Corine is a senior teacher with a wealth of technical knowledge and experience, which she imparts with passion, energy and generosity. It is a combination of her love of yoga, her solid grounding in its moral code and her constant emphasis on precision that makes her an excellent and well-respected teacher. She has written a book on the sages in India mythology and has run the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Paris with her husband Faeq since 1984.
Early march brought a flurry of activity as Corine Biria returned to Cape Town after 5 years. My memory of the previous intensive with Corine was that she was strong, knowledgeable in a way that made learning old and new poses interesting and accessible. After the first session I was reminded that she is indeed an incredible teacher. In 5 wonderful days, we were brought closer to the muscles, ligaments, joints, organs, and skin. Every part of the body became alive with energy and awareness. With humility, compassion and many years of experience, she guided us through the poses that we have done so many times in a way that they felt as if they where being done for the first time. Time to rethink the regular paths of moving into, staying and coming out of the poses.
The collarbones (groins) of the legs will be well remembered by those that attended the course. We where made to become intricately aware of this area in each standing pose. The afternoon sessions of restorative poses and pranayama where equally enlightening. By taking the few props that where available, she made whales out of the blankets, blocks and blankets. We were kept in the poses for long restorative times. Using the baby being fed as an analogy for pranayama guiding us to use the breath to feed the body in a gentle, nutritious way.
In her gentle humorous way, students where chosen to demonstrate areas that needed attention. Everyone learnt and integrated the lesson once back on the mat with repetition and intricate attention to detail.
It is always wonderful to come together as an Iyengar community. We are reminded of our Guruji, to whom we owe the wonderful gift of this method of yoga and the teachers that come into our lives to guide us to a practice that is not harmful to our bodies. To intricately understand how the body comes together as bones, muscles, ligaments, organs and an awareness of how all the parts work together. Having Corine in South Africa is a wonderful reminder of the work of our beloved Guruji as she brings to us her devotion to this path of yoga and guides us to our own center.