Thank you to those who came through the blizzard and made it to our event on Wednesday, December 14th, honoring Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar's birthday this week. Thank you to those who donated despite being unable to come. Sorry for having to reschedule due to the heavy snow on Sunday, and that many who wished to come were unable to make it due to the weather and work this week.
If you would like to contribute to the Bellur Village Trust you still may, by sending a check addressed to IYNAUS ("Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States")- Bellur Project. It is through the efforts and donations by Guruji and his students that the people living in his village birthplace in India now have access to clean water, to primary and secondary school, to a hospital, and to yoga.
Seeing BKS Iyengar's Light on Yoga, all of us immediately appreciate the extraordinary achievements he demonstrated with control over his body. To learn the asanas to that degree obviously one's willpower and mental strength must also be strong. On Wednesday afternoon, it was an honor to share some of the history and story of Bellur Krishnamachar Sundaraja Iyengar's trials. His story is very inspiring: of overcoming deep poverty, disease, weakness and limited access to education. His perservering efforts in yoga helped him to overcome the deep disadvantages that he faced at his birth.
His example inspires me to continually remember not to be a victim of circumstances and difficulties, but to use them to uplift myself and others. Yoga gives us the freedom to learn and practice and develop skillful action. For those willing to put in the effort, the discipline and purification and ultimately, healing of the body through the practice of asana is only the beginning. In time, its possible to learn how to control the body, the breath, and the mind. This discipline helps one realize that we have choices as to how we will act and behave in the face of provocations of all kinds of stresses, beyond our habituated responses. This freedom to act with unconditioned response, in contact with the source of peace and wisdom that is the core of our being, is the goal of yoga, and B.K.S. Iyengar's yoga and example shows the way.
About the demonstration above: The sequence followed is a brief Adho Mukha Svanasana (as a transition between the lecture that preceded this demonstration) followed by the sequence of the inversion variations from the first practice in Course Two in Light on Yoga in the sequences in the back of the book. Viewers may want to scroll through the Sirsasana 1 and Sarvangasana 1 postures which are held for approximately 5-6 minutes.