Taking Iyengar out of Iyengar Yoga

One of the hardest parts about being alive today is the pervasive culture of intolerance for the basic humanity of being human. This is perfectly illustrated in the dynamics of the Iyengar system of yoga. BKS Iyengar’s teaching methods are harshly judged by the standards of the present not only by people outside of Iyengar yoga but by the very people (senior teachers and IYNAUS) who have profited from his teaching and his name. Certified Iyengar yoga teachers (CIYTS) are held to impossible (and hypocritical) standards of perfection in both their private and professional lives, to the extent that they are not free to study with teachers of their choosing without the fear of losing their Iyengar certification. Check out the IYNAUS website. It is filled with the rules and regulations for an Iyengar yoga teacher. The continuing education requirements alone make sure nobody has any fun! It seems to me that BKS and Geeta have been edited out of Iyengar yoga and all that is left is a punitive system of rules and regulations rather than the exploration of self in relationship to the universe through asana. I left the system because of this and because many of my fellow CIYTS were mistaking self righteousness for morality. Their punitive intolerance for mistakes in others while maintaining a wide sweeping forgiveness for their own did me in. The system evolved into something I could no longer relate to and had nothing to do with the teachings of BKS Iyengar as I understood them. Manouso talked about this on BKS Iyengar’s birthday. The class is on vimeo if you want to check it out. December 14, 2021.

Class on BKS Iyengar’s Work on Iyengar’s Birthday

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