Greetings from Louisiana!

Yoga Garden SF owner and instructor Marisa Toriggino has been on retreat since Friday and she’s written a letter home!  Here she shares the highlights of her experience studying with Patricia Walden (recently returned from studying with B.K.S. Iyengar) at an abbey in southern Louisiana.

Marisa’s travels will continue when she and Gabriella Yates host their own Mediterranean Yoga Retreat on the island of Ischia in Italy this June.  There’s still time to register for the Italy retreat with a $100 discount before February 15th.

Read Marisa’s letter:

I have been studying with Patricia Walden at an abbey in southern Louisiana since last Friday. We practice yoga asana from 9:30-1:00 each day and then have a session from 4:30-7:00 each afternoon.  In the afternoon we discuss yoga philosophy, practice inversions and either reclining or seated pranayama.  This is an excellent format, and one David and I have used when we’ve given retreats (this was before we became parents, so long ago now).

We also observe silence from 9:30pm to 9:30am. This is surprisingly easy to do.  It actually ends up being from 9:30pm to 1:00pm each day because the morning practice starts at 9:30 and we really aren’t talking much during that.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the first sequence that we did.  I am not sending the notes or the focus in any of the poses, but you can begin to see what we are doing here in a 3.5 hour practice.  Patricia just got back from spending a month with B.K.S. Iyengar in India, so she is very kindly telling us very interesting things! and with great detail!

Adho Mukha Virasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Uttanasana -concave back
Supta Tadasana-at wall, knees bent, push away from wall to straighten legs
Supta Tadasana-at wall, feet together and then feet apart (hip distance)
Supta Tadasana-legs up, feet in air
Tadasana-feet hip width apart
Tadasana-feet together
Tadasana-hands badangullyasana
Ardha Uttanasana-at wall
Walked in to wall and arms, hands up wall
A.M.S. heels at wall
Standing forward Bend-Padnagusthasana-but not true Padangusthasana action
A.M.S.-heels at wall
A.M.S. for women specifically for hips, lift outer upper thighs
Vrksasana x2
Trikonasana x2
Supta Padangusthasana
Prasarita Padottanasana A
Parsvakonasana x2
Virabhadrasana I
Uttanasana- legs wide and arms wide
Baradvajasana  2 or 1 or Uppavista

The last thing I will mention is that I got my period on the second day, so I have been doing 3.5 hours of yoga for menstruation each day.  Very deep.  Very informative.  It is wonderful to have one of the senior teachers in the Iyengar tradition support you during this special time.  And something I will be able to share with other women practicing yoga.

Hope to see you in class soon!