Archive for 2014

As I remember Guruji

By Leslie Hogya Sr. teacher from Victoria B.C

As I remember Guruji, B.K.S. Iyengar, every day, I am in awe of his gifts to us.

He left such a legacy for us all. There is a lifetime of reading to do, asanas to practice, pranayamas to attempt, philosophy to understand and live by. Light on Yoga is there every day for us to study, there are eight volumes of Astadala Yoga Mala to read and re read and so much more.
Geetaji once said to us in Pune, that “We will not see his like again for five hundred years.”

His brilliance and dedication is unparalleled in any field. He was completely devoted to the path of yoga. Every day he spent doing yoga, living yoga, writing about yoga, being in yoga.

I am so grateful for the opportunities I had to study with him directly. I was humbled and touched deeply that on the eve of his 95th birthday, he was willing to help me with a severe shoulder injury.

He admonished me when I wasn’t working sincerely enough, or not understanding his directions. His fire and passion were ever there.

His legacy will live on.

Photo in the library. It was sad to see that in 2013, he could no longer navigate the steps to his wonderful library.

Leslie Hogya

Song of the Soul by Shankaracharya

From the Introduction in Light on Yoga

I am neither ego nor reason,
I am neither mind nor thought,
I cannot be heard nor cast into words, nor by smell nor sight ever caught:
In light and wind I am not found,
nor yet in earth and sky – Consciousness and joy incarnate,
Bliss of the Blissful am I.
I have no name, I have no life, I breathe no vital air,
No elements have molded me, no bodily sheath is my lair:
I have no speech, no hands and feet, nor means of evolution –
Consciousness and joy am I, and
Bliss in dissolution.
I cast aside hatred and passion, I conquered delusion and greed;
No touch of pride caressed me, so envy never did breed:
Beyond all faiths, past reach of wealth, past freedom, past desire
Consciousness and joy am I, and
Bliss is my attire.
Virtue and vice, or pleasure and pain are not my heritage,
Nor sacred texts, nor offerings, nor prayer, nor pilgrimage
I am neither food nor eating, nor yet the eater am I – Consciousness and joy incarnate,
Bliss of the Blissful am I.
I have no misgivings of death, no chasms of race divide me,
No parent ever called me child, no bond of birth ever tied me:
I am neither disciple nor master, I have no kin, no friend –
Consciousness and joy am I, and merging in Bliss is my end.
Neither knowable, knowledge, nor knower am I, formless is my form,
I dwell within the senses but they are not my home:
Ever serenely balanced, I am neither free nor bound –
Consciousness and joy am I, and
Bliss is where I am found.

Practice Enrichment Series 2014-15

With Ann Kilbertus and Ty Chandler
Friday afternoons 3:15  – 6:15 pm
OCT 17, NOV 7, DEC 5, JAN 23

Commit to this series to advance your personal practice of asana and pranayama. The series is designed for serious intermediate and advanced students in the Iyengar Yoga Tradition.

Students will be guided in a strong practice over each three hour session. Each month will build upon the previous month’s work to unlock individual challenges.

NOTE: Instructor permission is required to attend.
$45 each session
Refunds offered only if your space can be filled and subject to a $15 fee per session.
Allow your intelligence to penetrate evenly throughout the body to its extremities like the rays of the sun.

Self realisation must exist in every pore of the skin. —B.K.S. Iyengar

Sutra for the Week

2:33  Vitarkabadhane pratipaksabhavanam

Principles that run contrary to yama (attitudes to cultivate – truth, non violence, non stealing, not wasting of energy, not being greedy) and niyama (observances to cultivate in oneself – cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self study and devotion) are to be countered with the knowledge of discrimination.

The Vitarkas are the thoughts of violence, lies, greed etc. contrary to the yamas and niyamas outlined above. Vitarkas are negative thoughts. Patanjali says that they will arise out of the citta – how could they not? They are merely the cropping up of samskaras – of past impressions, of things we have done that are stored in the memory. We are all tormented by negative thoughts at times. Patanjali says that we have to cultivate counter thoughts.

This sutra contains one of the key concepts in Patanjali’s instruction on the eight limbs of yoga. Yoga is skilled action – knowing when to do more, knowing when to do less, this is a constantly moving target that we have to be aware of. As Manouso Manos says, yoga is about “keeping your eyes on the job”.

Paksa means to take one side of an argument or action, and Pratipaksa means doing the opposite. We practice a little of this, and a little of that – trying to find a middle ground. This middle ground is found through our yoga practice of self study and examination. The middle ground is always changing (as nature is always changing). However, through finding moments of middle ground we find ourselves less doubtful, and perhaps more clear as to the right action for that moment.

The instructions given in a yoga class present this practice to us in a clear and concise way. We press the heels down, and lift the chest up for example – too much of one or the other creates strain. However, if one does both simultaneously, watching for the slightest change then one cannot over do, one finds a middle ground.

We go from one known action and another known action that is directly in opposition and we mix them together until we find a third action which derived by skill and discrimination. This third place – the middle ground of the initial action and it’s opposite – is often a new place for us. It is perhaps the acknowledgment of the paradox that life presents on a daily basis.

– from