Today, December 14, 2013, BKS Iyengar turns 95 years on this earth. Happy birthday, Guruji! Iyengar is one of the founding fathers of modern day yoga and his teachings still permeate and resonate through much of what we consider as popular yoga today. As many pay tribute to Mr. Iyengar (we invite you to read the big birthday spread in the Sakal Times featuring words from his family as well as his students and teachers of the Iyengar method) we’re delighted to celebrate his teachings by giving away a book that compiles many of them, spanning over 15 years from when yoga was reaching its tipping point in the west.
WIN: THREE lucky winners will receive a copy of Sparks of Divinity: The Teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar from 1959 to 1975, a collection of the teachings of yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar first published in a French-English bilingual edition in 1976, courtesy of Rodmell Press.
TO ENTER: Taking a page from the book, and in the spirit of honoring the greatest teachers in each of our lives, please share with us in the comments how BKS Iyengar, your own yoga teacher, your best friend or any other inspirational person in your life has helped to guide you along your journey. This time of year is always great for reflection – feel free to add what you might say to them today knowing what you know now. Be as brief or verbose as you like.
Check out Rodmell Press on facebook for regular giveaways of their great books.
Giveaway will remain open until 11:59pm Wednesday, December 18. Three winners will be chosen at random and announced soon after. Good luck!
UPDATE: And the winnres are…Devi, Michelle and Saraswati! Thanks to all for sharing your experiences and gratitude in the comments.
In my 25 years of teaching , I am grateful for all the wisdom, inspiration and encouragement of my teachers, but one of the most memorable teachings of all: “Inhale, Exhale, and repeat often”
Yoga has changed my life. I have been practicing yoga on and off for more than 30 years, abut I returned to it in 2009 with a broken body and soul. I discovered a new yoga studio whose owner and teachers were very knowledgeable about Iyengar influenced yoga, and these people restored my hurting body and soul. The practice I’ve had since 2009 is different than the yoga I practiced before. Yoga has changed me and how I handle life’s difficulties, whether they are physical or mental or emotional. I can sail the rough seas of life better with yoga.
Practicing Iyengar has brought balance and peace to all aspects of my life…and the Iyengar community brings me joy. What Guruji said is true, through our bodies we do discover that we are “sparks of divinity”. Beautiful words from a beautiful master.
Bks Iyengar and his teachers taught me how to get stable and grounded in the yoga asana and in my own body and psyche, mind and emotions. And as a yoga teacher and student I never looked at asanas (postures) or felt in them the same way, once I learned some of his allgiment ideas. As he said in Colorado teaching when Yoga Jounal brought his over to the USA, his alignment ideas are the alignment of the soul with the Self or atman worth Atman in Sanskrit, not just the physical allgiment in asana, such wisdom of a true yogi he sheds.
Bks Iyengar and his teachers taught me how to get stable and grounded in the yoga asana and in my own body and psyche, mind and emotions. And as a yoga teacher and student I never looked at asanas (postures) or felt in them the same way, once I learned some of his allgiment ideas. As he said in Colorado teaching when Yoga Jounal brought his over to the USA, his alignment ideas are the alignment of the soul with the Self or atman worth Atman in Sanskrit, not just the physical allgiment in asana, such wisdom of a true yogi he sheds. Om shanti
We are all celebrating Iyengars work, his art and absorbing the yogic principles of living. Guruji’s 95th birthday is filled with words of inspired gratitude of the next generation of students and teachers. Guruji’s words encourage us to stretch our consciousness into the body and heart.
I found Iyengar yoga during a very turbulent time in my life and it helped bring me back to myself. I am forever grateful to Guruji and my wonderful local teachers for giving me the tools to deal with all of life’s joys and difficulties.
Among other great contributions, Mr Iyengar has set up a system of yoga consistent around the world. I can go to a Iyengar class in London, Pune, or NYC and expect the levels to be consistent and the teachers to be of high standard.
I started my practice because I was looking for an exercise program that I liked enough to stick with, so that I could lose some weight. And though I came to it with slightly misguided intentions, with my teacher Nancy’s gentle guidance I soon realized how much more it was than a little exercise program. I’m so happy to have a teacher who showed me the mind and breath of yoga!
I started my yoga practice over a decade ago with the focus on attaining poses. Over the years, my yoga teachers have taught me that it’s all about the process, the journey. That was big for me.
In India, my country, we would touch our guru feets before bowing to GOD as sign of respect( supereme soul)
why? because guru shows us the way . Without guruji, the way was not seen even though it was there in existence.Yoga, which comes YUJ, a sanskrit word for communion or to unite , also means to really become with with your GURU and his teaching.
thank you guruji. may the joy be with you always.
Between everything that happens with us and around us iyengar always gave me the hour to go back to myself – concentrate and training my body and mind – reflect outside on the way I align myself and the way I approach events. I found myself go to iyengar practice at times of physical and / or emotional stress. It is always there for me.
The ways in which yoga has changed my life are vast and varied. Regular practice has given me the gift of a long career as a Massage Therapist which I love and don’t believe I’d still be capable of without the strength and mobility I cultivate on the mat but its also so much more than that. I learn so much about myself when I show up to the mat, or meditate, or practice mantra, or study the words of the masters. I recently watched a movie on the history of yoga and in it Iyengar says , “My practice is my mantra”. Jai! So true. Happy Birthday Guruji! Thank you!
After seeking my guru for 15 years taking classes on both coasts, I met Basil Jones, in Bedford, NY. He is an unassuming, beautiful, shining spirit. He always welcomes every student with love and is deeply knowledgeable of ancient teachings along with flowing and fun classes and articulate alignment (Iyengar influence). Seeking a studio closer to my office, I somehow found the unadvertised studio of Saraswati in CT. The three primary Alignment based Vinyasa teachers are different but the message was similar: daily study (read, listen), daily practice (meditation, asana, pay attention), always be a student (expansive) and be your own guru. These teachers along with many others that I have had the honor of taking workshops from at Kripalu, Wanderlust and Spirit Rock continue to reinforce the path of living gracefully. I now live on the West Coast and keep them in my heart like Hanuman with Ram. 🙂
18 years ago I was introduced to yoga and my life forever changed. My teacher stressed yoga as a lifestyle and told me to read the Sivananda book of yoga. My heart opened up to it and I’m forever thankful to her.
Love and thanks to my own teacher, from whom I’ve learned so much. I am not and never will be a Really Bendy Person but I have learned that it doesn’t matter. So thankful.
I travelled to India to embark on a spiritual journey after a sudden and violent death of someone close to me. I met a boy on a train who was about 4. He sat with his family, 4 siblings and presumably his very young parents. I pulled out a wind up flashlight and showed him how to make light. He was mesmerized. When they left the train flashlight in hand, I felt ashamed. That a 3 dollar flashlight probably changed his life and I didn’t think anything if it. That little Indian boy taught me to be mindful of what I had. That Lululemons don’t make me a good yogi. That I have the power to change lives by opening myself up to new experiences.
Iyengar’s “Light On Yoga” helped me survive High School!
Hours of stoned Asana & Pranayama while listening to Bob Dylan….
Finding cosmic ease in the “seat of self” and enjoying the sweetness of being.
After a 15 year break, its great to be back on the mat, thanks to Ashtanga.
Homage to all the disciples of Krishnamacharya.
~ Om Shanti Shanti Shanti ~
Yoga is “chitta vritti nirodha”- stilling the alternating thought waves of the mind.
Since starting my practice four years ago, this teaching has been my anchor, rooting me into the mat and growing out into the world.
I am so grateful for Patanjali, Iyengar, and all my Baba’s for continually gracing me with this wisdom, the wisdom of yoga, teaching me to turn in, to open and to make space. It is because of their giving that I am blessed with the opportunity to give the same gift of yoga to those around me as an instructor. Like tidal waves starting from one small push of consciousness, we ripple together, out and up, helping to spread more wisdom and peace for the whole world to benefit.
I recently moved and I’ve been deeply missing my Atlanta yoga teachers – so much that I’ve hardly gotten back on the mat in the months since. But they taught me to be brave and to trust myself deeply, encouraging me to stay with discomfort, to always make an attempt even when I’m unsure of myself, and to love my practice even when it’s difficult. It would be a dishonor to them to forget the gifts they gave me, so I’m back to a yoga studio this afternoon – and can’t wait!
i hope that you made it to class! it can be intimidating breaking into a new yoga community but everyone is there for the same reason and i’m sure they’d be so happy that you took the first step. theres no place like ones ‘home’ studio so good luck!
I am so thankful to the teachers and owners of Bikram Yoga Baltimore for creating a strong and life changing yoga community here in Baltimore. I started doing yoga on my 31st birthday when I felt like something was missing in my life. I had tried other forms of yoga before but Bikram was where it was at for me. It brought me fulfillment and purpose and more friends than I ever imagined I’d make here in baltimore. I feel it is so important to encourage other people to try yoga to bring serenity and mindfullness to their life. The teachers at Bikram Yoga Baltimore are amazing, and so are the students. Such a wonderful and supportive group, nothing like I’ve EVER encountered in my many years of gym memberships and triathlon teams. I just celebrated my 2 year yoga-versary and look forward to practicing every day (or as often as I can) for the rest of my life. NAMASTE!
As my teacher always tells us: Be in the moment and breathe!!
I have been inspired by so many teachers over the years. It was my teacher who encouraged me to become a teacher and changed my whole world. I never thought I could be in the seat of the teacher – but I’m alwaus reminded that I’m a student always first.
I am so grateful to have found a teacher who has fired up my soul! She is patient and kind and so incredibly knowledgeable. She has taught me to believe in and trust myself and encouraged me to get to know the real me. Thank you to my teacher, and to all the amazing teachers out there who have helped their students find their peace. Namaskar.
I am grateful to my teachers for walking their paths. I am grateful for their patience as I resisted and still resist with some things to this day as I walk my path. I laugh harder and get angrier faster but let those lingerings go faster than I used to for my current balance.
yoga, i can’t imagin my life without it
i would not be how i am without it
i am lucky that i have yoga in my life
it change me to a better person
thank you goroji for the precious gift of yoga in my life