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YD Giveaway: ‘Sparks of Divinity’ By B.K.S. Iyengar – Honoring Guruji One Year After His Passing

in Giveaways!, YD News

bks-iyengarIt is one year ago today B.K.S. Iyengar left his earthly body at the age of 95. Though he left us in form, he certainly remains for many of us in spirit, and for even more of us through his long legacy of teachings. We might not have all been able to study with him in India, but luckily we can read about others’ experiences, and of course we can also read his words through his books, including The Tree of Yoga and Light on Yoga, which many refer to as the Bible of yoga asana.

Sparks of Divinity

Perhaps one of the most unique perspectives we can gain is from a collection of teachings, class notes and correspondence compiled by Iyengar’s student Noëlle Perez-Christiaens in a book called Sparks of Divinity. The book offers an inspiring combination of wisdom from B.K.S. Iyengar and insight from his pupil on Guruji’s teachings from 1959 to 1975. And while we can’t turn back time (or time travel to the 60s) we can at least peek into, and gain knowledge from, the teachings that came to life back then and continued to become the foundation for modern yoga. We are delighted to be able to give away copies of it to YD readers.

More info on how to enter below.

WIN: Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Sparks of Divinity: The Teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar from 1959 to 1975a 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. (TIP: Check out them out on facebook for regular giveaways of their other great books.)

TO ENTER: For this one, we’re going simple. At one point or another we’ve all had a teacher or teachers who have made a special and significant impact on our lives, steering us in the right direction, teaching us important lessons, or maybe just being someone to talk to when we needed it most. Maybe you never had a chance to extend your gratitude or maybe you’ve already sent dozens of thank you notes. Either way, we’re giving you an opportunity now. To enter today’s giveaway, share with us a simple thank you note to a teacher in your life, whether in yoga or beyond. Leave your entry in the comments below, on facebook, or on twitter (for social media, be sure to tag @yogadork and @RodmellPress)

Giveaway will remain open until 11:59pm Monday, August 24th. Three winners will be chosen at random and announced soon after. Good luck!

UPDATE: And our winners are…Genevieve Rohan, Tess and Gina Cole! Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and say a thank you to the important teachers in your life. 

photo credit Coni Hörler

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38 comments… add one

  • Tayler Wolfe

    I would love to thank Adrienne from Yoga with Adrienne. Before starting yoga over year ago, I was in terrible pain due to my back. I was desperate to find some relief and my sister suggested yoga. I found Adrienne on YouTube and have been almost pain free for over 6 months. She does an amazing job at teaching at all levels and is so upbeat. I have advanced so much in my practice and I so more confidence in myself.

  • Monica WB

    My Dad, Web Wilke, has been a wonderful example of the value of yoga and dedication, throughout my life, he’s been practicing most mornings since I was a kid. I really only dabbled randomly here and there until at age 37 I decided I needed my own yoga practice. Luckily I was introduced to Adamantine Yoga, and have slowly become a dedicated practitioner, and am a kinder, calmer, stronger person for it!

  • Je

    Essentially, I have every teacher to thank however, the following have stood out and whose teaching are still etched in my mind: Armando, John Rodabaugh, John Alfieri, Tom McCallum,
    Emma, Sahron Salzberg, Sylvia Boorstein, BKS Iyengar, Carol Cavanaugh, Patricia Walden,
    Manouso Manos, Clare & Jean.

  • Wendy Bardsley

    I am feeling very grateful for two teachers today, Katchie Ananda and Samantha Terhune. You each, in your own ways, made me feel like I could bring whatever arose to yoga class, that it didn’t have to be shiny and beautiful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Words can’t express the gratitude for those many hours I experienced with each of you at Yoga Kula.

  • Teachers are a special gift that we are given throughout our lives. My first gurus were my mother Anne and her mother Jennie. There are too many other teachers to even begin to name. To each of them, I bow in gratitude.

  • My teacher Judith Hanson Lasater is a blessing in my life. I feel honored to be a student in her class. I’ve learned how to be a better student and teacher. Also, I’m a better person because of her teachings. Thank you Judith

  • I’d like to thank Judith Hanson Lasater, who introduced me to restorative yoga many years ago on a visit to San Francisco, and who continues to inspire me with her great knowledge, true kindness, and clear boundaries. I have in my notes from a teacher training with her: “You have to love your students”; she demonstrates this in so many ways!

  • Lin Ostler

    Over the 40+ years I’ve been a Yoga Guide & also a Pre/Postnatal Yoga Instructor, the teacher’s I’ve studied with have been vast and varied. Shiva Rea, David Swenson, Tracy Rich & Ganga White, Donna Farhi–many more. I’ve learned and implemented something essential from each teacher.
    But you must know that I have learned most from my students–by intuitively sensing what is the best path to take to comply with & expand the individual requests which have inspired the selections of asanas done that hour or more. I’ve sensed their energy, learned how to modify and energize the class accordingly.
    It is no small thing that a beautiful few have asked me to be their doula for a birth or two, and then offering the delight of seeing them return with their babies in my Mom & Baby classes. How blessed my life has been to teach an average of 10 classes a week for so very long!

  • Nour

    My 3/4 grade teacher, Mrs. Harris, was a phenomenal teacher. She was hardworking, challenged us, and was very loving. I have such a great memory of her. She was meant to be a teacher.

  • Sir Sasana

    Thank You to Jenni Suchi of The Yoga Shala in Victoria, BC.

  • thank you, rita, of orange, ct!

  • Gina Fajardo

    My deepest heartfelt continued thanks goes to my current Mysore teacher Lisa Schrempp of Ashtanga Yoga Tucson (soon to be Ashtanga Yoga Phoenix). She brings Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ teachings to us genuinely yet with a firm grace all her own. Lisa is also very much about reaching out to others and the community in service. She inspires me to leave fear behind and has shown me a beautiful example of the type of practitioner, teacher, and human being I would like to be. She has my highest love and respect always. <3

  • Paige

    My heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Juel, my kindergarten teacher almost 50 years ago. She set the stage for my learning by also offering love in addition to academics. As the saying goes…”Everything I learned, I learned in kindergarten.” To this day, Mrs. Juel is my sacred “jewel” and memories still remain as she made a tremendous difference in the life of a child.

  • Tess

    Thanks Mom and Dad for all your wisdom, insight, constant love, support and guidance. Thank you most of all for loving me as I am and loving my family. Thank you doesn’t even cover with words how important you are but “Thank You” will have to do.

  • I know no one more dedicated than Chris Saudek of The Yoga place in LA Crosse, WI, who has been my primary local teacher since 1988. I am humbled by her and a so much better person because of her kindness and commitment. I thank also Guruji, Prashant Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, Swati and Rajiv Chanchani, and other teachers in India who share the depth and truth of yoga with directness and precision. I bow to you all.

  • Crystal Simmons ns

    I’d like to send deep thanks to Serena Crawford for modeling a way of being in the world that accepts life as it happens, acknowledging the vast expanse of love available at all times, and embracing those challenging times of suffering like an old friend. You’re a light in my world, a genuine role model.

  • Michelle D

    To MEM, thank you for that amazing yoga class that changed my life forever. Thank you to JM and JF who encouraged me to do yoga teacher training. Thank you to the wonderful yoga teachers and studio owners I’ve met along the way. Thank you to Mom, my first teacher, who paved the way for all this happen.

  • Melanie Knapp

    One of my greatest teachers, without a doubt is my son, Jon Knapp. It is to him that I owe the greatest debt of gratitude. His fierce sense of loyalty to his friends and family, his unwavering dedication to the effort necessary to master a skill, and the tenderness of his heart inspire me each and every day.

  • jenn

    Huge thanks to Mel Salvador, who continues to be a shining light in my life. She is a yogi, yoga teacher, studio owner, mentor, friend and awesome person that words can’t even do justice for how incredible she is.

  • Renata Butera

    I would love to thank my husband who has taught me the depths of unconditional love and has been a mirror to my actions and thoughts. He taught me about the rainbow and shades of gray between black and white and what it’s like to give fully and completely and showed me paths to walk on and grow from and yet let them still me my paths and not his walk.

  • Rachel

    I want to thank Ashley Kohler – she has such a strong following that it can be intimidating at first. But she has the most beautiful soul and makes it a point to make you feel loved as you practice. She helped me grow so much every time I practiced with her, and I am so grateful for all that she has given me.

  • Gina Cole

    I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to people whom I have come into contact with on a daily basis. Be it a driver on the road that has just cut me off or a rude voice at the other end of the line. You all are my life long teacher. Without you I won’t be able to learn how to be compassionate and learning to live and let live. Thank you. I am forever grateful.

  • Stella

    I started prenatal yoga classes in 1981, then discovered Lilias on TV and in a book my mother used. In 1999 I attended a Yoga & Zen retreat at Tassajara where Judith Hanson Lasater invited a yogic exploration of life. While taking a yoga teacher training class later that same year, I discovered Iyengar’s book, “Light on Yoga”, which, to me, is the “bible” of yoga. I learned Sirsasana from his book as well as yamas, niyamas, pranayama, and so much more, which I still study to this day!

  • Sri Dharma Mittra. Thank you for being you are. Your simplicity. Your honesty. Your good heart. Your radiance. Your yoga nidra. Your Maha Sadhana. Your humor. Your spontaneous laugh. Your compassion. Your lovingkindness. Your ecuanimity. Om shanti om.

  • Besides all my deepest gratitude to be able to study and be with with The Man, Himself, B.K.S., I also extend my thanks to my high school English teacher: Mrs. Eugenia Lester, from Sunset High School in Hayward, California. Mrs. Lester taught us meditation in her living room on Wednesday nights. We lay around on the floor listening to some guru from somewhere, on some unknown cassette tape, watching our breath and imagining bubbles and things. It was the start. An important start. I will never forget this direct introduction to what has become my life’s work. Hari Om Tat Sat. Thank You.

  • Anne

    I will always be grateful for the teaching and guidance of Laurie Blakeney, an Iyengar yoga teacher in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I only studied with her for 4 years, but it’s carried me through the next 20. I’ve never found a regular teacher or one remotely near her caliber. I think of her daily and thank her in my practice.

  • The first Yoga instructor I had was Camille Taylor. I came to Yoga via rock climbing and specifically wanted a physical routine to alleviate pain and prevent injuries. I fell in love physically with yoga immediately. Over the course of many years my mind opened up and I allowed Yoga to speak to my mind as much as my body. This Union has allowed me to complete my 200hr and share my knowledge as an athlete turned Yogi :-) . What a journey thanks to Camille!

  • J. Brown, for sharing his wisdom with us and teaching to meet my student where he/she is; invaluable lessons that are providing me right now with the tools my students need to heal and grow on and off the mat. Forever grateful.

  • My first teacher was Tilla Petra Gill, a Austrian woman who lived on the third floor of my mother’s house. I wish I knew how to contact her today! She planted the seed. And to the woman, who took me deeper into the art of teaching ,who taught me to explore, to accept no ones “this is how its done” indoctrination, to make yoga accessible to everyone, to not be lured in by the trappings, the love anatomy, to know that I am my own best teacher…Barbara Benagh!

  • My gratitude goes out to my grandma who also has passed several years ago. She’s the one who taught me yoga and inspired me to share the teaching as well. It’s because of her I’m a yoga teacher today.

  • I’m grateful to Richard Freeman for being my ashtanga teacher and one of the wisest, most compassionate beings on the planet. Years ago, as I was struggling to yank my legs into yoga nidrasana in a mysore class, Richard came over to give me an assist. But instead of helping me in the way I expected – by maneuvering my body into the outer form, he skillfully helped me shift something far more resistant than bones and muscles – my mind. He knelt beside me and quietly asked, “What are you doing?” I blurted out that I was trying to get into yoga nidrasana because it was next pose in the series, because everyone else in the room was doing it. “Who cares?” he said. “Who cares?” Those two words have changed my life. Those two words have given me permission to listen to my body and to stop comparing my body, my practice, and most importantly, my Self, to others. Richard’s words resonate every time I hit a wall of comparison, of exhaustion, of overaccomplishment, of resignation, on or off the mat. Meditating on the question “Who cares?” has opened a door of self-compassion and self-awareness faster than twenty years of asana practice, or therapy, for that matter! “Who cares?” Such a simple yet profound question that continues to provide for me a gateway to liberation. I share this story often with my students now, when I see them muscling their way into a pose, when I see them being hard on themselves in way that my younger self was so critical of me. Thank you, Richard, for being my teacher.

  • Linda Wells

    A heartfelt thank you of appreciation and gratitude to my dear friend and yoga mentor Daniel Marcus (and his wife, Amba Connors). He taught me in the tradition of Kripalu yoga, both on the mat and, more importantly, in my life during some very challenging times. I know that I grew as a yogini and as a person because of his guidance and shared wisdom. It’s a joy to still be his friend and student as we both approach our senior years. My heart is filled with much love and many thanks. I am blessed to have had him as my teacher.

  • nelliebelle1197

    Thanks to Steve, Kathleen and Nancy, the best Iyengar teachers around, taught by Guruji, Geeta & Prashant, teaching me.

  • Nicole

    There are so many teachers I would like to thank. The ones I would like to mention now aren’t even people– they are the all the animals who have crossed my path. Most especially, my first dog, a red dachshund named Sparky. Having him in my life made me a more compassionate person as he was the first to show me all life is equal … no matter how many legs you have.

  • Alexis

    A big thank you to all of my teachers that have shared yoga with me in different ways. Have been working with David Kyle, and learning more about Ashtanga and rocket yoga. A big thank you to him for sharing the teachings of Larry Schultz.

  • Shelby Rodriguez

    I would love to thank Kamini Desai for her invaluable wealth of knowledge she has given me about life. Through her teachings about Yoga Nidra, I have learned how to deal better with my depression and anxiety caused by my Bipolar I Disorder. I have used and will continue to Nidra for the rest of my life. Love and light to Kamini.

  • I never would have found yoga if I hadn’t needed to take a PE class in college. I never would have gone to college if it weren’t for my stepdad. I fell in love with yoga in college, have been practicing for 12 years, and have attained my RYT 200. While being homeless, getting clean from drugs, my RYT teachers Lauren Duker and Susie Ritchie helped me find my inner teacher. Now I know deep inside that I am the student, I am the teacher, and I am the Universe.

  • Oh, Evie, I just found this. It’s such an honor to have been a small part of your journey and an absolute inspiration to watch you grow. You are the light, sister!

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