STUDENT TESTIMONIAL from Margaret M. Gullette
I have been taking yoga for over fifteen years: I started at the age of sixty, when my first teacher was 65. Rahel Wasserfall is by far the best teacher I have encountered. She can lead a class mixed in age and practice, in a little over an hour, from warm-up stretching to safe difficult poses (that would have seemed impossible in advance).
Wasserfall has a deep knowledge of the body and the positions that are safe for people each with her or his own individual problem. With many moves, she shows the position and talks us through the steps to get there. (There is no foolish flow, where people stumble into the next position.)
The readings are always interesting. We dedicate the practice to our own aim. Her deep spirituality shines at various times.
Iyengar seems to me the best kind of yoga, for all these reasons, And Wasserfall, who is also a Brandeis colleague (in peace studies), is a fine exemplar. The originator, Iyengar himself, would be proud of her.
STUDENT TESTIMONIAL from Janice Papazian
IYENGAR – what is it and can I really do this?
Iyengar is a practice to calm my mind, further open my heart and make more space for: Kindness, Compassion, Honor, Equanimity – and I have learned - possibilities. I soon found out that these concepts embody my new instructor, Rahel Wasserfall.
Can I really do this?
When I approached the studio for my first Iyengar class - I felt a sense of calmness, beauty, love and safety inviting me in – all emanating from Rahel. This real-life introduction was a remarkable experience, for which I am eternally grateful and humbled.
Thoughts and feelings ran through my mind: “Wow, this is a gift for me!” “What an extraordinary spirit filling the room”; and – “however did I find myself at this threshold?”
Rahel greeted me, as she does with all students, with a sense of open arms, calmness, pleasure, such strength and a humbled confidence. There is, what I can ascribe, a magical dimension of Rahel and her true gift of connection, leadership, the betterment of us as an expansive entity and her skills as a Iyengar instructor. She conveys possibilities, adjusts poses, acknowledges hard work and seems to rejoice in even the slightest improved movement of students’ pose, patience and commitment.
Rahel leads by example, expresses self-reflective humanity; easily acknowledges that she is learning, as are we all. Rahel demonstrates the characteristics of learning and integration, and reminds us to observe ourselves without judgement. She speaks of our practice as brilliant and expresses words and an attitude of encouragement. Two examples that resonate with me are, when she says “where our body is today”; and are we “friendly to ourselves”.
I have learned about the integration of my Iyengar practice and the living of my life. Rahel’s belief in her student’s abilities, has taken me to extend beyond my limits - to a glorious place of self-discovery. I continue to find neglected aspects of my body, a body I thought I knew so well. The poses and discoveries are amazing.
My spinal structure and associated compensating body parts are challenges. Rahel has given thought to ways to enhance my practice. She has done so with apparent mindful contemplations and very effective accommodations. Additionally, she recently attended a workshop on Yoga and Scoliosis, certainly not just for me, yet quite coincidentally germane.
I am grateful to whomever or whatever led me to Rahel Wasserfall and Iyengar. Working with her has further opened me up to possibilities of all kinds. I am learning how to become friendlier with and to myself. I rejoice in my practice, and am awe inspired that I have found Rahel in my life. She had done so much for me. I feel appreciably healthier, stronger, freer and calmer as a result of working with her and I always look forward to her classes.