Parveen Nair teaches yoga in Iyengar style, so there were very detailed instructions about alignment and engagement of specific body parts in each asana. Unlike many Iyengar classes, these instructions were not overwhelming and frustrating, as the teacher taught them in a very methodical way. He gave one instruction, made sure that everyone understood it and felt the effect of a particular body engagement in the asana, and only when the previous instruction was clear, he layered the next instruction on top of it. Then we tried to apply body action that we learned in one asana to another asana and see its effects.
In the class of 90 minutes, we did just 5 or 6 asanas, but it was very interesting and engaging process, the time flew fast.
Yogi Parveen is the first Iyengar teaches whom I know who so clearly and explicitly talks about philosophical aspects of yoga and emphasizes the work on the mind as a paramount goal of a yoga class with work on the body merely serving as an instrument of disciplining and refining the mind. Lots of practitioners of other styles, when they get to an Iyengar class, get confused with so many instructions on bodily alignment and therefore consider this style a “physical yoga”. However, Parveen Nair talks in his class about an integration of body, breath, and mind as a focus of practice. He explains that detailed instructions on body alignment help to bring the mind from wandering in the past and future to the present moment, inside one’s body. He talks about disciplining one’s mind as a goal of practice, and learning to notice and observe one’s thoughts without allowing the mind to be colored by them.
The personality of this teacher and his teaching style are a perfect illustration of applying yogic attitude in life. He is gentle, not strict, attentive to students, approachable, friendly, has a sense of humor and quickly establishes contact with students in the class.
Several participants of the festival who were complete beginners said that they would study with this teacher as he explains the basics, repeats every instruction many times in different positions and different iteration so that you do it exactly right, and he does not make beginners feel inadequate, weak, inflexible, or out of place. Experienced students will have plenty to learn from him as well.
This is a teacher I would recommend because he can teach body alignment, both basic and challenging asanas, and also self-observation, cultivation of attention and other mental aspects of yogic practice.