Ann's vivid account of French Iyengarian François Raoult's visit to California wine country requires visuals, n'est ce pas? While I have no vineyards, I do have François much of the year. He's Western New York's most treasured cultural advantage.
To the right, François uses his hands three-dimensionally to broaden and lenthen my mid-back in urdhva dhanurasana on a chair. He spreads my shoulder blades and uses his fingers to open my thoracic spine. It creates an audible release. The photograph was taken during the 2006 Essential Teacher Training, and his head, which would ordinarily be extended level with the spine, is lifted so he can speak to the other students.
Above, François uses his entire body to construct setubhanda sarvangasana . Note his open thoracic. This architecture - shoulders supporting the upper torso and the upper back vertical, makes the transition to sarvangasana easy and graceful. François' setu bhanda has a peacock quality.
During a recent crisis, François wrote to me: Daily practice is life, not asanas.