More than “A Little Stretching”

Patanjala Yoga – more than “a little stretching”

Of course, practicing on the mat is the core of our practice. But our asana practice fits into a larger philosophical picture. I have a precious memory of sitting in the RIMYI library  in Pune, India with Guruji. It’s the basement of the Institute and a number of us were sitting at the long table studying, he was at the entrance at his desk. He lifted his head from his work and started complaining about how we all were calling his approach to the subject “Iyengar Yoga”.  (This was quite a while ago).  He wanted it to be known as Patanjala Yoga.  He was making a point that his life’s work, his teaching, and his practice to penetrate the subject was always based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

While we are all stuck at home these days it could be the perfect time to do some reading about Patanjali and look into the sutras if you haven’t yet. Here’s a quick link to order a paper or kindle copy of Light on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar.

Here’s a pdf I just found today of another translation and commentary. At first glance, it seems to be a fine introduction to the Sutras. Eventually, as an Iyengar Yoga student, you will want to read BKS Iyengar’s translation and commentary as it relates to the way he has led us to this practice.  But this one is here now and free. Download, brew a cup of tea and have a nice read! 

Below is a handout we’ve always had at the studio, but in case you missed it, here it is again.  It’s taken from an interview with Geeta Iyengar and it explains the tradition we have of starting class and practice with the invocation. 

And if you are missing someone to lead you in the invocation here’s an audio clip you can play with Laurie leading the chant.

Laurie leading the invocation

I hope you are finding inspiration within your study and practice. See you on the other side.


One Reply to “More than “A Little Stretching””

  1. Here is one of my favorite sutras!

    I.33 maitri karuna mudita upeksanam sukha duhkha punya apunya visayanam bhavanatah cittaprasadanam

    Through cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy, and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, the consciousness become favorably disposed, serene, and benevolent.

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