Though I am now practicing and teaching in a different style, Iyengar yoga will always speak to me.
B.K.S. Iyengar, the man most responsible for bringing yoga to the world outside of India died today. When he was a young man, Iyengar was very sick. Through his yoga practice, he healed himself.
Iyengar yoga bears the marks of its creator's life trajectory. A yoga popularizer, he made yoga accessible for everybody. He also made it accessible for every body. Focusing on alignment, Iyengar teachers use props to make sure each and every student can enter the pose safely.
What I most love about Iyengar classes is the sense of connection among all the body parts that is created when the teachers guide you through class. I have yet to encounter a style of yoga in which the teachers know quite so much about anatomy as Iyengar.
It is in Iyengar yoga that one is likely to hear instructions about lifting the inside arch of the foot in order to understand its effects on the whole body. Every little forgotten body part gets its time in the sun in Iyengar yoga.
To me, this is a great metaphor for seeing the world--as interconnected, as interdependent. All small pieces contributing to the alignment as of the whole.
This way of thinking is the gift I have received from the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. I look forward to hearing the reflections of others as days go by.