"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...

Yearning for Learning

Looking Back. Looking In. Looking Forward.

As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new, may you be blessed with unparalleled joy, vibrant good health, and abundant prosperity! 

At this time of year, if you’re like me, you may find yourself in sporadic periods of reflective thought, self-assessment, occasional resolve, and perhaps planning for a brighter future. A major component of my plan for the new year is a strong quest and an ongoing yearning for learning. 

2023 certainly has been clouded by horrific and tragic events that have gripped and held many parts of our world in a chronic state of crisis and devastating isolation. Despite those disturbing events, the passing year has also held wonderful light, many memorable gems, and magical learning experiences.

Personally I experienced a significant amount of rewarding travel, underscored by reconnecting with friends (old and new), keeping the post-pandemic phenomenon of online yoga classes going, spending rewarding time with family, and experiencing an expansive palette of vibrant societal cultures whilst traveling abroad.

 

My curiosity was especially piqued this past November when I came upon the  playful, dramatic and dreamlike figures emblematic of and synonymous with the indigenous Selk’nam people of southern Chili and Argentina.***

As an avid traveler, I was intrigued when I came to learn about these nomadic people that once inhabIted the Tierra del Fuego region of South America for over 7000 years, The closer I looked at these tribal images, the more I was drawn in by their ritual that incorporated the painting of the body and donning of facial masks to represent mythical spirits. This was a practice once done as part of a transformational ceremony to test the mettle of young adolescent males as a right of passage into tribal manhood.  

Unbeknownst to the young lads, the seasoned adult male members of the tribe would paint themselves with red, black and white paint, don fur, feather down, bark costumes and masks to impersonate mythical spirits commonly feared by the greater tribe. In a complex, dramatic and somewhat threatening ritual, the intention of the tribal leaders was to educate the younger Selk’nam in the ways of the world in order for them to better serve as future guardians of the tribe.

In the ritual, the uninitiated candidates were prompted to face these feared mythical spirits as a pathway to culturing endurance, fortitude, self-control, and rational thinking in order to conquer fear and gain the confidence of the tribal elders. 

While we may not necessarily agree with or condone these types of ceremonial practices as an educative process or right of passage, if we consider the current state of global affairs and the terroristic events currently plaguing our planet, perhaps we can extrapolate and learn something from the Selk’nam to courageously face whatever demons we may happen to be subjected to in the future.

2024 certainly seems poised to present us with an interesting landscape to navigate. 

Perhaps the mythical spirits that the Selk’nam adopted in their transformational ritual could serve as hidden metaphors that may correlate to physical conditions some of us face, or mental fluctuations that our mind might present to us. 

For me, it all offered cause for pause, an opportunity for reflection and something to ponder.

Thankfully, we have the age old practice of yoga as a non-threatening, stabilizing platform that can serve as a mirror for the practitioner — a platform to reflect, look inward, face ourselves and consider the ways of the world — to learn, culture, develop and evolve while maintaining physical fitness, mental acuity, emotional balance, while simultaneously exploring a pathway to spiritual awareness, should we have the interest and bandwidth. 

Looking ahead to 2024, whether you choose to leap into the Leap Year or quietly slip into it more comfortably, I wish you the best of all things good!

With peace, love and blessings, as always!!

Online Classes

Online classes
resume January 24, 2024!

 

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Saturday MS and Movement Challenges Class
Saturday mornings
9:00am-10:30 am (Pacific Time)
(class resumes January 27)

 

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 Wednesday MS and Movement Challenges Class 

Wednesday mornings

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

(class resumes January 24)

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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.

 

Interested in renting a class?

Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve recorded some online classes.

RENT CLASSES HERE

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Private Sessions and Consultations

ONLINE and IN-PERSON

 To schedule an online Private Session or Consultation
Click here 
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 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 – YOGA ATMÂ PARIS
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  – DUBLIN IYENGAR YOGA
DUBLIN, IRELAND
Click here for info 

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

 
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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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