Light on Life: Discourse at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in honor of the B.K.S. Centennial

Fours Sessions of Inspiration on Life and Using the Process of Yoga to Live Fully: Apr. 7 – May 5 at IYILA.

In this riveting and insightful book Shree B.K.S. Iyengar explains fundamental principals of Yoga in an accessible way and shows us how to apply these ideas for the modern  age.

For more info, or to register, visit here.

The seven chapters follow the “kosha” model of Self discovery and transformation through Yoga. Chapter titles include Stability, Vitality, Clarity, Wisdom, Bliss and Freedom.  I will introduce the structure of the Kosha model along with the salient ideas in this book and will encourage discussion to help understand how to apply these in your life. A 30 minute yoga practice will conclude each session. I love this book and quote from it frequently.

Chapter 1 – Stability: The yogi knows that the physical body is not only the temple for our soul but the means by which we embark on the inward journey to the core… The physical body corresponds to one of the elements of nature, namely, the earth..You are also developing the qualities of earth within yourself: solidity, shape, firmness, and strength.

In this chapter he reviews the true nature of health, awareness and attention, dynamic extension and he introduces the gunas (qualities of nature in yoga).

We are seeking the balance of polarity, not the antagonism of duality.

Chapter 2 – Vitality: Here he defines Prana and waxes poetic with different experiences in pranayama. Pranayama and the experience of prana is such a subjective topic that perhaps poetic language is the most useful here. One can only point at the moon, the experience will be a private affair. He dives into six emotional disturbances and offers six spokes of the wheel of peace. These are in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as well as throughout the sacred texts of yoga.

Prana is special because it carries awareness. It is the vehicle for consciousnessIn breathing you have to listen to the sound of mind’s vibration and adjust its harmony.

Chapter 3 – Clarity: Here we are introduced to the nature of the mind. This layer of the Self  has two faces. As the mind relates to the outer layers, the body and physiology, the mind plays a villain. It distracts us and pulls us in all kinds of wants, fears, preferences and prejudices. But when it faces inward, it become a hero. This chapter introduces the nature of memory and how to reduce suffering.

By transferring its allegiance from the pleasure-seeking mind to the discerning intelligence, memory no longer digs pits of old habit for us to fall into but becomes our true guru by guiding us toward perfect knowledge and behavior. By purifying memory, we purify the whole mind. For an average person, memory is a past state of mind. For the yogi, it is a present state of mind.

The final chapters cover Wisdom, Bliss, and Freedom, the inner sheaths in the kosa model of the reality of the Self. I found the following to be quite interesting as Iyengar understands that each student will have to use her/his own cultural and familial background as the foundation for this exploration of the Self.

The free man is innovative and open, even revolutionary, but he will also be steeped in tradition, through culture and hereditary.

While the reading is important and inspiring, I intend to make this course more conversational so that we learn to apply the skills and techniques of Yoga in our daily lives.  The ideas in this material are in the Yoga Sutras. Those of you interested in further studies in the Yoga Sutras will find this book exceptional. I taught a course on Light on Life at Loyola Marymont University ten years ago. Here we go again!

Hope to see you there!

Saturdays
April 7, 14, 28 and May 5
11:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles
1835 S La Cienega Blvd, Ste 240, Los Angeles, CA 90035

For more information, or to register, please visit
http://iyila.org/light-on-life-with-lisa-walford/, email institute@iyila.org, or call IYILA at  310.558.8212.

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