The Namesake - Yoga Journal

The Namesake


B.K.S. Iyengar talks more about yoga, his legacy, and his vast-following of students

By Diane Anderson

What would you like your legacy to be?

God gave me something, and I am giving to my students. I don't know how much they can take in, but my job is to give my optimum best to them. God sent me a message: "
Do this way, and don't do this way." God exists through my yoga practice.

What do you think of yoga in the West?

My friend, yoga is art. Art cannot be distinguished. It is meant for human beings, so it is for everyone. Art is God, God is art. So for me, it is about final wisdom. I do not distinguish between east and west, north and south, or India and America. The body is universal. The intelligence is universal. The soul is universal. Yoga and art is universal; it is meant for one and all irrespective of geography. And it does not matter that it is practiced differently in different places.

What message do you want to communicate to students worldwide?

I want each and every one in the world to be free from all diseases and to dynamically use their life. The river waters flow—they do not stagnate. Life is a moving force like a river, fresh every second. Each moment it has new energy. Yoga makes energy flow. Life is flowing, but the mind is stagnating.
I want the mind to flow like the life force. Yoga helps every individual. If the world practices yoga, no doctors are needed in this world. It has the power to cure. Health should not be treated on the physical level, but on the divine level. Birth and death are not in our control. Only the life between birth and death is under each individual's control. So each individual has to think, "How should I use the life between birth and death?" That is each person's question to answer. Let us not mar our life, but make our life through the practice of yoga.