The world says goodbye to another guru
BKS Iyengar passed away recently at the age of 95. Both he and our own Ashtanga founder and Guru, Pattabhi Jois were students of Krishnamacharya and have touched the lives of millions of people – some for better and some for worse. But neither anticipated the global yoga explosion that started in the 1970s and it’s not come without it’s challenges as yoga has increasingly become objectified and commercialised.
I found Matthew Remski’s blog post: Learning with Iyengar, Learning against Iyengar fascinating, as he explores the relationships we as yoga practitioners and teachers have with our own teachers, methods and essentially ourselves.
I love the way Remski highlights the paradoxes within the yoga world and find this consistent with my own struggles on and off the mat within today’s Ashtanga lineage. I recall too the pain and sorrow I felt at the passing of Pattabhi Jois – a man I never met and yet whose method has inspired my life for so many years. I think in some ways it’s both easier and harder that I never met him in the flesh as in death he’s idealised.
Finally, I’m reminded of the opening mantra:
vande gurūṇāṁ caraṇāravinde
sandarśita svātma sukhāva bodhe.
Once again I too bow to the lotus feet of our great teachers, who reveal our true self and awaken happiness.