Happy Birthday, Manouso!

Rita Lewis Manos with her husband Manouso

Manouso says that some people say he’s a better storyteller than yoga teacher. I’m not sure anybody actually says that, but I appreciate how he uses storytelling to drive a yoga point home. It works.

His 69th birthday was Saturday. On Friday his assistants decorated the walls behind them with birthday wishes after counting down the days til his birthday all week long.

The class focused on low back and hips, and at the end of class, Manouso acknowledged his birthday. He took a little time to share what he had learned over the years. I will summarize as best I can.

“Yoga is important. My perspective over time about what is important has shifted. “

Manouso described a scene from the 1966 movie “Blow Up” which he saw as a young man and still remembers a particular scene all these years later.

The movie follows the day in the life of some dude (main character) and at some point this guy walks into a raucous nightclub. It was hopping in there. The main character guy is in the crowd watching the band and the guitar player is having trouble with his amplifier and starts banging his guitar against the amplifier. The feedback continues and the guitar player gets more and more frustrated and smashes his guitar a la The Who. He smashes his guitar into smithereens and takes the neck of the guitar and throws it into the audience who begins fighting over it. The main character guys fights to claim the guitar neck as the crowd tries to take it from him. Somehow he forces his way out of the mob and out the door into the street. Once on the street he looks at the guitar neck and throws it away and keeps walking.

Manouso likens this scene to his shifting perspective.

He said he spent his life building up an organization (Iyengar Yoga) because he thought it was important. He fought for it and gave a lot to it, and then he found himself in a place which for centuries was the worst punishment possible, he was banished.

He said it was horrible, and he felt like life was crashing down on him. But, after a while, he realized what he was fighting for had changed and wasn’t that important.

Yoga has given him the gift of perspective

What he didn’t say is the Iyengar Yoga community is the guitar neck. He didn’t need to.

Summarized by Muditachan from Friday’s online class with Manouso. You may watch the scene in the movie here.

One thought on “Happy Birthday, Manouso!

  1. Brilliant; you nailed it exactly as it was projected. Thank you for helping us to relive those special moments. I’m especially glad you captured that picture of Manouso and Rita. I loved it and was sad I couldn’t relish it more when he terminated the meeting. Now I can see it again thanks to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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