I purchased a 10 class pass at Rasa Yoga when I first started doing yoga in Paris, and since they don't expire, I've been using it ever since. I feel a bit bad that I've had it so long and haven't used it up, so I'm making an effort to get out and do some non-home practices now that it's 'la rentrée' and the regularly scheduled teachers are back. I decided to take an Iyengar class at Rasa. BKS Iyengar is responsible for bringing modern yoga to the western world. His 'Light on Yoga' book is the bible of asana (pose) yoga and Iyengar classes are great for making sure your alignment is in proper order. So I found an Iyengar 2 class at Rasa with Alex and was on my merry way. According to the bio I found on Alex, he has a humble and precise style and an absolute respect for his master BKS Iyengar (translation). After having taken his class, I would say that's an accurate description.
We started with some seated breathing and Iyengar centric spinal alignment and diaphragm work, then, first pose -tadasana (mountain pose), second pose 'hop' -sirsanana (headstand). Nice! I've been doing headstand since I was a kid and my crazy Uncle Dado taught me how to do a tripod headstand, so I did mine in the middle of the floor. 'Descends' he said to me, "top of the head on the floor." My vinyasa headstand on the front of the crown of the head was not appropriate for Iyengar class, and my wrist was bent in the wrong direction, so he manually straightened my (broken) arm, and 'hop', I was back up. The remainder of the class was similarly strict (from the stories I've heard, this is typical French instruction) with magnificent direction focusing on alignment of the pose via the center axis of the body. I admit, I didn't understand all the directions he gave, as they were in French, and they were an Iyengar vocabulary that I'm not accustomed to, but he was excellent at getting students into the correct alignment with only his words and a few pokes and prods. Iyengar is all alignment, with no flow in between. We did maybe seven poses in the entire class, one being downdog. There were no vinyasas or chaturangas, so this class is probably not so interesting for those lovers of Vinyasa, but if you're looking to sweat, get your alignment more precise, and grit your teeth a bit, this was a good class, especially if your french is better than mine.
Teacher: Alex Onfroy
Studio: Rasa Yoga rive gauche
Class: Iyengar 2
Feel Good Vibe: ★
Spiritual Lesson: N/A
Would I pay 20€ to take a class with him again?
Nope. It was a little too much like what I imagine military school to be like and didn't have enough flow for my taste.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.