Honoring Iyengar


Yoga Garden SF owner, David Nelson, celebrates the life and contributions of B K S Iyengar (December 14, 1918 – August 20, 2014)…

Today, we lost one of the great masters of yoga, Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar. I am sad for the ending of an era, a generation of incredible innovation in yoga, an epic of service. In the passing of Mr. Iyengar, we lose a wonderful model of all that is important in our practice of yoga and growth through life: great discipline and dedication, innovation that defines today’s yoga movement and honors yoga’s heritage, service and humility to all of mankind, genius insight into the shaping of a world-wide movement of expanded consciousness.

I am not sad at the death of Mr. Iyengar. He has lived a full, long, fruitful and highly conscious life. Few people have such growth and success in their lives as has he. From the humblest of beginnings he has seen his work join with others to define a new era of consciousness and human evolution. Please read the “Tree of Yoga” for his autobiography if you want to hear his story. He has done all of the work for this day. We should not grieve such a life, but celebrate one well done.

Many things can and will be said about this man’s contributions to Yoga and humankind. He was my teacher, and here are my words: “A humble boy learned a little yoga from a great yogi (Krishnamacharya). He learned everything that he could and dedicated his life to a personal discipline and exploration of what this practice could give us. As a masterful teacher, he gave us a way of sharing this practice and its benefits so that every man, woman, and child could realize it’s benefits. He honored generations of teachers before him and contributed more than he had been given. Yoga is a string of pearls handed to us by our ancestors, and another pearl has been cast. It is now upon us to take what we have been given and move our practice and its place in human history forward. We must “stand on the shoulders of the masters” (Joel Kramer) to navigate to the horizon of our future.