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We are mourning and remembering B.K.S. Iyengar, who shared his knowledge to all walks of life and all abilities. His passion for yoga will remain with us.
Guruji was able to devise a pathway into the experience, through the different layers of yoga. There are eight limbs, but he was able to touch all those limbs through asana. It was intensely physical yet it wasn’t about the physical.
Yoga is a household word today because of Mr. Iyengar. He taught yoga to anybody that came. If they didn’t have the flexibility, the stamina, the strength that he had, he’d find ways for people to have the experience and get the profound benefits. If he saw they couldn’t do it, he figured out how to use a chair or a blanket. Now these props are all a big business, but they were just simple items he had around the house. The blocks were called bricks. In India they still say “get a brick.” They’re actually wooden blocks now, but it was originally a brick that was outside and he brought in and used.
Because he had such an in-depth knowledge of the practice, he was able to do it and make it accessible to people who couldn’t. He knew where it came from and how to get there. He was able to take you on the path and make it work for you. Those teachings can be carried on through the system he produced. He has given us the tools and the guide to work from the outer body inward to gain access and insight into yourself. We’re very lucky to have been touched by that connection.
About our author
James Murphy is a Certified Intermediate Senior Iyengar Yoga Instructor and Director of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York .