A profile of yoga exponent B.K.S. Iyengar on the occasion of his 80th birthday
"A GOOD BOOK ON YOGA IS BETTER THAN A BAD TEACHER" óB.K.S. IyengarB.K.S. Iyengar, the legendary yoga teacher and director of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, recently celebrated his 80th birth anniversary in Pune. In an interview with Life Positive, he talks about his techniques, his inspirations and what makes it worthwhile.
At 80, what is your state of mind like?
Perfect. I've not lost anything physically, mentally, or emotionally. I can think as effectively as before. And I owe it all to yoga.
Are you enlightened?
Do I have to boast? I have not been to school or college. I had no teacher to guide me. Yet I've written books and addressed universities. Is that not enlightenment? Yoga gave me the ability to see my body as my small self, and my soul as my infinite self.
What is the secret of your popularity?
There are hundreds of muscles and joints in the human body. Through my approach I have integrated them all in one system. Through asanas, I taught my students all about ashtanga yoga. Today everybody talks of meditation. But meditation is really about acquiring peace of mind, by surrendering the ego. You can achieve the same results through yoga. The mind naturally becomes quiet.
Your books are popular. But can books teach yoga?
A good book is better than a bad teacher. And my book (Light on Yoga) is the best. That shows there's something in me. More than one and a half million copies of it have been sold. The books have made me rich. Otherwise I make very little. I charge less than my students do to teach yoga.
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