This personal post is a mark of gratitude and respect on the passing of master teacher, BKS Iyengar. His teaching shaped my life. Shapes my life.
Some of you may have seen this event in the news this week. Guruji will be forever remembered as the one who brought yoga out of India to the west in the early 1960's.
I first saw BKS Iyengar when he was a guest on a BBC children's show, probably during one of those first trips to the UK in the '60s. Not that I knew who he was beyond a dark man, in very few clothes, moving his body in ways I had never seen.
The memory is vivid and enduring. In my 20s I owned a picture book, a yoga manual, full of his photos doing yoga asana. Briefly I attempted DIY yoga.
Yet it was January 2006 before I stepped on to a yoga mat. The seeds that were sown some 40 years before took root. I was ready. Yoga entered my life and the teachings of Guruji came alive.
Last October I took up my place to study for a month at RIMYI in Pune - the Institute he established in the 1970s. An authentic centre for learning and practice. To be in the presence of this great man, this force of nature, was humbling and inspiring.
BKS Iyengar was an exemplar. For over seventy years he followed his daily practice. He taught with vigor and exactitude - fierce and compassionate.
A true guru. He brought yoga to the west and dedicated his life to making his knowledge available for all.
He established rigorous teacher training to ensure the highest standards and consistency of practice would be available across the world. This he achieved. At class in the main hall I was with over a hundred others, most countries of the world represented.
A scholar and writer. His books are beautifully written - each offering any reader words of wisdom and practical advice. In my favourite, "Light on Life" he wrote:
"It is my profound hope that my end can be your beginning".
I was deeply moved when I read this for the first time, recalling it now, even more so.
On the evening before he passed, he told his grand-daughter:
"I have shown you all these things, now realise them for yourself".
All original material copyright 2014 manifestmylife
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