There are celebrations internationally and there is a T'shirt on sale, where proceeds go to the home town of BKS Iyengar. Follow this link to purchase a T'shirt and read more about the work being done in Bellur.
No single person has shaped twenty-first-century global yoga more than B.K.S. Iyengar, whose eight decades of assiduous daily practice, writing, and teaching brought yoga to millions. Iyengar’s yoga has sometimes been criticized for being “just about the body,” in contrast to forms that are less embodied and thus more “spiritual.” But Iyengar was deeply concerned with yoga’s spiritual aspects. For him, the best way to access the spirit was through proper attention to the alignment of the body in asanas. The bodies innate, though often dormant intelligence functions to check the tendencies of the mind to be in its imagination, delusions, fears and desires.
For ordinary folk like most of us, it is almost impossible to know how to make sense of a life of such dedication. It is almost beyond what we can imagine based on our own experiences. It helps to know that the Iyengar family followed a philosophy which declares there exists an Ultimate Reality, which is, in itself the source of all things. Hence BKS Iyengar's life of devotional practice is an expression of reverence for the ‘in-dweller’ and thus his saying, "The body is the temple and the asana are my prayers".
The generation of people who would encounter BKS Iyengar in the 1970’s were the children of people who had survived two world wars. They were people in the grip of confusion about the Vietnam war. Their questions and struggle to find meaning in their existence made them an audience ready and willing to embrace Iyengar's method. They were an audience desperate for an authentic and meaningful life. They were easily drawn to a practice of total presence/focused attention which would locate them in the moment - a moment within which, their actions could hold purpose, relevance and where conscience could be weighed.
By 1919 the flu pandemic was responsible for 16,000,000 Indian deaths. BKS Iyengar, born in 1918, survived the pandemic flu, though as a child was a victim of malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis. Sometimes he would have more than one of these ailments to contend with. It is within this context that Iyengar’s drive and passion to advocate the health benefits of yoga seem natural and that his method of working with alignment and precision of the body can be understood. He would specificially reference the nervous system as 'manomaya kosha' or the mental/emotional body which he used as the path or bridge to link the finite to the infinite (the body to eternal wisdom). It is in this context that his use of props to support ailing/weak bodies or ageing bodies, to stay longer in poses for the organic benefits, can be seen as a profound science as well as an art.
As well as being the year BKS Iyengar was born, 1918 was also the year the first world war ended. During Iyengar’s early 20’s the second world war raged. At that time of his birth, the fight for Indian independence had been going for 60 years and he was 30 when Independence was won. Humanity’s inclinations toward suffering and freedom must have been ever apparent for BKS Iyengar. This man lived his life to ensure Yoga was available as a path of freedom for all, not just the rich, the elite, the well or a select few in his town or village.
To support the organisation of these events we ask that you register by clicking on the link below which will send an email to us. We will place your name on a registration list.
Saturday 1 December : General community events (print out a flyer here)
|9.30-11.00am||Free class for Adults - Memorial Hall, Pialba||bookings closed|
|1.00 - 2.00pm||Free class combined adults/teens/children - Memorial Hall Pialba||Bookings closed|
Sunday 2 December :Students of The Hervey Bay School of Yoga (print out a flyer)
|4.30 - 5.15am||Sunrise meditation Scarness beach. Get onto the beach at the stairs across from Harcourts Real Estate which is along the Esplanade past the stage down from Enzos.||Bookings closed|
|9.30-11.00am||Led practice at The Hervey Bay School of Yoga||Register me|
|11.00-12.00||Shared lunch. Each person to bring vegetarian food to share.||Register me|
|12.00- 1.00||Slide show and presentation. (History of the Australian Iyengar Yoga Association)||Register me|
Recently I have the privilege of welcoming Russell into the teaching body of the school. Day to day, week to week over the last 5 years I have watched and walked alongside him. Yoga as pilgrimage is the phrase that comes to mind. When we go in search of new or expanded meaning about ourselves, or a higher good - through experience - the journey is called a pilgrimage. When we learn the practice of yoga as pilgrimage it is a journey of encountering powerlessness and at the same time inner strength, confidence and great clarity and purpose.
“As soon as there is stopping, there is happiness. There is peace. When we stop like that, it looks as if nothing is happening, but in fact everything is happening. You are deeply established in the present moment, and you touch your cosmic body. You touch eternity. There is no more restlessness, no more seeking.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Until you experience it, you can’t believe that pressing into your feet in dog pose can affect your mind – in a calming way!