T-Ph01. Iyengar & Patanjali

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Introduction

This subject considers Iyengar’s relationship to classical Yoga as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

In his “message for the 70th birthday” Iyengar says,

“What I do is pure, authentic, traditional Yoga.” What he means by pure, authentic, traditional Yoga he explains in the same speech, as follows: “The Yoga I teach is purely Astanga Yoga, known as the eight limbs of Yoga, expounded by Patanjali in his 196 terse sutras, each of which reflects profound experimental knowledge, supplemented with Hatha Yoga texts, the Gita and others.”

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s BKS Iyengar used to rail against those in India who said he was nothing but a physical contortionist. He was insulted that he was being cast in this light as he had always seen himself as following Patanjali’s path.

The subject is in 8 parts and contains articles, videos and quotes. It is advisable to not rush through our subjects consuming the content quickly: apply a reflective mode where you might read an article prior to or immediately after practice. Where quotes are used they are often accompanied by an extract of the text. Look up other quotes used (as they often have the source and page noted) and read a fuller portion of the text. You might consider covering one part of the subject each week. Access to T-Ph01 is for 10 weeks.