numbness and tingling in limbs (parasthesia); optic neuritis; double vision (diplopia); spasticity (paraparesis) of legs & MS hug in torso; bladder and bowel dysfunction; crushing fatigue;   LHermitte’s symptom (an uncomfortable electrical charge in the spine when bowing the head); Uhthoff’s phenomenon (heat intolerance which can temporarily worsen symptoms); and depression. 

The result, I’ve found, is a more balanced life —  physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Health is simply a by-product of proper yoga practice. Through iconic alignment of asana (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing) we can fortify stability, keep mobile and endure with relative ease what may not be able to be cured.

Disease implies an absence of ease or imbalance. An internal storm. A perfect breeding ground for fear, uncertainty and doubt, all of which seem to resonate in our current global climate. 

When we are diagnosed with a chronic incurable disease, it can be a life-altering, calamitous event. In addition to dealing with whatever physical adversity we may have to face, we may also have to face how to navigate a previously unknown landscape of uncertainty, fear, grief, isolation, anger and depression. It makes sense.

When I was diagnosed as a younger man inhabiting a body I could not feel or control, I was scared, unsure and filled with trepidation about an uncertain future. BKS Iyengar opened up a door to possibility for me through the practice of yoga and gave me the tools, and a good dose of realistic hope, to take the necessary action to move beyond my limitations with courage and caution.

Committed to helping others through yoga, I became a teacher of the subject to share what has so profoundly helped me. 

Since teaching, it has been a great honor and privilege to work with so many people across the globe with all ranges of ability in the various stages of MS, Parkinson’s, post-stroke rehabilitation and other neurological and movement challenges. Though it’s not a cure, the yoga practice has helped so many.

To offer further insight, I penned a book based on my experience, to perhaps serve as a reference for others on the path who seek health and well-being through the applied practice of Iyengar yoga.  The book is intended as a starting point for self-ambulatory people with MS who are able to self-transfer, either to the floor or a second chair, and willing to utilize yoga props or common household items for support.

The book includes photos to demonstrate a range of traditional yoga poses, as well as adaptations, to accommodate varying degrees of physical challenge.

Though it is impossible to address every possible scenario and degree of challenge with MS, in this book I hope to offer a reference for others with MS, in order to keep mobile, hopefully slow progression of the condition and maintain reasonable functionality.    

Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis, A Practical Guide for Persons with MS and Yoga Teachers” is available worldwide.

My hope is that by offering this book it may serve as an additional resource for reasonably ambulatory people with MS to help ease their situation.
 
Also available on:
Amazon.co.uk,  Amazon.ca and Amazon platforms worldwide.  Check the country specific Amazon platform for  your region. 
  
It is also available directly through Singing Dragon Publishing
and in local book stores.
 
Singing Dragon is an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers – Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year, British Book Awards 2020
 
 

Online Consultations

If you are interested in an online consultation, I currently offer 30 minute consultations.

Have questions on your practice? Or how to begin or maintain a practice?

If you wish to coordinate a time that is not currently listed, and that may work better for your time zone and schedule, email me at yogarthman@gmail.com so we can coordinate a mutually convenient time to meet.

 The practice of yoga helps one to face times of fear and uncertainty with poise and presence of mind.

 I look forward to seeing you soon!!

 

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