Dear Teachers, Students, and Friends,
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 this knowledge.”
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.
- 1938 film https://youtu.be/ML9yZd7bIvY
- Yoga: The Ultimate Freedom (1976)https://youtu.be/TSF651SRBLs
- Samadhi (1977) https://youtu.be/Ki9qos7dWTg
- Demonstration in Sydney 1983 https://youtu.be/4t2OLXi2xvY
- Guruji teaching in London in 1985 Part 1https://youtu.be/VVIbEEJcaSo
- Guruji teaching in London in 1985 Part 2https://youtu.be/C0UV-9r-lBw
- Excerpt from Backbend Intensive 1991 Part 1:https://youtu.be/Dp1prmXH3dM
- Excerpt from Backbend Intensive 1991 Part 2:
- Guruji conducting a medical class in Australia in 1992https://youtu.be/G2dPWoKaUYI
- Q&A During the Estes Park Convention 2005https://youtu.be/GD37MGMJdyg
- Guruji teaching Virasana in China, 2011https://youtu.be/_z0WtfMzuAw
- Speaking on Guru Purnima, 2013https://youtu.be/XqOeMM9HoNg
- On his 95th birthday, 2013 https://youtu.be/Rf7LxDWgYQQ
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 Sūtra I.1).
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.
Source: Remembering Guruji