Dear Teachers, Students, and
As we approach the one year
anniversary of Sri BKS Iyengar’s death on August 20, let us take time for quiet reflection
on the past year and on the continued presence of Guruji’s spirit in our lives.
Even though we may not meet together in person to mark this anniversary, there
are ways that we can come together to acknowledge Guruji’s profound influence
on us, our practice, and our teaching, and to express our gratitude for the
gifts that Guruji has given to Yoga practitioners throughout the world.
As students of BKS Iyengar, we
are part of lineage – a yoga paramparā.
As Geetaji told us so eloquently at the convention last December, “when we the
students learn from the Guru, the knowledge he has passed on to us we must
carry forward, always remaining together. With purity of mind, we must carry on
We are most fortunate that so
much of what Guruji taught has been recorded and is available to us in books,
videos, and from our teachers. It enables us to remain steeped in his teachings
though he is no longer physically among us.
As we observe the one year
anniversary of his passing, here are some things that you can do to keep
Guruji’s teachings in your thoughts and in your cells:
- Read a passage or chapter
from Light On Life
- Practice an asana sequence
from Light On Yoga
- Practice a pranayama sequence
from Light On Pranayama
- Practice with your friends
using one of his teachings from the Stability chapter of Light On Life as a theme.
- Teach a class inspired by one
of his teachings.
- Take some quiet time and
reflect on the ways he has inspired your practice, teaching, and your life. (Vītarāga viṣayaṁ vā cittam – Yoga Sutra
I.37 – Or the mind becomes steady by contemplating enlightened sages who are
free from desires and attachments).
- How would your life be
different had you not been practicing or teaching his method?
- What is the essence of his
teaching for you?
- Read and/or chant the 2nd
pada of the Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra.
- Watch one of the wonderful
videos of Guruji available on YouTube.
Through his example, Guruji
showed us how to live a yogic life moment by moment. As he once told us, “You
do yoga; I live yoga.” With these memories of Guruji fresh in our minds and in
our hearts, “Now, with prayers for divine blessings, let us begin the sacred
art of yoga” (Atha yogānuśāsanam – Yoga
May we be protected together.
May we be nourished together. May we continue to work together with great vigor
to keep the flame of Guruji’s practice and teaching burning brightly. May there
be no hatred among us.
Om, peace, peace, peace.