BKS Iyengar on Asana:
The body is my temple and asanas are my prayers.
While practicing asanas, learn the art of adjustment.
When your posture is imbalanced, the practice is physical; balanced asanas lead to spiritual practice.
As pearls are held on a thread, all the limbs should be held on the thread of intelligence.
If your body can do more and you do not do it, that is unethical practice.
Leave no outlets for the energy to flow out.
Ethical discipline of the asana is when you extend correctly, evenly and to the maximum.
The goal is far for those who do asanas casually, it is near for those who do asana intensely intense.
Never perform asana mechanically, for then the body stagnates.
The brain is the hardest part of the body to adjust in asana.
While performing asanas the brain should be watchful and alert to direct the movements of the body. Activate the body, relaxing the brain.
If the brain is silent but attentive while performing asanas, your practice is non-violent.
Use your intelligence to control the body before starting the movements of the body. In the beginning, the brain moves faster than the body; later the body moves faster than the brain. The movement of the body and the intelligence of the brain should synchronize and keep pace with each other.
To bring a part of the body in correct alignment you have to work with the whole body. To bring the whole body in correct alignment you have to work with each and every part of the body. When performing asanas, no part of the body should be kept idle.
Repeated mistakes become habits.
In each asana, if the part of the body in contact with the floor – the foundation – is good the asana is performed well.
When an asana is done correctly the body movements are smooth, there is lightness in the body and freedom in the mind.
When you feel that you have attained the maximum stretch, go beyond it. Break the barrier and go further.
In asanas there are two stages- motion and action. Motion needs mobility. We waste our energy in motion, leaving none for action. Action is not motion but a stage beyond it. Only action can release us.
When stability becomes a habit maturity comes and clarity follows.
If the body is constrained and heavy, the pose is immature and done wrongly.
Long uninterrupted practice of asana, done with awareness, will bring success.
Allow your intelligence to penetrate evenly throughout the body to its extremities, like the rays of the sun.
Everything cannot be observed by our two eyes. Each pore of the skin should act like an eye. Your skin is the most sensitive organ.
Fear and fatigue block the mind. Face both, then courage and confidence flow into you. Do you know when you get exhaustion? It is when you change the balance of energy.
When practicing asana go beyond thoughts of pleasure and pain.
Do not allow past experiences to be imprinted on your mind. Perform asana each time with a fresh mind and with a fresh approach.
Balance is a gift of the creator.
You have to work to obtain perfect balance between both sides of the body.
Your whole being should be symmetrical. Yoga is symmetry. That is why yoga is a basic art.
Extension means creation of space. Space leads to freedom. Freedom brings precision. Precision leads to perfection. Perfection is truth. Truth is God.
BKS Iyengar on Practice
We should be humble within.
We are all intoxicated with our own confusion.
If the mind is made to be still, the eyes must be still.
If the nerves are still, then the Self is still.
The mind must not stop at one point and say, this is enough. It must go further, the Self must be everywhere.
To live in the moment is spirituality. To live in the movement is divinity.
Be a fanatic with yourself while practicing Yoga.
When you are fully in the body, you meet the soul.
Freedom starts inside, freedom from the dualities of mind and body, spirit and material.
Training of the mind and body leads to awareness of the soul.
You say “mind over matter” I say, “matter over mind”
B.K.S. Iyengar. Wisdom from the Master
The American Yoga ReVolution with Iyengar disciples Manouso Manos and Patricia Walden
A Conversation with Manouso Manos
Yoga: The Art of Transformation.
Manouso Manos gave a lecture at the Asian Art Museum as part of this exhibition. He describes yoga, past and present, and the life of BKS Iyengar, his teacher. Check it out.
NPR story about BKS Iyengar:
From a lecture given by Birjoo Metha at “Yoganusasanam 2014″
What is the difference between individual consciousness and universal consciousness?
Imagine a river coursing through the landscape. Then there is a lot of rain and the water comes down fast into the river and it breaks its banks and over flows into the surrounding area. When the waters subside there are ponds left over that are filled with the river water but are no longer connected to the river itself. Banks develop around these ponds and the river continues on it’s way. After a while, these ponds develop their own life within the boundaries, or confines of the pond edges. The pond is the individual consciousness. The river is the universal consciousness. The water always wants to join the river so it can see itself. Our practice is to try and break the boundaries of our individual consciousness to join the flow of universal consciousness rather like the pond breaking it’s banks. We have to let go of the identities that exist and let water return to the universal consciousness.