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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 states:

‘The yoga I teach is purely astanga yoga, known as the eight-limbed yoga, expounded by Patanjali in his 196 terse sutra, each of which reflects profound experiential knowledge. These are supplemented with hatha yoga texts, the Bhagavad Gita and others. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra have attracted considerable attention and there are many commentaries on them. Most commentators have seen the subject of yoga objectively or from an academic angle. On the other hand, I have responded to it subjectively. Through my uninterrupted practice and its refinement I have compared my experiences and feelings with the original text’.

Iyengar BKS, Astadala Yogamala Volume 2. Yoga Drsti

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s B.K.S. 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 eight 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 the complete portion of the text. You might consider covering one part of the subject each week. Access to T-Ph01 is for 10 weeks.

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