Tribute to BKS Iyengar

Every class Manouso teaches is a tribute to BKS Iyengar, and this was especially so on Monday, December 14–BKS Iyengar’s birthday. The guru would have been 102 years old.

I continue to be amazed by Manouso’s artistry in weaving together a yoga class that leaves me awestruck. On Monday, Iyengar’s birthday, Manouso led us through a sequence punctuated with firsthand, heartfelt stories of BKS Iyengar that made it seem like the guru was in the Zoom with us. The sequence culminated with uttana padma mayurasana or Iyengarasana. Manouso told a story about suggesting to BKS Iyengar that an asana be named after the guru. Manouso named a few poses but BKS Iyengar declined saying the names of the old poses should not be changed, but the guru offered up the pose uttana padma mayurasana as a possibility. He suggested this asana for two reasons: 1) He invented it. 2) It is complex enough.  

In savasana Manouso went on to describe more about BKS Iyengar. He suggested that Iyengar believed more in the subject of yoga than in himself, and that the guru revealed to others how the powerful subject could change their lives for the better. Manouso maintained that this is possible for anyone.  As yoga teachers, both Manouso and BKS Iyengar inspire students to keep developing and keep looking, and warn against being a sheep.  Manouso reviewed the 8 limbs of yoga and defined samadhi (the final limb) as when the subject and object become one–or the seer and the seen converge.  But, BKS Iyengar defined it as when the seer, the seeing, and the seen converge and become one.  Manouso went on to say that during BKS Iyengar’s lifetime the Oxford dictionary listed Iyengar Yoga.  That is to say that the subject= yoga and object=Iyengar and the subject=Iyengar and the object=yoga converged.  BKS Iyengar attained yoga.  

Thank you Manouso for sharing the teachings of BKS Iyengar. I am so grateful.  

TRIGGER WARNING FOR IYNAUS: BKS IYENGAR AND MANOUSO ARE IN THE SAME SENTENCE.

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