The Namesake

images6The grand master of modern yoga, BKS Iyengar was born in Belur, India, on December 14, 1918.  When he was 14, his brother-in-law, T.Krishnamacharya, introduced him to a yoga practice, which improved his tuberculosis.  Iyengar pioneered the use of props to make poses accessible to a wide array of students.  He has written a number of books, including Light on Yoga, which many practitioners esteem as the bible of yoga.  Now living in Pune, India, Iyengar still practices every day.

 

Below is an excerpt from his interview published in Yoga Journal, December 2008.  I have to put it up on this blog since I find it very inspirational, especially about his attitude towards life.  I hope it will give the same impact to the others who read this piece…

 

On his practice..

…Even now, the maximum my body can do, I do.  I am 90, and I still practice.  I stay in Sirsasana (Headstand) for half an hour.  I am improving still, progressing still.  That is why I am still practicing with such energy.  The mortal body has its limitations.  Therefore, I will still practice ‘til the last breath of my life so that I do not become a servant of the mind, but rather the master of the mind.  Old age makes a strong man say goodbye.  I am breaking the fear complex and living with confidence.

 

On the meaning of Happy Life…

… There is a difference between happiness and delight.  Happiness is at the mind level.  Delight is beyond the mind.  My asana is all beyond the frame of mind, not within the frame of mind.  That is delight.  Happiness is sensual happiness.  But delight is spiritual happiness.

 

On devoting life to teach Yoga…

… It was not by choice.  It’s by chance I took it.  The chance became a choice.  I was suffering from various illness, and with yoga I started to get better.  It gave me a lot of understanding.  I cannot divide myself from my practice; I am the asana, and the asana is me.  My life and energy are still growing.  Because I’m practicing, age has not struck me at all.

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Celebrating his 90th birthday last December 2008.

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