Madhukanta teaches at several yoga studios in town, but offers a master class once a month on Saturdays at FitNation on 'New Square.' I've attended several, and each one usually draws his regular students. This one was no exception - he referred to everyone by name and had an amiable tone with us all. Students ranged in age from late 30s to probably mid 60's.
The theme of this class was twists, with the class named in honor of the sage Matsyendra. As we worked our way progressively through sitting and standing twisting poses, Madhukanta outlined some of the benefits of the day's chosen asanas. Twisting postures increase flexibility in the spine, can assist with back problems, help with digestion, and massage the abdominal organs to help relieve constipation. The list of benefits goes on, and he encouraged us to review them again after class.
Madhukanta took his time helping each of us with physical assists, as we held the poses for longer than usual. 'Use you uddiyana bandha,' he encouraged me. It'd been awhile since I thought of the breath and bandhas, and was able to get further into several poses than I have in awhile. Two poses in particular stuck out - one was revolved side angle pose (parivrtta parsvakonasana), and the other revolved triangle (parivrtta trikonasana). I usually have difficulty with both of these poses, and find it particularly hard to relax or find ease while practicing them. With the help of the breath, and Madhukanta's fantastic assists, I was able to hold these poses for longer than usual and have confidence that I was in my own proper alignment for them.
It's an in inspiration for me to watch a yoga master in action, teaching what he or she loves, practices and transmits so well. I've known Madhukanta for five years, and have been a regular at his yoga classes for most of that time. There was a period for two years where I attended his 7:00 a.m. class faithfully every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Though I'd have to set the alarm for 5:45, and sometimes race through the snow to make it on time, it was well worth the effort. I'm pretty sure it was those classes that allowed me to keep my sanity and good nature at work!
Two hours flew by like 20 minutes. I looked out the window before pulling a blanket over my body to rest in savasana. Snow was coming down hard - a long winter in store. I closed my eyes, my body relaxed and mind calm. Thank you Madhukanta!