The Sanskrit term “Guru” is one that seems to have familiarity across most cultures nowadays. It has the same familiarity as the word “karma”, yet it’s origins and significance seem to be lost on most who do recognize the words.
The actual translation of the word is heaviness/substantial/impactful. It denotes the character and contribution a person makes on others.
In the West the term has become synonymous to “teacher”, but the difference isn’t superficial. We can all agree that not all teacher have substance, nor do all who have substance are formal teachers. It is also strange and uncomfortable to most of us Westerners how reverence is paid to Guru’s in the country of Yoga’s heritage, India. We pride ourselves on our individuality and sovereignty, perhaps to our detriment at times, and consider far too seldom how much we have benefited from the substance and gravity of others.
The truth is, any of our own accomplishments have been due to the contributions of those who came before us.
This post is to commemorate the Birthday of one of the most impactful individuals in my life and the modern world of Yoga as we know it today, the late Great B.K.S. Iyengar.
He was a monument of a Human, who not only popularized the contemporary practice of Asana and Pranayama, but is one of the main forefathers of the science of Yoga Therapy. His study and in depth instruction on precision, alignment, and the psycho-emotional impact of movement is second only to none. He was the author of the inimitable text on modern Yoga asana “Light on Yoga” as well as much much else, a humanitarian, philanthropist, businessman, and not to mention the father of two children who are the paragons of the teachings of Yoga, Gita and Prashant Iyengar.
Most of my teachers are students of his methodology and his influence is no less palpable since his passing.
I was fortunate, to say the least, to have been allowed admission to his Yoga Institute in India and practice by his side for 7 months in 2013, and I’m still in the process of recovering the lessons acquired there.
Thank you and Happy Birthday 🎈🎉🎁🎊🎂!