Friday, July 31, 2009

Screening BKS Iyengar's "Yoga: The Ultimate Freedom"

I recently attended a special screening of a vintage video tape showing an hour long yoga demonstration by one of the worlds greatest Yoga Exponent, BKS Iyengar. This black and white recording, titled "Yoga: The Ultimate Freedom", showcases the worlds foremost yoga expert, BKS Iyengar demonstrating a variety of yoga poses. The video was shot in 1976 and is considered the best recording of this great yoga teacher.

Note, Mr. Iyengar (affectionately called Guruji by his students) was 58 years old then! He is almost 90 now and still practices hours of yoga in his home/yoga institute in Pune, India.

As you can see in the pictures below, these are very advanced and technical difficult yoga poses that require years of dedicated practice. But as Mr. Iyengar himself goes on to say in the video and elsewhere, yoga can lead to the Ultimate Freedom of the body, mind and spirit. He also emphasizes that even though the poses may look tough, if you start and view yoga as a life long journey then the poses will begin to flow. Mr, Iyengar himself is a living example of such a transformation - when he started practicing yoga at the age of 15 he could barely bend down enough to reach his knees as he suffered from Tuberculosis which greater limited this spinal movements!

I have been practicing yoga for 15 months now and attend a weekly class of 90 mins. The class goes through a series of poses with intense stretching and focusing of the mind that makes one realize one's own body. And yes, with each class the body begins to open up and the stiff joints and muscles begin to loosen up. The relaxation and lightness that one feels after each class can only be experienced.

Hope you consider embarking on this lifelong journey of discovery, freedom and joy!

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