World renowned yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar has left behind a memorable legacy of the power and beauty of yoga. When I was a schoolboy, my parents enrolled me in his classes in Pune (then called Poona) because I had asthma. As a child, I recall how stern and disciplined he was! I remember seeing him use wooden blocks, curved tables, ropes and straps to get people to become more flexible, something which I have not seen in other yoga styles. I also recall how people of all ages from across India and countries around the world came to him, hoping to find health and solace through yoga. Some things have not changed over the decades. His talks, books, ashrams and disciples are now enduring carriers of his wisdom and experience. Here is a sampling of over 40 quotes from this giant of a man, a true champion of India, a leader of yoga and enlightenment.
Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.
As animals, we walk the earth. As bearers of divine essence, we are among the stars. As human beings, we are caught in the middle
Be inspired but not proud.
Body is the bow, asana is the arrow, and the soul is the target.
Breath is the king of mind.
By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.
Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.
Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice.
Confidence, clarity and compassion are essential qualities of a teacher.
Do not aim low, you will miss the mark. Aim high and you will be on a threshold of bliss.
Do not stop trying just because perfection eludes you.
Focus on keeping your spine straight. It is the job of the spine to keep the brain alert.
Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.
How can you know God if you don’t know your big toe?
Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the Inward Journey to discover it.
It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.
It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.
It is while practicing yoga asanas that you learn the art of adjustment.
Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.
Life means to be living. Problems will always be there. When they arise navigate through them with yoga- don’t take a break.
One’s spiritual realisation lies in none other than how one walks among and interacts with one’s fellow beings.
Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek, but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.
The art of teaching is tolerance. Humbleness is the art of learning.
The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.
The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.
The supreme adventure in a man’s life is his journey back to his Creator.
The union of nature and soul removes the veil of ignorance that covers our intelligence.
True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness.
When I practice, I am a philosopher. When I teach, I am a scientist. When I demonstrate, I am an artist.
When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world. When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God.
When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake.
Willpower is nothing but willingness to do.
Words cannot convey the value of yoga – it has to be experienced.
Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.
Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.
Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life.
Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.
Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.
Yoga is a means and an end.
Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.
Yoga is the golden key that unlocks the door to peace, tranquility and joy.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind, and soul.
You exist without the feeling of existence.
You must purge yourself before finding faults in others.
Your body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga, they come together in the present.
Your body is the child of the soul. You must nourish and train that child.