From Our Students…
Why am I here? Why would a straight man do Yoga? After all isn’t Yoga for girls?
Not in India! And if you’re man enough – not at Cathy Wright’s, Iyengar Yoga Center of Fort Collins either.
This is not your Health Club garden variety à la carte, (insert cliché) kind of Yoga. Like a treasured martial art this Yoga has turned this 50 plus year old man’s life upside down, literally. And, in a good way. Like a kid, remembering what fun it was to be inside my own body! Oh yeah, it was challenging to do my first head stand, and I made many bad jokes about being Gomez from the Adam’s Family, and needing a cigar for the pose. But – when I did it, my vodka grown, beer fed belly threatened to suffocate me (just kidding – kind of), and looking beyond my tummy flesh, was a grin, and a feeling that “I did it!” and a feeling like I was 7 years old all over again. Remember that time when you felt you could do anything? Remember when you first rode a bike?
Beyond the physical teaching – Cathy imbues what would be called the “internal” form of Martial Arts, like Chi, or Ki, or whatever inside energy you might call it. And to top that off and going beyond many accomplished ancient martial art systems is what Iyengar calls “Intelligence.” What a weird term for doing a physical thing, the word didn’t seem to fit to me, but after a while you begin to “get it.” Intelligence is the ability to see yourself outside your body, and make clearer decisions, be a better person, be in greater harmony with the world around us, perhaps even the universe. Like finding that sweet spot while driving somewhere and all the lights go your way, only this time if they don’t, you find a way to transform yourself beyond life’s difficulties, and guess what – that’s the real sweet spot.
It’s not a religion, but it can enhance yours. Whatever your beliefs – Iyengar’s Yoga as taught by Cathy is an internal strengthening, it is a stretching of your mind, your spirit as well as your body – and you can take that sacredness to Church, to a Temple, to your own belief system and it can really add a new dimension to your faith and to what makes up who you are.
These classes are not easy. They will test you. At times you’ll feel like a fool, and that’s okay! We’ve all been there. And that’s part of that extra something you get – ‘cause you don’t give up, you keep coming.
Many men shy away from Yoga, because it seems like a girly thing to do. And perhaps in many circles it is, but Cathy is a force of nature, she connects with the “person” and not the gender, whether you are girl or guy, she treats you the same – and tries to help you reach beyond yourself, to that you – you thought you were, but find out you are so much more.
She doesn’t see your flab, she doesn’t see your misgivings, she cuts through your ego like two handed sword – no excuses – she prods, pushes, stretches you and you’ll wonder, what am I doing here?
If you come back, and back again – you’ll begin to change, if you’re strong enough to face yourself, then learn what Iyengar meant by “Intelligence” from one of his students, and in my opinion, one gifted in her own right.
—MM, Beginner Iyengar Student