|B.K. S. Iyengar from his book Light On Life|
Live happily, die majestically. - B.K.S. Iyengar
Through my life I have heard about all the things that "come in threes," celebrity deaths being one of them. The last several weeks it has been Robin Williams, B.K.S. Iyengar, and just this past week, Joan Rivers.
Since this is a yoga studio blog, I will focus on B.K.S. Iyengar, who passed from this world on August 20. It isn't that Robin Williams and Joan Rivers have no relation to yoga, because they do. Laughter and watching a great performance are both wonderful ways to be in the moment, and they kept many of us in the moment over the years with their expressions of joy and wondrous art, even through their own pain and grief. They will be missed by many around the world, and I wish for peace and joy to once again visit all their loved ones.
I never studied directly with B.K.S. Iyengar, nor did I meet him in person, but I have learned so much from him I can't even express it. I am very sad he has passed. His many books have been my teachers, with me reading them late into the night and early morning, sitting beside my mat while I practice, quotes and passages being underlined and meditated upon. I have watched videos over and over, gleaning every bit I could, watching them again and gleaning even more. If there is a book that has been my master textbook for poses, it is his Light on Yoga. I know many yoga teachers and students who keep his books on their shelves for quick reference. Iyengar merged yoga and life the way it is meant to be merged. He had a gift for teaching and love for his students. Yoga is life and life is yoga. In 2004, Time Magazine listed Iyengar as one of the "100 People Who Shape Our World." Iyengar, who was 95, was such a light and still had much to give. Guriji, thank you! I am grateful for all you gave.
I started for health, then it became a dedicated service to humanity. - Iyengar
Many online sites and publications have paid tribute to Iyengar and his contribution to yoga and the world. If you would like to see a slideshow containing the tributes of some well-known yogis, see that here. Here is a video of an Iyengar interview giving a short history of his life, complete with early photos and video. To see a video of Iyengar talking about life and yoga, go here, and an interview at his school here, about education, and the importance of physical health and a harmonious mind. These are just some of many opportunities to learn more about this great man. I encourage you to look further and discover more. Your life, your yoga, will be enriched.
Never forget that the pupil also teaches the master - Iyengar
If you would like to pay your own tribute, please feel free to make a comment below.