Friday, November 21, 2014

In Loving Memory of B.K.S. Iyengar

As I leave the Institute and begin to think about heading home to Portland, I stop at the new beautiful photo of Guruji that graces the entrance to the practice hall.  I touch his feet in the photo, bow my head and join my palms in Namaskar, paying my respects in a way that it has been done for thousands of years.  In this way I am acknowledging the divinity within him as well as the divinity that he awakened within me.  Rest in peace, my dear teacher. Thank you for sharing the Light that you are.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Taking class with Geetaji:  Clear, pure, precise teaching from The Source.
(Photo is from the Portland Convention, 2010.)

Sarees:  I have never seen a saree I did not think was both beautiful and elegantly draped, whether it is worn for a wedding or for doing construction work in the road.  The flat sarees in the photos are laid out to dry in the sun on the ghats (steps) at Alandi.

Nana Waghchaure:  Nana takes care of me.  I trust him implicitly.  Whether it is a day in the country to experience a sacred Indian pilgrimage to Alandi, finding a reliable saffron merchant or picking my husband up at the airport, Nana is our guy!  He is proud of his new rickshaw!

The feel of the floor at the Institute:  The coolness of the kota stone floor is always calming for me.  It takes me right back to one of the first times I came to Pune.  Guruji (B.K.S. Iyengar) had us do a longgggg headstand right on the hard floor itself.  An experience not easily forgotten!

Coconut water:  There’s nothing like fresh coconut water right out of the coconut as a treat after a demanding class at the Institute.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Times of India

I found this overview of households in India fascinating.  Be sure to read to the last statistic!
Source:  The Times of India newspaper November 5, 2014.

Percentage of households with:

Tile roofs                                   39.5
Tap water (treated)                   32.
No toilet in house                      53.1

Percentage of households using:

Electricity                                        67.3
Wood or cow dung for cooking      70.

Percentage of households owning:

Television                                   47.2
Mobile phone                              53.2

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Being Here Now

I figured November would be a quiet month at the Institute.  I envisioned a personal retreat of sorts.  Although my husband Michael traveled with me, he is now off having adventures exploring temples in southern India.  In light of Guruji’s passing, I didn’t know what I would find here or how I would feel being here. 

The yoga hall is filled with students from all over the world making this pilgrimage to the source of our shared inspiration.  There are at least 120 of us in the practice hall.  Iyengar Yoga thrives!  Classes are being taught with a deep sense of calm clarity.

I felt a personal calling to make this trip.  The man who inspired my life’s work has passed and being here allows me to pay my respects and to know on an experiential level that Iyengar Yoga continues. It has taken me a while to find the words to express what I am experiencing here.  Reverence, commitment and gratitude come through the teachers, their teaching, our practice and our community.  Reverence for all that our esteemed teacher has shared with us through out his life.  The commitment of all who have the fire for Iyengar Yoga to travel, practice, study and teach.  And gratitude for the legacy we are all part of.  JLYC students and all students of Iyengar Yoga teachers are an important part of this legacy.  If you practice yoga in a class or in your home practice and it changes the way you live your life or the way you respond in traffic or the way you express patience with your family or co-workers, you are touched by the power of Iyengar Yoga.  There is no doubt it transforms us.

Geeta Iyengar was teaching class the other evening and she spoke of her father.  She told us that he said, “If you are with me, I am with you.”  That statement is a gift I will cherish.  She also told us he said, “I will be watching you!”  As I hear that promise, my eyes smile away the moist feeling that begins to creep in.  Thank you, Guruji.

Below: A sweet moment with B.K.S. Iyengar in Pune, 1989.