One of the founding fathers and best teachers of yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar is indeed a legend in the yoga world.
He became a yoga master at the age of 18—how cool is that?! He was among the first few people who helped others become aware of yoga, by writing books and opening classes to teach it. He was also known for his own style of yoga, specifically focusing on alignment, precision, timing, planned sequencing, and using props.
Many people have the impression that Iyengar’s yoga is somehow strict or rigid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Iyengar appreciated and loved precision, but more than that, he loved experimentation and creativity in his practice. He was constantly searching for new ways to adapt the practice for all body types.
The Iyengar classes I have attended have been some of the most dynamic and fun classes I have ever been to. I leave feeling energized and motivated! It is a perfect combination between physical and spiritual alignment.
As a teacher, Iyengar expected his students to find the perfect balance of mind, body, and soul, but that did not mean he was a strict teacher. In fact, he was patient and understanding when it came to the needs of his students. And he was so humble that he did not even want his teachings and style to be branded as “Iyengar” yoga. He was and is an inspiration to yogis worldwide.
Iyengar died at the age of 95 in 2014, however, his contribution and legacy in the yoga community will always stay with us. His teachings will continue to live, not just while practicing yoga, but also by applying them in our day-to-day lives.
Below are some of the quotes that will always be remembered:
“Do not aim low, you will miss the mark. Aim high and you will be on a threshold of bliss.”
“Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.”
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”
“Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”
“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.”
“Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek, but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.”
“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”
“Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.”
“There is no progress toward ultimate freedom without transformation, and this is the key issue in all lives.”
“Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.”
Iyengar taught us to live yoga on and off the mat. It’s not just about practicing yoga physically, but also putting its philosophy in your heart.
What’s your favorite B.K.S. Iyengar quote?
Author: Lanai Moliterno
Image: Author’s Own via Instagram
Editor: Catherine Monkman