The world's most venerated yoga teacher sheds light on life through the prism of yoga 'As human beings, we all seek to reconcile the paradox of how to make our way upon the earth while striving for something more permanent and profound. So many seek this greater Truth in the heavens, but it lies much closer than the clouds. It is within us and can be found by anyone on the Inward Journey.' B.K.S. Iyengar, whose teachings on yoga are followed throughout the world, reflects upon his lifetime's experience (he is 86) on the yoga path. The structure of the book follows the different aspects of that path (from Freedom Awaits, through The Physical Body, The Energy Body, The Mental Body, The Intellectual Body, The Divine Body to Living in Freedom) and provides a learning framework for yoga as well as an invaluable discourse on life. A 'must have' for anyone who practises yoga or is interested in the teachings of the East.
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If this book is to lay any claim to authenticity, it must make one point clear above all others. It is this: By persistent and sustained practice, anyone and everyone can make the yoga journey and reach the goal of illumination and freedom. Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus lie in the hearts of all. They are not film stars, mere idols of adulation. They are great inspirational figures whose example is there to be followed. They act as our role models today. Just as they reached Self-Realization, so may we.
Many of you may worry that you are unable to meet the challenges that lie ahead. I want to assure you that you can. I am a man who started from nowhere; I was heavily disadvantaged in many ways. After much time and effort, I began to reach somewhere. I literally emerged from darkness to light, from mortal sickness to health, from crude ignorance to immersion in the ocean of knowledge by one means alone, namely by zealous persistence in the art and science of yoga practice (sadhana). What held good for me will hold good for you too. Today you also have the benefit of many gifted yoga teachers.
When I began yoga, there was, I am sorry to say, no wise, kind teacher to lead me. In fact my own Guru refused to answer any of my innocent inquiries on yoga. He did not instruct me as I do my students, offering them step-by-step guidance in an asana. He would simply demand a posture and leave it to me or his other students to figure out how it could be realized. Perhaps that stimulated some stubborn aspect of my nature, which allied to unshakable faith in the subject of yoga made me burn to go on. I am ardent and passionate, and maybe I needed to show the world that I was not worthless. But far more than that, I wanted to find out who I was. I wanted to understand this mysterious and marvelous "yoga," which could reveal to us our innermost secrets, as equally as it revealed those of the universe around us and our place in it as joyful, suffering, puzzled human beings.
B.K.S. Iyengar is a living legend who has spent his life teaching yoga in a unique way. His style of teaching, known as Iyengar yoga, is followed by certified teachers around the world. John J. Evans has practised Iyengar yoga for over 20 years and has worked with B.K.S. Iyengar on several of his books, most notably Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Douglas Abrams is the co-author of a number of bestselling books with spiritual leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Taoist Master Mantak Chia.
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