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VOL. 17 NO. 2

mmer SFall 2013/Winter 2014

EXPANDING OUR COMMUNITY

BIRJOO AND MANOUSO FILMING GURUJI INSPIRING NEW STUDENTS HELP FOR HEADACHES


CONTENTS

YOGA SAMACHAR’S MISSION

Letter From the President – Janet Lilly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Yoga Samachar, the magazine of the Iyengar Yoga community in the United States and beyond, is published twice a year by the Communications Committee of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS). The word samachar means “news” in Sanskrit. Along with the website, www.iynaus.org, Yoga Samachar is designed to provide interesting and useful information to IYNAUS members to:

News From the Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Expanding Our Community – John Schumacher . . . . . . . . . 8 An Intimate Glimpse of Guruji – Richard Jonas. . . . . . . . . . 13 Community, Consciousness, and Skillful Action – Manouso Manos talks with Birjoo Mehta. . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Promote the dissemination of the art, science, and philosophy of yoga as taught by B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar, and Prashant Iyengar

Communicate information regarding the standards and training of certified teachers

Musings: Longevity and Good Health Guaranteed! – Yoon Cho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Report on studies regarding the practice of Iyengar Yoga

Provide information on products that IYNAUS imports from India

Ask the Yogi : Help for Headaches – Chris Saudek . . . . . . . . 30

Review and present recent articles and books written by the Iyengars

Report on recent events regarding Iyengar Yoga in Pune and worldwide

Be a platform for the expression of experiences and thoughts from members, both students and teachers, about how the practice of yoga affects their lives

Present ideas to stimulate every aspect of the reader’s practice

How to Inspire New Iyengar Yoga Students – Heather Haxo Phillips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Reflections on Karin O’Bannon – Christine Stein . . . . . . . . . 25 Lighting the Way Award – Tori Milner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

IYNAUS Store News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Treasurer’s Report – David Carpenter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Back Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

CORRECTIONS TO THE SPRING/SUMMER 2013 ISSUE The photo of Guruji in the library at RIMYI on page 17 was taken by Jake Clennell not Tori Milner. Rachel Feinberg passed her Introductory I assessment in 2012 and was not included on the list on page 33. The editorial staff of Yoga Samachar offers sincere apologizes for these oversights.

IYNAUS Board Member Contact List Winter 2013/Spring 2014 David Carpenter dcarpenter@sidley.com

Eric Small ericsmall@yogams.com

Alex Cleveland clevelandalex@yahoo.com

Nancy Watson nancyatiyanus@aol.com

Rebecca Lerner rlerner108@comcast.net

Denise Weeks denise.iynaus@gmail.com

Janet Lilly lilly.janet@gmail.com

Sharon Cowdery (General Manager) generalmanager@iynaus.org

Michael Lucey 1michael.lucey@gmail.com Tori Milner torimilner@yahoo.com Mary Reilly maryreilly36@gmail.com Phyllis Rollins phyllis204@bellsouth.net

Contact IYNAUS: P.O. Box 538 Seattle WA 98111 206.623.3562 www.iynaus.org

Kathy Simon kathyraesimon@gmail.com

YOGA SAMACHAR IS PRODUCED BY THE IYNAUS PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Committee Chair: Tori Milner Editor: Michelle D. Williams Copy Editor: Denise Weeks Design: Don Gura Advertising: Rachel Frazee Members can submit an article or a practice sequence for consideration for inclusion in future issues. Articles should be well-written and submitted electronically. The Yoga Samachar staff reserves the right to edit accepted submissions to conform to the rules of spelling and grammar, as well as to the Yoga Samachar house style guidelines. Submissions must include the author’s full name and biographical information related to Iyengar Yoga, along with email contact and phone number. Submission deadline for the Spring/Summer issue is March 1. Submission deadline for the Fall/Winter issue is Sept. 1. Please send queries to yogasamachar@iynaus.org one month prior to these deadlines.

Advertising Yoga Samachar is now accepting paid advertising. Full-page, half-page and quarter-page ads are available for placement throughout the magazine, and a classified advertising section is available for smaller ads. All advertising is subject to IYNAUS board approval. For more information, including rates, artwork specifications, and deadlines, please contact Rachel Frazee at rhazuga@gmail.com or 608-780-6774.

Cover: Shoes outside of class at RIMYI. (Photo by Chere Thomas)

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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IYNAUS Officers and Standing Committees

Letter

FROM THE PRESIDENT

President: Janet Lilly Vice President: Michael Lucey Secretary: Denise Weeks Treasurer: David Carpenter

Dear Fellow IYNAUS Members,

Archives Committee

So often we hear about (well, at least I do as a university professor) the importance

Eric Small, Chair

Kim Kolibri, Director of Archives Lindsey Clennell, Elaine Hall, Linda Nishio, Deborah Wallach

Certification Committee Mary Reilly, Chair

Marla Apt, Linda DiCarlo, James Murphy, Lois Steinberg

of training students to become lifelong learners. Our study of Iyengar Yoga exhorts us to bring a learner’s mind to our daily practice. As Dr. Geeta Iyengar has noted, we chant the Invocation to Patanjali at the beginning of class “with the feeling of surrendering oneself, because nothing can be learned in this world unless you have humility to learn.”

Elections Committee

Alex Cleveland, Chair Chris Beach, Patrina Dobish

Ethics Committee

Rebecca Lerner, Chair Joan White, Sue Salaniuk, Michael Lucey

Events Committee

Nancy Watson, Chair Patrina Dobish, Gloria Goldberg, Diana Martinez, Phyllis Rollins

Finance Committee

David Carpenter, Chair Kevin Hainley, Janet Lilly

Governance Committee Janet Lilly, Chair

David Carpenter, David Larsen

For the IYNAUS board, the ongoing strategic planning process provides us with many lifelong learning opportunities. One of the most interesting aspects of my job these days as the president of the IYNAUS board of directors is leading the strategic planning process. We are finishing up the fourth and final stage of questionnaires in preparation for the November board meeting in Chicago. What strikes me each time I open up my e-mail inbox to find more member responses is how much IYNAUS members value the Iyengar Yoga community. For example, Lisa Was, echoing many respondents, felt “connected to community” and that Iyengar Yoga is “a passion for me, and I like to know there is a larger group that I can tap into for classes and support, etc…”

Membership Committee Phyllis Rollins, Chair

IMIYA – Leslie Bradley IYAGNY – Oliver Luisi IYAMN – Elizabeth Cowan IYAMW – Becky Meline IYANC – Risa Blumlien IYANE – Kathleen Swanson IYANW – Margrit von Braun IYASC-LA – Kat Lee Shull IYASC-SD – Lynn Patton IYASCUS – Michelle Mock IYASE – Diana Martinez IYASW – Lisa Henrich

Publications Committee Tori Milner, Chair

Carole Del Mul, Don Gura, Richard Jonas, Pat Musburger, Phyllis Rollins, Denise Weeks, Michelle D. Williams

Public Relations and Marketing Committee Tori Milner, Chair

David Carpenter, Michael Lucey, Cynthia Bates, Heather Haxo Phillips

Regional Support Committee Alex Cleveland, Chair

IMIYA – Melody Madonna IYAGNY – Oliver Luisi IYAMN – Katy Olson IYAMW – Jennie Williford IYANC – Heather Haxo Phillips IYANE – Jarvis Chen IYANW – Anne Geil IYASC-LA – Kat Lee Shull IYASC-SD – Lynn Patton IYASCUS – Anne Marie Schultz IYASE – Alex Cleveland IYASW – Lisa Henrich and Josephine Lazarus

Scholarship and Awards Committee Denise Weeks, Chair

Other respondents have appreciated the opportunity to get involved in their regional associations. At our upcoming board meeting, we have asked for each region to submit a regional report that gives us a snapshot of highlights and challenges in their region. Building on the these ideas of how we come together as a community, I would like to start a column in future issues of Yoga Samachar that features interviews with longtime Iyengar Yoga students. After all, don’t we all love a good story of how someone came to Iyengar Yoga and the continued benefits of their practice? Please let me know if there is someone in your community that you think would be a perfect candidate for the legacy practitioner column. Another aspect of the strategic planning process is for us to identify priorities for our community. Many of you have commented on how glad you are to see that we are investing resources (human and monetary) in developing effective PR strategies for Iyengar Yoga. We also have identified the importance of preserving the extensive archives that Eddie Marks initiated and that Kim Kolibri, Chris Beach, Eric Small, and many others have championed. To help with these efforts, please consider making a charitable contribution to IYNAUS as part of your annual year-end giving. This could be an “unrestricted” donation that would support a range of initiatives, or a targeted donation to support the archives project. Either way, we appreciate your generosity. I look forward to your comments and contributions! Janet Lilly, President Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States

Chris Beach, Leslie Freyberg, Richard Jonas, Lisa Jo Landsberg, Pat Musburger, John Schumacher

Service Mark & Certification Mark Committee Gloria Goldberg, Attorney in Fact for B.K.S. Iyengar Rebecca Lerner, Board Liaison

Systems & Technology Committee Ed Horneij, William Mckee, David Weiner

Yoga Research Committee Kathy Simon, Chair

Jerry Chiprin, Jean Durel, Alicia Rowe, Kimberly Williams

IYNAUS Senior Council Chris Saudek, John Schumacher, Patricia Walden 2

Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


News

FROM THE REGIONS

IMIYA The Intermountain Iyengar Yoga Association (IMIYA) held its 2nd Annual Yoga Day on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. IMIYA board members—Kelly Moore, Jonathan Dickstein, Susan Abernethy, Lisa Longton, Angie Woyar, and Melody Madonna—worked tirelessly to promote the event through advertising in local publications, with brochures and posters distributed to Iyengar studios and local businesses, and with a banner and sandwich board positioned outside of the Iyengar Yoga Center of Denver where the event was held. The event started at noon with introductions and an overview of the mission of IMIYA by Kelly Moore, followed by chanting three aums and the Invocation to Pantanjali led by Jonathan Dickstein. After the introductions and invocation, everyone

The Iyengar Yoga Center of Denver hosted the second annual Yoga Day on Oct. 5, 2013. (Photo by Melody Madonna)

went off to their classes. We had access to all three studios at

Students had 15 minutes between classes to grab snacks and

the center. Students could sign up for individual classes for $15

drinks of water or cups of chai donated by Leslie Bradley

each or buy an all-day pass and take up to four classes ($25 for

(Intermediate Junior III and incoming IYNAUS Certification

members and $35 for nonmembers). All proceeds supported

Chair, starting in 2014). The event concluded with a vegetarian

IMIYA’s professional education and outreach efforts.

potluck for staff and students.

The following classes were offered:

The IMIYA board would like to thank all of the teachers and

– Using Your Arms and Legs to Lengthen Your Spine

volunteers for their time and effort that made our 2nd Annual

with Gail Ackerman – Atma Darsana: Reflection of the Soul, B.K.S. Iyengar (video screening)

Yoga Day a success! We couldn’t have done it without you.

IYAGNY

– Opening the Hips to Grow a Lotus with Leslie Bradley

The tree of Iyengar Yoga is now growing in Brooklyn as

– Yoga for Healthy Knees with Melody Madonna

envisioned years ago by Mary Dunn. This summer IYAGNY

– What Exactly Is ‘Classical’ Yoga? with Jonathan Dickstein

finally opened the doors to a new Brooklyn Institute, and in

– How to Practice Yoga with Gary Reitze

September, we had our official grand opening event. The day of

– Backward Extensions with Emma Addison

free classes began with director James Murphy and one of our

– Sanskrit Chanting of the Yoga Sutras with Angelique DeSilva

original association teachers, Kevin Gardiner, who now lives in

– Forward Extensions and Twisting Poses with Angie Woyar

Budapest. After the asana classes, students filled a pranayama

– Pranayama and Chakra Meditation with Kevin Durkin

class led by a special guest teacher from Mumbai, Firooza Razvi. After the class, she gave a talk on yoga philosophy, enlightening us with her simple and clear perspective inspired by years of study and a Ph.D. Razvi also shared stories about herself and her study with the Iyengars. She said she was very happy to teach a free class because she began her studies by taking free classes with Father Joe Peirera when she was an 18-year-old struggling college student. She became a regular, and Father Joe asked her to take over teaching the class when he had to move. She then began studies with B.K.S. Iyengar, who used to teach in Mumbai on the weekends. We were the lucky recipients of her expert teaching and her generous spirit. Many thanks to all of the donors, board members, faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, and students who are making sure our new

Students work on standing poses at the second annual IMIYA Yoga Day. (Photo by Melody Madonna)

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

Brooklyn Institute thrives.

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News

FROM THE REGIONS

IYAMN

throughout the five-state region and is unique in that it

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Minnesota (IYAMN) hosted

features top senior and talented intermediate junior teachers

several events in 2013. We celebrated guru purnima day with a

in a workshop setting with small classes of about 20

free asana class for members of the association, followed by

students. It is a true retreat in the sense that everyone is able

brunch and time for socializing. Michael Moore donated his

to put aside their daily concerns, relax, and open their hearts

teaching for this event, which brought students and teachers

to the subject of Iyengar Yoga and their fellow travelers on

together, mostly from the Twin Cities area. Earlier in the year,

the journey of self-learning.

the association organized a popcorn movie night—all part of its mission to build community and educate students in the area

Maumee Bay offered not only comfortable accommodation and

about the Iyengar method. Both of these events were well

lovely views but also a nature preserve with trails and

attended and enjoyed by all.

migrating fall birds. Senior Teacher Mary Reilly and Intermediate Junior II Teacher Karen Allgire provided excellent

In September, IYAMN was privileged to host Senior Teacher

classes based on the theme of Guruda and Kurma: the Wisdom

Laurie Blakeney. About 35 people attended the workshop, which

of the Eagle and the Stability of the Turtle. The group also had

drew students from as far away as Iowa and Wisconsin.

an evening outdoor fireside talk by well-known herpetologist Dave Mifsud, who gave some fascinating facts about turtles and

The workshop was held at the West Side Yoga Studio, newly

their lore. Next year’s event will be held at Starved Rock State

opened in Saint Paul and dedicated to the teaching of Iyengar

Park in Utica, Ill. (near Chicago)—dates to be confirmed.

Yoga. Laurie began on Friday with a pranayama class, the first of

Contact info@iyamw.org for more information.

three such sessions held over the course of the weekend. Her teaching of the asanas gave us insight into the subtleties of the poses, but everyone really appreciated the opportunity to explore the practice of pranayama under her expert guidance throughout the weekend. Most who attended the workshop also appreciated Laurie’s question-and-answer sessions, and everyone enjoyed listening to the stories she integrated into her teaching, drawn from her experiences in Pune. The association looks forward to planning more workshops in 2014.

IYAMW The Iyengar Yoga Association of The Midwest (IYAMW) held its second annual Fall Retreat the weekend of Sept. 27–29, 2013, at the beautiful Maumee Bay State Park in

The IYAMW Fall Retreat provided a great opportunity for students in the region to build community. (Photo by Sue Salaniuk)

Oregon, Ohio. It was a great success, providing attendees

IYANC

with nine hours of top-

As we head into our 40th year, we are excited to announce that

quality asana and

we are moving. We have secured a larger, more modern space

pranayama instruction,

for the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco and have begun

time to relax in a

renovations. The new location is in the Lower Pacific Heights

restful and lovely

neighborhood, centrally located to more people and businesses

venue, and the

and blocks away from three of the city’s major medical

opportunity to get to

facilities. This move is part of the larger strategic vision we have

know other yogis and

to expand our reach to include the entire region, serve more

spend time with good

people, and enhance our programming. By current projections,

friends. This event is

we will physically move in December 2013 and open with an

held each year in a

expanded schedule of classes in January 2014.

different location Students work on Kurmasana at Maumee Bay. (Photo by Sue Salaniuk)

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


To make this move happen, we have launched a capital

magical evening, which included community members who

campaign to raise $325,000. We are using this as an opportunity

represented more than 20 years of history with Karin.

to bring our community together around a common goal. We have many teachers across the region who are hosting benefit

The institute glowed with marigold garlands and roses. Pictures,

workshops and events as well as volunteers coming in to help

candles, and soft tabla music greeted everyone as tributes were

with everything from mailings and phone calls to working on

read by Diane Gysberg, Lisa Walford, Aida Amirkhanian, Robyn

the actual build-out of the new studio space. For more

Harrison on behalf of Eric Small, Lani Daniels, Anna Delury,

information on the move, go to www.iyisf.org/wearemoving or

Julie Adler, and Manouso Manos. Scott Hobbs, Nancy Sander,

contact us at info@iyisf.org to get involved.

Donna Mungen, Larry Heliker, Tulsi Laher, and Kishor Stein

IYANE

shared memories, while Linda Nishio and Jennifer Edwards read several of Karin’s poems. Lisa explained that Chris Stein had

The end of 2013 marks the completion of the Iyengar Yoga

taken Karin’s ashes to be disbursed in Mayapur, a quiet place of

Association of New England’s fourth year as an association.

refuge along the river in India. Jamie Kostura played tabla and

Since 2010, IYANE membership has grown from 97 members to

sang, and Liliya Jandov danced Bharat Natyan.

more than 160. As part of a membership drive, certified teachers in New England continue to offer free workshops to

Karin’s spirit infused the evening as tears, laughter, song, and

association members.

silent moments held everyone enthralled. The evening ended traditionally, with the requisite chocolate cake and generous

Benefits of membership include discounted pricing for

food contributions. Many many thanks to Jennifer Edwards

association workshops, regular email news including

for enabling this community celebration of the life of a very

information on Iyengar Yoga workshops in New England, and

special teacher.

two hard copies per year of The Beacon, the IYANE newsletter. We are fortunate to have many local teachers and students

Marla Apt Earns Leadership Award

contributing to this publication.

On Sept. 28, the B.K.S. Iyengar Institute of Los Angeles was ablaze with color, music, garlands, and joy as the community

In 2013, the association’s scholarship program awarded Dahlia

gathered to celebrate and honor Senior Teacher Marla Apt

Domian its yearly $1,000 grant for study at RIMYI. The

with the Manouso Manos Leadership Award. More than 150

association also provided funding to Colleen Duggan to teach

teachers, students, friends, volunteers, and supporters

developmentally disabled adults in Maine in 2012.

converged on the Institute to find colorful Indian tablecloths strewn on the floor picnic-style, bolsters and blankets to sit

In 2013 IYANE sponsored an anatomy workshop with Roger

on, and happy faces. After getting our boxed vegetarian

Cole as well as two Sanskrit workshops with Leslie Freyberg.

meals and sitting down to eat, we were treated to an

IYANE hopes to grow and increase the number of events,

outstanding program of entertainment and inspiration

programs, and services it offers to help bring the five-state

created and produced by Lisa Walford.

community together. Manouso Manos was in attendance and opened the celebration The current board includes President Jarvis Chen, Vice President

with the garlanding of Patanjali, followed by the invocation led

Patricia Walden, Treasurer Karen Bump, Clerk/Secretary Mary

by Chris Stein. Lisa then led a group of three teachers—Allen

Wixted, and Membership Chair Kathleen Swanson. Our board

Mulch, Keri Lee, and Lori McIntosh—through a brilliantly

wishes to thank outgoing board members Greg Anton,

choreographed demonstration of Iyengar Yoga therapeutics.

president, and Lynnae Leblanc, treasurer, for their efforts and

Each selected posture was presented in three therapeutic

service to our community.

versions as demonstrated by the teachers using the vast range

IYASC-LA

Karin O’Bannon Memorial

of props available in the Institute studio. Lisa spoke about the three different versions and then the next pose was elegantly staged. It was like a beautiful dance of postures! Bravo to the teachers for their work!

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Southern California, Los Angeles, hosted a memorial in Karin O’Bannon’s honor on July

The next element of the evening was a staged reading of slokas

13. More than 70 people gathered for music, memories, and

from The Bhagavad Gita, featuring actor Mark Harelik as a very

readings of Karin’s poetry. Jennifer Edwards organized the

believable Lord Krishna, Garth McLean as the narrator, and

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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three student-teachers—Laura Lenee, Mary Ann Kellogg, and

sponsor. The community really put on this event together, and

Dora Hasenbein—representing Arjunas’ Yoga of Wisdom, Yoga

the results are a fitting testament to its strength, generosity,

of Action, and Yoga of Devotion. Each one revealed her personal

and gratitude for our teachers. It was a great evening. Thanks to

search and question for Krishna, based on real-life situations. It

all who participated in any way!

was not only very moving to hear the true stories from each yogini, but it revealed The Bhagavad Gita as highly relevant to

IYASCUS

everyday life as we live it here and now. Bravo, Lisa, for this

Peggy Kelley (Intermediate Junior III) has been busy helping

fabulous way to bring the ancient wisdom into the current lives

with various assessments in the United States and in Mexico.

we lead!

Austin Yoga Institute has moved to a new location in South Austin. The local teacher-education program under Peggy’s

The third element of the evening was a lively version of Yoga

direction has started up for the year. Devon Dederich assists

Jeopardy, with teacher Larry Heliker as host, teacher Andrea

that program. Anne-Marie Schultz will be offering some yoga

Isco as demonstrator, and three other teachers—Vladimir

sutra study sessions in that group in the new year. Devon

Jandov, Koren Paalman, and Ed Horneij—as the contestants.

Dederich (Intermediate Junior II) often guest teaches in

Larry read a description of a pose from Light on Yoga, and

Midland. Clear Spring Studio will be hosting Laurie Blakeney

Andrea demonstrated behind the backs of the contestants. The

and Joan White next year. The Friday advanced practice

contestants then guessed which asana was being demonstrated

continues to be a highlight of the weekend of many Iyengar

just from the instructions. This was a lighthearted moment

yogis and yoginis.

that elicited lots of laughter from the guests. Koren Paalman was the winner amid much hooting and hollering!

Austin is pleased to welcome back Sheryl Abrams (Introductory II). Sheryl began her yoga teacher training here in Austin but

Attendees also were treated to musical intervals between

relocated to the Minneapolis area for several years. We are

elements. The first singer was Nadine Pita, a singer-songwriter

happy to have her back.

from New Zealand who presented her own work. Later, Beth Andersen, accompanied on the guitar by Bob Thiele and backed

Randy Just has been busy running teacher trainings in New

up by singer Billy Valentine, sang a song she created for and

Orleans, taking leadership in that group after the passing of

about Marla.

Karin O’Bannon. Randy also offers workshops throughout the Texas area, Midland and San Angelo. He even travels far

Finally, Manouso Manos, with very eloquent words of

beyond the confines of our region to Boise, Idaho. The B.K.S.

appreciation, presented Marla with the carved crystal award.

Iyengar Studio of Dallas continues to bring in senior teachers

Marla spoke simply and directly about her path to Iyengar Yoga

such as Mary Obendorfer and Eddy Marks, Lois Steinberg,

and shared her thoughts about being honored. Jennifer Diener,

and Manouso Manos.

event chairman, then presented Marla with a gift of a handblown glass vase from Correia Art Glass. Marla drew names for

The Houston Iyengar Center, also in a new location, recently

the raffle gifts, and finally Bob Thiele and Billy Valentine

hosted Laurie Blakeney, Rebecca Lerner, and Dean Lerner.

serenaded Marla and the whole room with a beautiful song

Alcove Yoga is offering an Advanced Asana Series with Pauline

written by Bob. It was a most beautiful ending to a very

Schloesser. The Iyengar community is growing in San Angelo

satisfying evening.

and Midland as well. The Boerne yoga community is alive and well, hosting George Purvis and Arun regularly.

Then the room had to be “struck” and returned to pristine class condition for Manouso’s workshop the next morning. With our

There are also exciting Iyengar Yoga offerings at Yoga Sol in

amazing volunteers and staff, the whole Institute was cleared

Columbia, Missouri. In St. Louis, Bruce Roger has an informative

and finished within an hour. The evening raised more than

blog about yoga, http://yogastlouisblog.wordpress.com. The

$40,000 (before costs), led by a $5,000 donation from Yoga

Yoga Center of Lawrence, Kan., continues to offer many Iyengar

Journal as the event sponsor. YogaWorks also was a high-level

Yoga classes and sponsor workshops.

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


IYASW

Ross Temple teaches Bharadvajasana I during a mock assessment at Scottsdale Community College on August 20. Students left to right: Cynthia Gable, Jeannine Disken, Jean Saad, Lisa Henrich, and JoAnn Auger. (Photo by Marivic Worbel)

Karen Smith demonstrates setting up the belts with Jennifer Shonk while Raghavan Narayanan and Elizabeth Hitchcock look on. (Photo by Josephine Lazarus)

Karen Smith, certified teacher From Tucson, came to Archana Fond greetings and happy birthday to Guruji from all of us in

Yoga in Gilbert, Ariz., to give a workshop titled “Inspiration

the Southwest Chapter. We are grateful for his continuing

From San Diego, Sarvabhauma,” on June 29. This workshop was

guidance and nourishment.

co-sponsored by IYASW as the first chapter member appreciation event. Members of IYASW received a 50 percent

With 80 new members, the Southwest chapter of IYNAUS is

discount on the workshop. Karen shared with those in

growing by leaps and bounds! For many years, there were only

attendance her aha moments from the convention.

two certified teachers in Arizona. Thanks to the hard work of Katherine Maltz, the Tucson community has continued to grow

Significant to Karen was how Birjoo used the elements as they

through the sponsorship of workshops with Senior Teachers

manifest in nature to explain how to work within, through, and

Rita Manos and Dean Lerner. While Phoenix is sad to lose

without the confines of our bodies. He talked about finding

Jennifer Shonk (Intermediate Junior I) who spent the year in the

sameness in all asana and watching to see when—or if—

Phoenix area from the northwest, Tucson welcomes her as she

fluctuations manifest within the body and/or mind when doing

finishes her studies.

the poses. He taught how to not create so much movement that struggles ensue. Karen attempted to expand Birjoo’s teaching

Josephine Lazarus was the only certified teacher in the Phoenix

by incorporating ideas about steadiness in asana as explained

metro area until four years ago. Carlyn Sikes (Introductory II)

by Prashant Iyengar in his book Chittavijnana of Yogasanas.

has developed a yoga program at Scottsdale Community College based in Iyengar Yoga. This year, there are six candidates going up for assessment. Therese Ireland of Tucson completed her Introductory II assessment and rewarded herself with her first trip to Pune. Instrumental to this growth in the Phoenix area has been the support of Senior Teacher Carolyn Belko, who has been travelling to Scottsdale three or four times each year to give weekend workshops and to conduct teacher training intensives. It is thrilling to be able to spread the Iyengar method more widely throughout the state. Candidates for assessment come from all over Arizona including Prescott, Tucson, and the Phoenix metro area. Raghavan Narayanan does Parivrtta parsvakonasana. (Photo by Josephine Lazarus)

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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Expanding Our Community

F O C U S O N C O M M O N VA L U E S A C R O S S Y O G A T R A D I T I O N S S T R E N G T H E N S C O M M U N I T I E S A N D I N C R E A S E S AWA R E N E S S O F T H E I Y E N G A R M E T H O D . By John Schumacher All photos taken by Daniel Guida at the 2013 IYNAUS Conference and Convention in San Diego.

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


S

arvabhauma, which Guruji translates as “universal,” was the theme of our recent convention in San Diego. It was a wonderful gathering, in no small part because of the excellent

teaching of Guruji’s emissary, Birjoo Mehta, who

It seems like basic karma 101 to see that if we want respect and appreciation from others, we must be willing to offer the same to them.

demonstrated in his presentation the open-hearted spirit and true universality of yoga, the essence of sarvabhauma. During the convention, many facets of the Iyengar community

methods that acknowledged and fostered this sense of

were on display—not only asana and pranayama classes, but

connection. That our numbers were fairly small back in those

lectures on therapeutic yoga research, films about Guruji’s

days no doubt added to the bonds we felt.

philanthropy and Geeta’s sadhana (practice, quest), Indian dance, and much more, all of which added to the richness of

To provide an avenue for exploring and strengthening those

the experience. Included in this tapestry of teachings and

bonds, in the early ’70s, a number of us from different

presentations was a panel about the business of yoga, in which

traditions created an eclectic organization, the Mid-Atlantic

I was invited to participate. We discussed a broad spectrum of

Yoga Association (MAYA). We deepened our understanding and

topics ranging from various business practices, such as

promoted the practice of yoga by holding workshops with guest

scheduling and teacher payment systems to mission

teachers and having meetings in which we discussed how we

statements and values. A very important part of the discussion

were teaching our classes and what we had learned most

revolved around the value of reaching out to the at-large

recently. MAYA was a community of people dedicated to

community as a way to build up a studio’s student population

propagating the study and practice of yoga across any

and spread the word about the benefits of Iyengar Yoga. The

boundaries of method or style.

regional conference that took place over the weekend preceding the convention had a similar purpose: to reach out to the non-

Several of us who were active in MAYA also became involved in

Iyengar yoga community and spread the teachings.

another eclectic organization, Unity In Yoga. Spearheaded by Rama Jyoti Vernon, Unity In Yoga had the same goal as MAYA:

With all this discussion of community, what do we actually

to create a vehicle for spreading the word about yoga. A major

mean by it? The word community comes from the Latin word

difference, however, lay in the scope of Unity In Yoga’s activities,

communitas meaning community or fellowship, which in turn

which were national and international in nature. We put on

comes from the word communis, meaning common. A

what I think were the first national yoga conferences with such

community, then, is a group whose members have something in

luminaries as Indra Devi, Vasant Lad, and Swami

common, something universal within the group.

Satchidananda; sent a group to the Soviet Union to teach yoga; got involved with the United Nations; and more. Unity In Yoga

Innumerable ways of describing and delineating community

eventually morphed, after a schism over the issue of national

suggest themselves. For the purposes of this discussion, we can

certification for yoga teachers, into Yoga Alliance.

think about community geographically: local, regional, national, and international communities. We can divide each of

My point in talking about these past events and groups is to

these geographical communities into yoga and nonyoga

provide an example of community on several different levels—

communities. And we can further divide each of the

local, national, and international as well as nondenominational,

geographical yoga communities into the Iyengar Yoga

if you will. And because this article is a personal take on the

community and the non-Iyengar yoga community.

issue of community, I wanted to give you a sense of where I’m coming from in my examination of that issue, especially as it

When I began to practice and later teach yoga some 40 years

relates to our own Iyengar Yoga community.

ago, part of the inspiration that guided me centered around the realization that we are all connected to one another in a

One of the reasons I was drawn to Iyengar Yoga early on was

profound and essential way. This truth is embedded in the word

because of the strong sense of community I felt when I was

yoga itself—yuj, union, yoke. Sharing the discoveries,

with other Iyengar Yoga practitioners. The bonds of large

difficulties, and joys of practice and teaching with fellow

eclectic organizations are rather like the bonds shared by

practitioners and teachers made me feel I was part of a

members of a city or state: They are tangible, important, and

community of people with common values who practiced

because of size, a bit diffuse. The bonds shared by our Iyengar

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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outreach and public relations. Because these organizations do

Given this relative invisibility and misunderstanding, it seems clear that we need to find ways to get our name out there in accurate and favorable terms.

extensive advertising nationally, appearing at centers and conferences such as these puts Iyengar Yoga in the national eye and draws attention to the valuable things we have to offer. In my own local area, I began to engage with yogis from outside the Iyengar community many years ago by having lunch every three months or so with several of the owners of large

Yoga community are tighter than that—explicit, more like a

established yoga centers in the area. We talk about myriad

tribe or even a large extended family, where everyone shares

things, but more important to me, we maintain open lines of

important and similar values: allegiance to Guruji and the

communication and create a sense of community on a local

Iyengars, adherence to the Iyengar method, a passion for

basis. When events come up that affect the yoga community,

practice, and an identification with the Iyengar Yoga

we find out about it quickly and are able to act having as much

community on some level. Of course, as with any tribe or

information on hand as possible.

family, differences, disagreements, and dissension exist, but we acknowledge and occasionally even celebrate our common

The local yoga community plans events such as D.C. Yoga Week,

purpose and practice, which I think most of us will agree

offering discount classes to the community at large and staging

supports us in our sadhana.

a free yoga class on the Washington Mall between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Because of my involvement with the

In some ways, the shared, explicit, strong sense of identity that

community, I was invited to be one of four teachers on the Mall

forms the foundation of our community also sows the seeds of

this year. It was a great opportunity to give people a taste of

some of the problems we have in attracting new adherents. I

Iyengar Yoga and let them experience some of what we find so

think that at times we draw the line between ourselves and the

valuable and compelling. All of these sorts of events, national

rest of the yoga world a little too sharply. Certainly we feel that

and local, are always advertised, so when people see the ads,

our method is the best. It is challenging, comprehensive,

the Iyengar name is imprinted in their minds. Since folks are

effective, and powerful. If we didn’t feel that way, then we’d be

going to create samskaras anyway, we might as well do what we

practicing some other method. But in extolling the virtues of

can to have them be favorable Iyengar Yoga samskaras.

our method, I think we should be careful to do so in a way that does not denigrate other approaches. It seems like basic karma

At Unity Woods, one way that we’re finding very helpful in

101 to see that if we want respect and appreciation from others,

attracting attention from the broader nonyoga community is to

we must be willing to offer the same to them.

offer specialty classes. Classes such as Yoga for Athletes, Yoga for Scoliosis, Yoga in Spanish, Teen Yoga, Back Care, and Seniors’ Yoga

Guruji provides a great example of this. He has always been

appeal to folks who might otherwise not be interested in a general

welcoming to yogis of other traditions and has shared

yoga class. Because Iyengar Yoga excels at working with special

platforms with religious leaders of all stripes in the name of

populations, this may be a rewarding road to explore to attract

spiritual awakening. Indeed, many of us are familiar with his

more attention to our name and skills.

response to the question “What is Iyengar Yoga?” “I myself do not know,” he replies. “I simply practice yoga and others have

In the panel discussion at the convention, participants offered a

taken to calling my practices as ‘Iyengar Yoga.’”

number of strategies for reaching beyond the boundaries of our own community: sending teachers into communities of people

In that vein, I think it would benefit our community to engage

of color, who don’t usually participate in yoga classes; putting

with yogis from other traditions and methods in an honest and

on events such as Yogathons; and hosting open studios. There

open exchange of ideas and experiences. One way of doing this

were a lot of good ideas for working on the local and regional

is for our more senior teachers to teach at conferences and

level. But we need to do more on the national level.

centers that include a variety of styles. I know from my own experiences teaching at Yoga Journal Conferences and centers

I received an email recently offering a $25 gift certificate to

such as Kripalu and Omega that dialogues with teachers from

Lululemon in return for filling out a brief survey. Thinking that

other kinds of yoga can be rich and can open important

my wife might find a gift certificate useful, I began to fill out

avenues to explore. And this can be true not only in terms of

the survey. The first page asked my name, address, and if I

yoga philosophy and practice but also in terms of community

practiced yoga. I answered yes and was asked what style.

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


A thornier issue is the use of the Iyengar name, which has proprietary restrictions that limit its use and thus its exposure. Many of us who teach know that there are teachers from other traditions who come to study with us and then take what they hear and use it in their own classes. They are not allowed to use the Iyengar name to describe what they do, so students in their classes are being exposed to Iyengar principles and information without it being attributed to Iyengar Yoga. I know that Guruji doesn’t want uncertified people who often are unseasoned, don’t really understand the method, and aren’t properly conveying it to run around claiming to teach Iyengar Yoga or Iyengar-influenced yoga. However, because our method of practice and teaching is so systematic and effective that people from other methods are borrowing from it more and more, we should try to find a way to get the credit due us without sullying the purity of the method and its application. One way might be to really focus on the rigorousness of our A pull-down menu appeared listing Ashtanga, Flow, Vinyasa,

certification process and the high quality of teachers it

Baptiste, Bikram, and Other. I was shocked not to see Iyengar

produces. I know that some attempts have been made to

listed. Granted, it’s a Lululemon survey, and we Iyengaris are

highlight certification and the excellence of our certified

not usually too big on expensive spandex, but it seemed a huge

teachers, but I think the important distinction between what

oversight not to be listed individually as I consider Iyengar Yoga

we do and what our imitators do could be clarified by focusing

one of the largest and best-known yoga styles.

intensely and consistently on “certified” versus “uncertified” rather than focusing on the use of the Iyengar name. And with

In checking around, it turns out that lots of people, including

so much in the media about yoga injuries and dangerous

people who practice yoga regularly, haven’t heard of Iyengar

teachers, emphasizing the thoroughness of our training and

Yoga, and many who have heard of Iyengar Yoga really have no

certification procedures is another opportunity to distinguish

idea what it is. Props, good for old and injured people, slow,

ourselves in a favorable manner.

gentle, alignment-based, strict: These were the adjectives describing Iyengar Yoga that I encountered most often. They

These observations and suggestions are not meant to be

are, of course, accurate, but very incomplete and misleading as

conclusive or exhaustive, but rather to stimulate and add to the

a way of describing what we do. Given this relative invisibility

discussion of how to promote Iyengar Yoga and expand our

and misunderstanding, it seems clear that we need to find ways

community. No matter what policies we develop, what

to get our name out there in accurate and favorable terms.

marketing strategies we devise, what public relations campaigns we undertake, in the end, we will spread an

Another noteworthy event at the convention was Dr. Alyson Ross’s

appreciation of the value and joy of Iyengar Yoga communities

talk on the current state of research on the therapeutic

one person at a time, one class at a time, one workshop at a

applications of Iyengar Yoga. Her presentation illustrated how

time. And we will be persuasive in inviting others into our

cutting-edge we are in terms of treating a variety of ailments and,

community only to the extent that we do so from a celebration

I think, points toward one way to get our name out there. Disease

not only of our uniqueness but of our common humanity and

and illness (obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few) are

universal spirituality.

epidemic in our culture, so effective remedies—Iyengar Yoga being one of them—for the vast array of maladies from which we suffer are going to garner attention. At Unity Woods, we have found that

John Schumacher is the founder/director of Unity Woods Yoga Center,

listing on our website the positive results of studies that show the

which has served the Washington, D.C., area since 1979. He has been

benefits of Iyengar Yoga for common conditions such as back pain

a student of Guruji’s since 1981. John is dedicated to sharing the joys

and stress gets lots of favorable feedback. Perhaps there is a way

and challenges of Iyengar Yoga with as broad an audience as possible

that the national and regional associations can get this sort of

in the U.S. and worldwide.

information out to the public in more extensive and focused ways.

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

11


YO G A C H A I R P R O P

Yoga Chair Prop was a proud sponsor of the 2013 IYNAUS Convention, and donated 325 yoga chairs for the teaching staff’s instruction.

YOGACHAIRPROP.COM

12

415-686-4547

Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


An Intimate Glimpse of Guruji FILMMAKERS JAKE AND LINDSEY CLENNELL CAPTURE UNIQUE AND INSPIRING FOOTAGE OF B.K.S IYENGAR—AN ELECTRIFYING TEACHER IN HIS MID-90S—AND SHOW HIS INFLUENCE ON COMMUNITIES AROUND THE GLOBE.

Photo by Lindsey Clennell

By Richard Jonas

T

he movie Jake Clennell is editing is not the one

moved into full-time yoga teaching, the two often returned to

he started shooting. First, the project made a

their dream of making a film about Guruji. Finally they asked

180-degree turnaround from his original

his permission. Mr. Iyengar gave his wholehearted approval—

intention; later, the movie—taking on a life of its

while pointing them in a different direction. So much has been

own—circled around again, ending just where it began.

done about me, he said; why not focus on my students instead? “It wasn’t what I wanted to hear,” Jake concedes, “but knowing

For years, Jake Clennell, director of Sadhaka: The Yoga of B. K. S.

enough about Guruji to pay extremely close attention to what

Iyengar, and his father Lindsey Clennell, senior teacher and the

he says, one did it. And it bore amazing fruit!”

film’s executive producer, contemplated a movie about their shared teacher and guru.

Jake recorded the stories of some of the students who had studied longest with Guruji, now longtime senior teachers

Now these two lives devoted to telling stories on film, two lives

themselves. Over three prolonged stays in India, Jake filmed

devoted to Iyengar Yoga—practice, study and, in Lindsey’s case,

Father Joe Pereira, the Roman Catholic priest, in his centers for

teaching—come together in Sadhaka. More than five years in

recovering addicts. He also visited the orphanage run by Miriam

production, a year in the shooting alone, crafted by two award-

“Mimi” Batliwala, where girls rescued from a Mumbai slum

winning documentary filmmakers, and drawing on

study Iyengar Yoga.

unparalleled access to the originating voices of the method, it is the most incisive, accurate, and comprehensive film view of

These stories highlight the 22-minute Sadhaka preview shown

Guruji and his method we’re likely to see.

at the IYNAUS convention and conference in San Diego last spring. Another 20,000 people have screened the trailer online

The story begins almost 40 years ago when Lindsey Clennell, a

at www.sadhakafilm.com. Initial funding for the film came

young filmmaker with music videos for the Rolling Stones and

from the Clennells and some of their students. Fifty-thousand

Elton John under his belt and a documentary about

dollars in donations to help complete the film have come in

Muhammad Ali in his future, made his first trip to the Iyengar

from 34 countries via an online funding campaign; donor

Yoga Institute in Pune. The following year, he and his wife

names are listed at the Sadhaka website. Another $120,000 is

Bobby returned to India, with five-year-old Jake and his brother

still needed for editing, post-production, and distribution. The

Miles, 10, making their debuts at RIMYI.

target release date is spring 2014.

Through the years, as Jake grew up and shaped a successful

But colorful and moving as it is, the early footage will only make

career as film director and cinematographer, and as Lindsey

up a small part of the completed feature-length documentary.

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

13


Finally, thinking the shooting complete, Jake returned to Pune in March 2013. A group of Chinese students had gathered for the first international intensive in years. It was another aboutface for the filmmaker and for Sadhaka. “I brought a camera along just in case, and suddenly Guruji gave the nod. I was in!” The heart of the completed film will be this footage, “a substantial historical document of him teaching in this incredibly vibrant way.” Jake shakes his head in wonder. “It was as though Iyengar was channeling a younger version of himself. He gave 100 percent to these new students. The energy was amazing! He taught the medical class with the same power: Photo by Lindsey Clennell

holding people up, jumping from student to student, throwing people up into inversions. The whole place was on fire!

It was on his fourth filming trip to India, when he believed the movie was nearing completion, that everything changed.

“It’s extremely intimate footage,” Jake says. It is “not a how-to” of therapeutic applications. Instead, “my hope was to show the people and the moments, not try to explain why this rope was here or what this person’s ailment was. Looking at those medical classes, seeing those bodies—old and young, fat and

Jake, engaging and enthusiastic, is an old friend who shows

thin, healthy and broken, seeing the chaos and the spontaneous

you corners of Pune you never knew existed and talks

nature of the healing—I just wanted to capture this magical

esoteric yoga philosophy throughout a thali dinner.

moment.”

Cinematographer on dozens of commercials, music videos, and films, including the award-winning The Great Happiness

Letting the film change direction, then change again, letting it

Space, which he also directed, he has collaborated with his

find its own story and its own way to tell it was “sort of a

father on many documentaries filmed in Africa and the

meander,” Jake says. “Finally, it all came down to Guruji, to what

Middle East and on Addiction, Recovery and Yoga (filmed in the

he did. That’s what will separate this film from others. It’s not a

U.S.). Jake, 43, lives with his partner Tzu-li Liu in New York

biography of B.K.S. Iyengar; it’s a somewhat cinema verité look

City and upstate New York.

at him.”

It was on his fourth filming trip to India, when he believed the

To capture that meant “trying to be a little bit casual, to be a fly

movie was nearing completion, that everything changed.

on the wall to that experience of Pune. What is it like to be with him when he’s three feet away from you? I wanted to give a

For months, Jake had focused on the reflections of Guruji as

candid look at that.”

seen in his senior teachers and their students, and the students’ students. Suddenly he turned back to the original

In spite of the game-changing Chinese intensive when the

source of light, and “Guruji let us in close,” Jake says. He was

movie’s focus shifted to Guruji, segments filmed earlier remain

permitted to film the RIMYI medical classes. Geeta, Prashant,

precious to Jake. “It was a profound privilege to spend time with

and Abhijata Iyengar allowed themselves to be filmed talking

Father Joe and the people surrounding him—addicts in

and as they practiced. “These people who have the spiritual

recovery, people who had committed terrible crimes and found

underpinnings of decades of practice gave so graciously and

a path back. When you watch an alcoholic in Father Joe’s rehab

generously of their time,” Jake remembers. “And everything

clinic go through teachers’ training, then teach other alcoholics,

came together when I talked to Abhi, who has the freshness of

you realize how effective Guruji’s method is, down to the third

learning it all right now, and is at the very center of the Iyengar

generation.” Mimi Batliwala’s orphanage shelters girls rescued

world right now.”

from Darvi, the largest slum in Mumbai. “Life there, particularly for a girl, is utterly horrific,” Jakes says. But the orphanage is “an oasis within the madness of Bombay: calm, safe, sane.”

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


In the film’s most shocking segments, a former alcoholic confesses to a brutal murder. In another, deeply emotional moment, a girl talks about feeling lost and hopeless at the death of her father. For both, yoga is their pathway back. “I was

“That kind of practice, continuously over a number decades, the commitment and the profundity of it, is awe-inspiring.” —Jake Clennell

overwhelmed by all the people who have been significantly changed by this practice,” Jake says. “They all felt this profound connection to Iyengar, even if they hadn’t met him.”

mammoth block of stone that Shri Padmanabachari and his assistants were sculpting.

The two segments are among the most moving and revealing in the film. “People don’t always let you in like that,” Jake says. But

Over time, the film found its own theme, through its circuitous

vouched for by Guruji, he “floated” through the months of

turns and doubling-backs, and “came to be about people’s struggle

shooting “on a cushion of goodwill.”

with afflictions. And that seemed much more interesting.”

This entry also led him to Shri Padmanabachari, the 86-year-old

Jake concedes the film was overshot “on a massive scale,”

patriarch of the Shilpi caste of sculptors, whom Guruji asked to

yielding much more footage than can be used. “The core of the

create the first icon of Patanjali in the modern era. “To be

movie will be that last trip, when you see Iyengar so dynamic,

embraced by someone like that, to have him say, ‘I will give you

so amazing and absolutely magnetic, so transformative of

my most sincere opinion about the correlations between asana

people and their lives. When he’s on screen, you don’t want to

and iconography’—that never could have happened without

watch anyone but him. If the film succeeds in contextualizing

Guruji’s intervention,” Jake says.

bits of him, if you can understand a bit of him, that’s a once-ina-thousand-years moment.”

Every day for a month, Jake made the six-hour trek from Bangalore to interview Guruji’s personal idol-maker and to film

As he often does, Jake screened some favorite footage on the

the majestic figure of Hanuman as it emerged from the

day we spoke. After months and years of unpaid work on the film, he’s returned to regular work; but he and

Photo by Jake Clennell

a small group of assistants continue to watch and edit the film, transcribe speeches and the like. In the segment he watched, Jake says, Guruji had just finished teaching the intensive. “Then he did Savasana over a mountain of props in the middle of the asana hall. He didn’t do his usual practice; he just laid there. He did not flinch, did not move a muscle for the best part of an hour. It was so indicative of what he had put out.” And what Guruji gave to the Chinese students that day, Jake says, was—like what he gave to the film about him— “overwhelming.” Richard Jonas (Introductory II) is on the faculty of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York. Richard is a former IYNAUS vice president, and he was a film reviewer and wrote TV commercials before becoming a fulltime Iyengar Yoga teacher in 2001.

To make a contribution to help complete Sadhaka: The Yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar, go to www.sadhakafilm.com. Another $120,000 is still need for editing, postproduction, and distribution. A target release date is spring 2014. Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

15


Community, Consciousness, and Skillful Action IN MAY 2013, BIRJOO MEHTA TRAVELED FROM MUMBAI, INDIA, TO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, TO TEACH AT THE NATIONAL IYENGAR YOGA TEACHERS’ CONVENTION AND REGIONAL CONFERENCE. MANOUSO MANOS HAD A CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH BIRJOO TO DISCUSS COMMUNITY, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND SKILLFUL ACTION. THIS IS PART I OF THEIR CONVERSATION. All photos taken by Daniel Guida at the 2013 IYNAUS Conference and Convention in San Diego.

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


MANOUSO MANOS: They could’ve sent anyone to interview you, but I was thrilled when somebody asked me if I would do it because we are such old friends. They’ve asked us to talk specifically about community and what the yoga community looks like. There’s this joining together of people that we’ve seen over the years, and we’ve watched it come directly out of the kindness of the guru. What is your view of how these communities come together—the oneness maybe that you’ve seen—because your perspective is really quite unique for a lot of reasons.

arms—probably it’s because I’ve been with Guruji for so long, so I don’t have to really prove myself or anything, and people are more open. But I really find that wherever I’ve gone, people have welcomed me.

MM: Your comment makes me think of two very distinct questions. Number one: Do you think this is a direct outgrowth of Guruji and Geetaji and Prashant? In other words, that the politics have been pushed aside, and the businesslike atmosphere of competition is slightly downplayed because of the openness of those individuals?

Birjoo Mehta: Okay, let me attempt to just talk about it rather than answer the question.

BM: I am certain about it. There have been many communities… I won’t name any names, but you know,

MM: Yes.

normally they have a pyramidical structure. There is a person who is actually running the organization right at top, and he

BM: I have been interacting with various yoga practitioners

has his successors right at top and whatever they do has to be

across the globe—Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, South Africa,

followed. Now if you look at the way Guruji has worked things

Israel, Europe, and Canada, and of course, I’ve been to the U.S. a

out, there are two major things that he’s looking at in the

number of times—and what I’ve found about the Iyengar Yoga

structure of his organizations. All of the organizations are self-

community compared with others—and this is from my own

running structures. They don’t involve him at the top. If people

perspective—is that people everywhere are very welcoming.

do want him to be a chairman or something like that, he

You know in other communities, especially in work

accepts it but does not interfere with the working at all.

communities and environments like that, what I find is a lot of competition. People try to pull themselves up and pull others down so they can go up. But what I’ve found [within the Iyengar Yoga community] is that… there is a sense of everybody trying to contribute for the subject to grow, and I find that very encouraging. I am happy to

These are the two founding pillars of the organizations that he has set up… what he has insisted on is ethical behavior and continuous improvement.

see that everybody is open to change and people want to work for growth. Just to give an example—when the tsunami hit, a number of people said they had lost something or the other,

But there are two foundations that affect the way he has

and they wanted to know if somebody could help. So an email

structured things. One is ethics. He is very strong on ethics, and

was sent out to the entire yoga community asking for help, and

I think all his associations have very clear norms on the ethical

within minutes, people started to come back with answers,

behavior of the students. I don’t only mean the Yamas and

connecting people and things like that.

Niyamas—obviously, it is the Yamas and Niyamas—but it’s a whole lot of other things in terms of the ethical behavior and

I’ve also seen that when somebody needs to go abroad or

practice. The second one is quality. These are the two founding

somebody is in a bit of trouble, they can just call the local yoga

pillars of the organizations that he has set up, and he has never

center up and say, “Hey, I’m from the Iyengar community. Can

said “What I do is right” or “You follow me,” but what he has

you help me out?” And people are ready to come help.

insisted on is ethical behavior and continuous improvement.

Obviously when you are in a very small community, there will be differences of opinion. Some people will believe this is the

You know, there’s constant innovation, constant growth. He has

right way to do things, and others will believe that is the right

never said, “This is the end, and there’s no further growth.” As a

way. But the good thing about the whole Iyengar system is that

matter fact, he encourages growth. To give you an example,

it allows you to have differences. But ultimately everybody’s

most of the time when people talk about the yoga sutras, they

looking for the same thing in terms of the growth of the

talk about the Vedic texts and they use antiquated examples,

community. In that sense, I am very much encouraged by the

such as the snake and the rope.

community at least from my personal perspective. I have found that wherever I have gone, I have been welcomed with open Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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Now that snake and rope thing may not make sense to a modern

So, please go on progressing like a river flowing but within the

man living in the city who probably has never encountered a

boundaries of ethics and quality—you know, progression or

snake. And it’s not likely that when he sees something in his

improvement.

house, he’s going to imagine it to be a snake and get that kind of fear that the Vedic people were trying to convey. Once [Guruji] said to me, “Why don’t you start talking about consciousness in terms of modern analogies so that people can understand it?” Now coming from a computer background, and

MM: Guruji’s is maybe the only book that starts the translation of the yoga sutras calling yoga an “ethical subject.” I mean, he’s very clear about it right from the very beginning. And he lays out rather a different territory than many of the other scholars have done.

since I know that most people know about computers, I wrote an article—and I was a little hesitant because I was talking about consciousness in terms of computers. For example, the senses of perception being basically like the keyboard, where you enter [information], and the organs of action are similar to the display, and the operating system is your mind, and so on and so forth. So I wrote this whole article and showed it to Guruji, and he was very happy to see it. He said “Yeah, this is

The other thought that came to mind as you were talking about the modern world: in Light on Life, he begins by talking about the ethical dilemma of whether one should eat ice cream or not, and it becomes a fascinating modern day thing. Again, taking away from the snake and the rope comparison. What is my dilemma for this moment? How am I going to answer this? And what is the proper methodology for me?

the kind of thing that I want you to do. What’s the point of talking about the old things? Talk about something new. Talk to

BM: True. That’s what is amazing about him. He has never laid

the people in their language, so that they can understand.”

down the rules in terms of a [specific] direction, and you are

There’s development.

free to choose the direction or not to choose the direction. But if you do decide that you want to choose that particular direction, he gives full freedom to go at your own pace and to experiment.

Once [Guruji] said to me, “Why don’t you start talking about consciousness in terms of modern analogies so that people can understand it?”

He has never said, “This is the only way to do.” That’s not yoga. The way I look at yoga is—let me step back a bit. Normally when you do something repetitive, your subconscious actually takes over and you think subconsciously, which means you’re not fully involved. When you do something subconsciously—for example, drive a car—you are not as

Second, even in the practice of yoga, he’s one person who has

attentive as you would be when you are learning to drive a car.

never stagnated. You know, he’s always growing. Guruji is

When you are learning to drive a car, you are extremely

always growing, whereas we don’t grow. We are satisfied with

attentive, but over a period of time, because of the way humans

our progress, but we are not satisfied with what is ours. When I

are structured like a self-organizing system, this thing becomes

say “what is ours,” I mean our house, our wealth, our name, our

so routine that you don’t really have to apply yourself too

fame, etc. We are dissatisfied with what is ours but not with our

much. And if you’re not applying yourself too much, it is as if

progress. With Guruji, it’s different. He is satisfied with

only the mind is being invoked. When you come to something

everything that he has—what is his—but with his practice, he’s

new, the mind is not able to understand that, and so the mind

satisfied for the day, but next time around, he has to go a little

invokes the intelligence and says, “Hey, this is something new.

more. This is something I believe he calls “divine discontent.”

What do I need to do?”

He has divine discontent, whereas we have discontent not for

To give you another example—I use this example very often in

the divine but for what we have. So we have “mundane

class to explain the aspects of mind vis-a-vis the aspects of

discontent” rather. So I think he is constantly growing and

intelligence—say you work in a big company and have a

encouraging others to grow. He does not put guidelines around

secretary. I come and want to meet you, but they say I must see

this as long as you fall between artha (means of livelihood) and

the secretary. So the first time, I come and say to the secretary

kama (enjoyment of life). This is the river, and the artha and

that I want to meet Mr. Manos, the big man, and the secretary

kama should be bound between the banks of dharma and

says, “Let me check to see whether he is free.” So she goes and

moksha. So in that sense, what is “moksha”? I could use a

talks with you. You are the intelligence, right? So you say, “Look,

mundane word like “quality.” And dharma is basically “ethics.”

I don’t want to see him now.” This happens a second time and a

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


third time. What do you think happens when I go the fourth time? The secretary will immediately say, without checking with you, “He is not available.” Right? The mind works like that. Initially, the first time and the second time, it invokes the intelligence, but when something becomes routine, the mind says, “Okay, I know what to do. I don’t need to invoke the intelligence.” But

Let me step back. If there’s a disease, you will never be able to

sometimes it might be necessary to invoke the intelligence. If

see or study the disease if it is not manifested. If the malaria

the mind thinks it has learned what to do, you can miss out on

has not manifested, if you don’t have symptoms, you’ll not be

a lot of things. This is exactly what happens when you are

able to study malaria. Similarly, if the consciousness is not

practicing asanas. If you do something very repetitively, the

invoked or if the consciousness is not manifested, you’ll not be

mind is invoked but the intelligence is not invoked. When the

able to study the consciousness. Yoga is all about the study of

intelligence is not invoked, you are not really able to manifest

the consciousness because yoga is citta vritti nirodhah. So if you

the whole consciousness—consciousness consists of mind,

cannot manifest that consciousness, how can you study it? And

intelligence, and the ego.

if you cannot study it, how can you stop that modification? So therefore, it is very important that the first step in yoga is to

If the mind thinks it has learned what to do, you can miss out on a lot of things.

invoke the consciousness or to manifest the consciousness fully. The consciousness will never be manifested in all its three aspects unless you are doing something slightly new or something that is going to invoke your intelligence. And therefore every practice we do needs to go beyond the

And ego, to me, is like your history. What you have experienced,

boundary of what we have experienced to be able to at least get

what you have felt, the relationships you have had—all this

the manifestation of the consciousness.

constitutes the ego. These things make you who you are because of your behaviors, your experiences, and your habits.

That’s the first step. After you manifest the consciousness, you

Your intelligence is something that actually takes you down a

can study it. After you study it, you know how to stop the

new path. And the mind is something that just interacts

modification. So if you do something that is repetitive, such as,

between the intelligence, the ego, and the organs of action …

for example, what is being done by some systems of yoga, you don’t give the chance for manifestation of the consciousness.

MM: And perception.

So how can that lead to yoga? It’s just a repetitive exercise that we do.

BM: And perception. When you do something repetitively, the whole consciousness is not invoked. It’s only the mind that is,

The good thing about Guruji’s system is that it allows you to

or probably the ego. You do something from memory or you

reach the barriers or the periphery of what you have learned—

speculate and say, “Let me try this, let me try that.” But when

or the boundaries of what you have learned. Once you go there,

you are actually learning something, the intelligence is also

you have to step out for that to be yoga.

invoked. That invoking of the intelligence completes the trinity of the mind, intelligence, and ego coming together to ignite or

As long as you are within the boundaries, you are not doing

manifest the consciousness. Now if you don’t manifest the

yoga. You are just doing some actions that could lead you to the

consciousness, you are not going to be able to study it.

practice of yoga, but for the practice of yoga to actually manifest, you have to cross the boundaries every time. When you cross the boundaries every time, there’s always something

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

19


new that is going to come. That’s why Guruji has said, “Yes, you have to go on finding something new.” If you recall on his 85th

MM: Or a much better husband or a much better son, you know, whatever it may be.

birthday, he said that when people say, “This is something you just taught us yesterday,” he replies, “Yeah, but that was

BM: There was this woman in Israel. She started doing yoga,

yesterday.”

and afterward, she and her husband became more and more interested in the Orthodox Jewish traditions. So effectively,

Today is something new because you have to cross the

what it means is that you are able to do better at whatever you

boundary. If you don’t cross the boundary, you are still not

want to do. Why is it? Because you learn to be effective not just

doing yoga. You have to cross the boundary, and that’s where

efficient. So that’s how yoga helps.

you can actually see your growth.

MM: So the sharpness that comes—to go onward with this, we all hesitate to use the words—but eventually, these practices lead one to a state of meditation or dharana or dhyana. What you’re giving it is a much better example because it’s easier for people to relate to ego and intelligence. The way you’re phrasing this presents a very clear path toward something, and this is why you’re a remarkable spokesman for what we do. You can bring that to light and let people start to see. Everybody recognizes that sharpness of mind. Everybody’s had that whether they’re trying to become skillful while learning a game as a child or driving an automobile. We all see that kind of sharpness, but unfortunately it becomes easy to go into that rote operation of the mind repeating the same path, like the rat who goes through the maze. And this is the spark of divinity or the sharpness that Guruji has brought to this subject for so many of us.

MM: Going back to our original definition of what yoga is—the one that predates Patanjali is “skillful action,” as you have just mentioned. BM: That’s right. MM: So if you find skillful action within the confines of your asanas and pranayamas, the understanding is that eventually you will find your way toward skillful action across every manifestation. BM: Absolutely. The human body is like your laboratory. So in a controlled environment, you are making some experiments, and after you learn what is happening, you can go out into the world. For example, say that within your controlled environment you find that today you’re unwell. You can still see what happens if you do this or this or this. You start learning how in different environments you’re going to work. It sort of

BM: Yes, actually I would say that doing things repetitively

trains you similar to doing a Ph.D. When working toward a

brings about efficiency. You are able to do that same thing with

Ph.D., you learn how to conduct research. The importance of

little amount of involvement. So you are highly efficient, but

the Ph.D. is the process of learning how to do research and not

efficiency is not everything. You have to see the effectiveness.

just what you’ve found out. That finding out will continue over

So in a particular environment, you have to work and read

time. But that’s the whole thing about yoga—it tells you how to

somewhere in that particular environment. And environments

become effective.

keep changing, so for you to remain effective you might need to do things differently. Your processes lead you to undergo

So in your own body, within your own environment, within the

changes from time to time so you can be efficient, but you may

controlled environment of the laboratory of your body, you

not be effective.

learn how to be effective because everything is within you. So you don’t really need to interact with something outside

So to get the effectiveness is where yoga comes in. If the

yourself. Because that’s such controlled learning, you can do

definition of yoga is “karmasu kaushalam,” which means

better at whatever you are doing. I think you know that’s very

“skillfulness in action,” skillfulness in action does not mean

important

only efficiency; it means effectiveness. So this is exactly what yoga should bring you, and that’s why I feel there are a lot of people who say, “After doing yoga, I am a much better dancer or

MM: Birjoo, thank you from all of us. It’s been quite enlightening.

a much better painter.”

BM: Thank you.

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


How to Inspire New Iyengar Yoga Students EMBRACE CHANGE, REACH OUT TO DIVERSE COMMUNITIES, BECOME A LEADER AND CHAMPION OF THE IYENGAR METHOD. By Heather Haxo Phillips

W

e all know that yoga means “union.”

has to be intelligent, but also emotionally firm and psychologically

Another definition of yoga is “bringing

strong. A teacher has to study and know how to understand the

together that which is perceived to be

minds of the students as s/he goes on teaching.”

separate.” I often think about this definition

when navigating my roles as a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher,

These words of wisdom are potent guidance not just when we

a yoga studio owner, and a member of the Board of Trustees

teach, but when we make decisions about how to manage our

for the San Francisco Institute and Northern California

careers. Indeed, his words are precious golden nuggets! For

region. These are three very different roles—but are the

example, I taught yoga for ten years on my own. During that

responsibilities and obligations the same?

time, I carefully developed my teaching and my student relationships. I worked on my own assessments, volunteered

Whether I am on my practice mat, teaching in class, managing

extensively, and built relationships with others in our local

my studio, or volunteering, I often ponder the same questions

Iyengar Yoga community. For an American Iyengar Yoga teacher,

that most certified teachers ask themselves: What are the best

this is critical off-the-mat “donkey work.”

ways to inspire others to learn more about Iyengar Yoga? How should we build our student base and juggle all that demands our time—personal practice, teaching, marketing, and more? How can I keep my spiritual compass within a complex and often commercial world? I try to use Guruji’s teachings as a guide. Though I have never

Guruji has been very clear that Iyengar Yoga is a tradition to be passed down. His teachings are not ours alone to hold onto; they are not a commodity to be sold.

heard B.K.S. Iyengar use phrases such as “marketing,” “key performance indicators,” or “building your student base,” I believe that he has explained to us through his words and his

Eight months ago, I took over ownership of the studio where I

actions how we should proceed in this complicated yoga world.

had worked. I set a goal to turn this yoga studio into an Iyengar Yoga studio and to become a regional beacon for Guruji’s

First, Guruji has been very clear that Iyengar Yoga is a tradition

teachings. Students and teachers within our Iyengar Yoga

to be passed down. His teachings are not ours alone to hold

community immediately embraced the idea. Because they

onto; they are not a commodity to be sold. We must spread the

knew me and had already embraced the practice, they were

teachings as far as we can “not for the sake of name or fame.”

ready to help out where needed. They have gathered according

Our Gurujii has been very clear on exactly how to do this. “I

to their talents, helping with the renovations, financial analysis,

only request my teachers to conduct themselves ethically so

marketing, staffing, and teaching that is required to

that no one raises their fingers to say that you have

successfully launch our new professional studio. Nearly all of

compromised the fundamentals of yoga for the sake of

this has been volunteer work! Working in community this way

popularity or for wealth,” he said in the most recent issue of

has paid off—attendance has doubled, and we have created

Yoga Rahasya.

jobs for eight certified teachers in our area. Last month, our local newspaper named Adeline Yoga Studio the “Best Yoga

Guruji has explained that as teachers, our responsibility is

Studio in the East Bay.” Of all the studios they could choose

huge. He says that if we act as a teacher, we have to treat it as a

from, I am so pleased that they bestowed an Iyengar Yoga

sacred duty and exert discipline: We must stay within our own

studio with this honor.

experiential knowledge, be alert to our students, and act as healers. We must learn the art of compassion, friendliness, and

As I strive to inspire others about Iyengar Yoga, I am inspired by

gladness as well as when to be indifferent. He says, “A teacher

Guruji’s own actions. From his early days, Guruji traveled the

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

21


world practicing for exhibitions to attract people to his art. He came from humble beginnings, with few resources, just like many of us. Yet, he was very creative. In those early days, he used whatever he had access to—photographs, books, TV, newspaper interviews, and even celebrities like Yehudi

Working in community this way has paid off—attendance has doubled, and we have created jobs for eight certified teachers in our area.

Menuin—to inspire others. Today, we have even more options for inspiring others: Facebook, Yelp, online forums, and cell phones. Guruji has always encouraged us to innovate. I feel empowered to use these tools judiciously and thoughtfully to

that do not fit a typical yoga student demographic. At home, we

inspire others toward a yoga practice and genuine

can do this in so many ways. Peggy Hong, a certified teacher

introspection.

who has recently helped launch another Iyengar Yoga studio in her new home town of Detroit, has pioneered an intriguing idea

Across the country, Iyengar Yoga teachers are working hard to

of free weekly classes called “Community Gift” where people

build community and inspire people to study Iyengar Yoga.

pay what they can. Some pay with vegetables; some pay

They offer special classes, using them to expand awareness of

through the “Time Bank.” Volunteering your work with

our practice and increase attendance in our classes. They have

community organizations that do not offer yoga classes is

potlucks, movie nights, work parties, and fundraisers to support

another important venue for expanding access. Out of these

those in need. They create important partnerships with

classes potential teachers may emerge who will increase our

universities and other organizations. These are important,

reach and our diversity.

necessary, and inspiring steps to increase the visibility of Iyengar Yoga.

Second, Iyengar Yoga teachers should be active leaders in our yoga community at large. Guruji has said that all yoga comes

When I look at how my Northern California region has

from the same source. I agree with this, and yet I see many

developed and how our Iyengar Yoga community has developed

shrink away from the spotlight. In the U.S., we often let others

nationally, I am proud of so much that has been accomplished.

speak about what yoga is while we remain relatively silent. This

We have played an instrumental role in developing yoga’s

doesn’t serve us well.

popularity. For example, new students frequently come into my studio But there is still more to do.

thinking that yoga is a commodity to be bought, tested, and discarded. Someone—not an Iyengar Yoga practitioner—taught

First, we must embrace the changes in the yoga world. Many of

them that incorrect notion. We each can take responsibility to

us remember—and relish—the early days when Iyengar Yoga

publicly educate people on what yoga is and what its benefits

was nearly the only yoga around. Today there are a lot more

are. Through repeated exposure—in class, on our websites, in

styles of yoga, and yoga has become an integral part of popular

our newsletters, and in our community newspapers—we show

culture. These days we have to be much more creative about

people the true benefits of our yoga practice.

attracting people to Iyengar Yoga and welcoming them when they do appear on our mats.

I also think it will take more of our students who have national loud-speakers—luminaries such as Mira Nair, Annette Bening,

I personally find that new students LOVE what we do. It also

Donna Karin—to help us change this. We need others such as

takes a long time for me to help them understand that the

Oprah, Ellen, and Dr. Oz to get involved as well. Simultaneously,

essence of the practice goes beyond straightening your legs.

thousands of us at a local level must actively educate others in

First, they have questions about why we don’t play music, why

our personal spheres of influence. We must work with diligence,

the room is room temperature, and what the yoga sutras are

one student at a time, one studio at a time, one newspaper

about. We must answer their questions—with patience,

article at a time, one Facebook post at a time, operating with

warmth, and compassion. That is our yoga AND theirs.

kindness and compassion as Guruji states, without jealously or desires for fame.

One thing is clear: We must expand who has access to Iyengar Yoga. As individuals and as a community, we should prioritize

The good news is that we do have each other to rely on. Within

bringing Iyengar Yoga to underserved populations and those

our own Iyengar Yoga community, we have great depth of

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


have in our hearts. There is no valid reason to be tentative

Today, we have even more options for inspiring others: Facebook, Yelp, online forums, and cell phones. Guruji has always encouraged us to innovate.

about involving our students in the business of our businesses. If we want to build our student base and the popularity of Iyengar Yoga, we have to build our skills with the help of those more knowledgeable than us. We need to learn to ask for help from each other and extend our knowledge to others freely. Guruji has asked this of us. Forums such as the recent panel at our national convention are

knowledge. Many of us are already engaged in the critical

vitally important in this regard. I hope that there will be more

activities to build our community. Many of us do have an

opportunities to share. If we apply effort to creating forums to

expertise in sales, marketing, public relations, and business

exchange knowledge and build skills, together we can develop an

planning. And if we don’t, our students do. Guruji often says

even stronger, more visible, and enduring Iyengar Yoga community.

that that we should teach only what we know and that we should have mentors to help us develop our skills. That is important advice for all realms of daily living: planning, time

Heather Haxo Phillips (Junior Intermediate II) is the director of Adeline

management, goal setting, financial management, and more.

Yoga Studio and vice president of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco/Iyengar Yoga Association of Northern California. Please send

I have found that the more I involve my students in the running

any thoughts or suggestions to heather@adelineyogastudio.com.

of my studio and our regional association, the more joy we all

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


Reflections on Karin O’Bannon By Christine Stein

K

arin O’Bannon, a dedicated student of B.K.S. Iyengar and one of our senior teachers, left this world in June 2013. She was 76 years old. Both her life and passing affected so many people

all over the globe. To remember Karin O’Bannon in Yoga Samachar is fitting and truly honors her memory. Photo by Effi Gang.

Those of us in Los Angeles remember when Karin walked through the door of the B.K.S. Iyengar Institute of Los Angeles in 1984. She had just returned from the San Francisco Convention and was inspired by Guruji’s teachings.

In one of her writings, she gave advice on teaching yoga:

Teachers Teachers have to set a good example for students,

At the time, Karin’s children were grown, and she had entered a Jain ashram, where the yogic discipline of devotion and nonviolence were deeply practiced. She said that she entered the

And students keep teachers on the right path. Wherever we are, we are representing yoga. To be a teacher requires vigorous discipline of one’s own self.

Jain ashram to study and practice yogic principles and to have association with others who were practicing in community. This

Be one with the students.

was Karin O’Bannon: a true seeker. She understood the value of human life, the value of receiving this human form of life, and the

After many years spent training the southern California teachers,

responsibility that goes along with it. She was fully involved in

Karin made a decision to leave Los Angeles and live in Hrishikesh,

looking for the answers to “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” She

next to the sacred Ganges River. She continued to study and teach

chose the yogic path to find these answers.

yoga to international pilgrims who visited Hrishikesh.

At one point, she left the ashram to share her knowledge and

During this time, she met very sincere students from Malaysia.

began teaching at the B.K.S. Iyengar Institute of Los Angeles,

They were inspired by Karin and asked to her to come to

which was a great boon for all of us. Her teaching was pure and

Malaysia to teach. She appreciated the mood of the Malaysian

infused with the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. Her personal

people: Their attitude of respect toward tradition and their

lifestyle was one of a true yoga practitioner. She started her day

humility in the face of knowledge resonated with Karin. She

before sunrise, which is called the Brahma Muhurta hour (the

loved Malaysia and always considered living there. One of her

most auspicious time for meditation and yogic practices). She

dedicated students, Vivien, wrote, “Karin was the first certified

chanted, she read, she practiced. During her day, she taught her

Iyengar Yoga teacher that I met in Malaysia. This meeting

students and always had time for them. Her association and

changed my destiny. Karin’s knowledge, her precision in

her advice were sought by all of us who taught and practiced at

teaching, her humble demeanor, attentive and affectionate care

the Iyengar Institute.

for her students inspired me. This deep impression that came forth inspired me to teach and study in Pune. Karin has planted yoga seeds in Asia and influenced many students of yoga. Her

She understood the value of human life, the value of receiving this human form of life, and the responsibility that goes along with it.

spirit lives forever in our hearts.” When Karin received the diagnosis that her health was failing and that she would be leaving this world shortly, her demeanor was one of a true yogi. She said, “I have had a good life.” With a short time left, she prepared for leaving this world. Her mind was steady, her wisdom profound, her acceptance and devotion to God kept her strong until her last breath.

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

25


By the grace of God, she had time to write a small book, Reflections: A Yogi on Her Journey. In one beautiful passage, she writes:

Heart Space There is within my heart

Her last wishes were that her ashes be given to the sacred Ganges in Mayapur, the Holy Dham of Lord Krishna. Karin took her last breath at home surrounded by family in a

the same joyful awareness

state of peace and calm. Her last wishes were that her ashes be

that makes the bird to sing

given to the sacred Ganges in Mayapur, the Holy Dham of Lord

and the snake to slither

Krishna. It is a peaceful place, where the Ganges flows into the

the sun to shine and the rains to fall.

sea, and where sunrises and sunsets are the most beautiful over that holy river. One can sit and meditate on the beautiful chants and hymns that resonate from the nearby temples

When we come to that heart-space

along the Ganges.

we find the same truth in all. Let my words be soft but always true. Let my heart be open and never broken. Let me, let me, be all that I am.

Karin was a true seeker, a true teacher. Thank you, Karin, for your association. As she said many times in the last months of her life, “We will surely meet again.”

Christine Stein (Intermediate Junior III) lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the B.K.S. Iyengar Institute of Los Angeles. She also teaches at Yogaworks and her own studio, Govinda’s. Karin was a mentor and close friend, and she was an inspiration in guiding Chris in her teaching of Iyengar Yoga.

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Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


Lighting the Way Award By Tori Milner

S

Photo by Daniel Guida

everal years ago, IYNAUS created an award called

continually lighting

“Lighting the Way” to honor teachers who have

the fire of inspiration

shown outstanding volunteerism and service to

within us and giving

our community. Past recipients have included Joan

us the courage to go

White, Mary Dunn, Felicity Green, and Patricia Walden.

beyond our limits in order to progress; for

Our path is made smoother through their instructive

your dedication to

adjustments; keen, watchful eyes; and powerful words and

maintaining integrity

images. Their dedication and devotion is seen and felt by all

in the practice and teaching; for your unfaltering faith in the

who come in contact with them. Long after a class or workshop

practice, thus being a living example of the transformation that

is over, their words live on, imprinted in our hearts and

comes with the unbroken practice of Iyengar Yoga; and for

postures. They revolutionize our practice and touch our lives

giving us more than 20 years of your life to develop as a

with an enthusiasm that is palpable if not infectious. As B.K.S.

community and as teachers.”

Iyengar has directly forged and polished them over decades, they shine their light, and his, on us.

Congratulations, Manouso!

The word “guru” means to remove the darkness, and that is

Tori Milner (Intermediate Junior III) teaches at the Iyengar Yoga

exactly what a good teacher does, treading the path before us and

Institute of New York.

showing us the way, guided by the wisdom of their own experience. They bolster us all as a community and help connect us to each other, to ourselves, and to the source of our learning— the Iyengars and the deep ancient roots where yoga began.

As B.K.S. Iyengar has directly forged and polished them over decades, they shine their light, and his, on us.

This May, that honor was presented to Manouso Manos at our convention in San Diego. Manouso is a longtime devotee of Iyengar Yoga who began his practice in the mid-seventies. With almost four decades of experience, he shares his knowledge freely and is always completely and unabashedly himself. He is one of only two teachers who hold the Advanced Senior certificate awarded by B.K.S Iyengar. He is a powerful example and guiding force in our community, always urging us to dig deeper in our practice.

Gloria Goldberg went to the podium and made these remarks: “… with loving gratitude for your generosity in guiding teachers and students to develop and grow in our personal practice; shedding light on the pedagogy of the Iyengar method; openly sharing the evolution of your practice and learning; your passion for the subject and compassion for your students; for

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

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Musings

H d e o a o l t G h d G n u a a y r t i a v n e t g e e n d! o L By Yoon Cho

Illustration by Curtis Settino

“You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”—Carl Sagan, Contact I’m more than halfway into my first year of teacher training,

one end to elation, excitement, and gratitude at the other.

As fear of death subsided, I actually began to enjoy our classes and the amazing faculty members at the Institute.

I have been most pleasantly surprised by the esprit de corps of

After a move to the Bay Area for my husband’s job late last

our group, fostered through intense learning and growing

year, I finally investigated and applied to the program, deluding

together in the program. I came to the Iyengar Yoga Institute of

myself that I would participate simply for the knowledge and to

San Francisco alone, but I will never be alone again because

deepen my practice. After all, the official name for the program

now I belong to a community of people who care deeply about

is Advanced Studies/Teacher Training.

and I cannot help but look back and take stock of the journey so far. My emotions have ranged widely from profound unworthiness, controlled panic, and impatience with myself at

teaching and practicing Iyengar Yoga. Shortly after the program began, I realized what an Before applying for the program at the Institute, I had always

overwhelming flow of information I had to take in—and the

been interested in teacher training but never followed up on

program really asks a minimum of what is needed to become a

my urge to explore. I’m not a particularly flexible person

teacher. I have felt at times that I was trying to drink from a fire

with effortless form, nor was I ever disciplined enough for

hose, but instead, the fire hose, with its monstrous and raging

consistent home practice. And I had never taught anything

stream, had me pinned against the rope wall (especially after

before—though I do enjoy lecturing my sister, my husband,

five hours of anatomy on Friday afternoon, followed by three

and close friends.

hours of asana).

28

Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


And yet, my inner transformation has been ongoing, albeit in

strength and courage of my fellow yogis, I also have to own my

inelegant and unsteady lurches. As fear of death subsided, I

practice and experience the asanas when nobody is looking or

actually began to enjoy our classes and the amazing faculty

cheering me on. Unless I work through the challenges and

members at the Institute. My respect for them and my previous

improve my practice, I will not have a strong foundation from

teachers deepened as I caught glimpses of their own journeys

which to teach or share. Therefore, I am, and must remain,

and the struggles they must have had along the way. When I

alone with yoga.

make small breakthroughs in class and in my own practice, I am deeply grateful for everyone who has gone before me. As we

Recently, my view on my potential as a teacher shifted after

invoke the wisdom of Patanjali at the beginning of each class, I

a chance conversation with a mother and daughter who

wonder about ancient yogis who mastered yoga and passed

happened to share an outdoor table with me at a restaurant.

down their knowledge only after lifetimes of devoted practice

The adult daughter had been on disability because of a

and sacrifice.

serious accident years before. When I suggested yoga, the

I intend to jump out there and be the loudest preacher of Iyengar Yoga there ever was! Lululemon has not come up with a shade of yoga pants that is bright enough for me.

daughter revealed that she swore off yoga after a few sessions of (insert whatever type of yoga that does not care much about alignment or one’s injuries) yoga left her worse off than before. I thought, if I complete my teacher training and, more important, truly absorb and internalize what I’m learning, there is no way I will simply enjoy my deepened practice in private. I will need to be certified, of course, but teach I will, and teach I must.

Of all the things I’ve come to love about the program, I have been especially enjoying the camaraderie and support of the

I intend to jump out there and be the loudest preacher of Iyengar

people in my class. A Saturday dinner with my classmates is

Yoga there ever was! Lululemon has not come up with a shade of

the highlight of an intense and exhausting weekend of classes,

yoga pants that is bright enough for me. My voice, as strong as my

and I relish the kindness, intelligence, and fascinating life

fierce appearance, will be energetic and excited like that of the

experiences of my fellow yogis.

fruit sellers who used to shout through the loudspeakers up and down the narrow streets of my childhood neighborhood in Seoul.

Among us are business owners, stylists, a physical therapist, a

In the summertime, the tires of the small, three-wheeled trucks

software engineer, a meditation teacher, a nutritionist, a flight

would be almost flat because of the weight of so much fresh fruit

instructor, a nurse, a speech therapist, and several yoga teachers. I

piled high. “Taste the juicy watermelons! Free samples of

would never have met them had I not participated in the program.

honeydews going fast! Strawberries bursting with flavor! Longevity

Our program is immensely enriched by their presence. Even if

and good health guaranteed! Come get these NOW!” They would

someone doesn’t speak up in class, the fact that he or she is there

shout all day long.

makes a difference in the room. I firmly believe that speech is sometimes overrated and represents a fraction of our

Like them, I will be confident through knowledge and firm

communication with one another. I always feel the openness and

belief. I will someday be a forceful advocate of a style of yoga

compassion of my fellow students and feel absolutely safe not

that heals people’s bodies and minds. I will shout, “Practice

knowing the answers or making a mistake. Where else would I

yoga the Iyengar way! I can help you take better care of

experience this unique and beautiful community?

yourself. Practice safe yoga—here’s how! Workshop on yoga philosophy next week. This is the GPS for your soul. Reserve

In Appendix I of Light on Yoga, Guruji says that “optimism and

your spot TODAY!”

pessimism were equally balanced” in his years of hard work toward mastery. He also urges us to be “happy in what you have

In 1998, Yoon Cho walked into her first yoga class in New York City,

attained and never despairing at any temporary failure.” I

which was taught by an Iyengar Yoga teacher. Her interest and practice

repeat Guruji’s words whenever feeling discouraged or

were encouraged by teachers at Julie Lawrence Yoga Center in

disappointed. Controlling my emotions and bringing

Portland, Oregon. She now lives in San Jose, California, with her

equanimity to my inner self are an essential part of growth and

husband, Robert, and two dogs, Dante and Livia. When not practicing

maturity that is as important as a well-balanced Ardha

or thinking about yoga, she works as a stylist for a luxury Italian

Chandrasana. Moreover, while I draw inspiration from the

fashion house.

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

29


Ask

THE YOGI

Help for Headaches “What poses are safe to do during a migraine? Can you recommend preventive poses? Sometimes during backbends my neck feels compressed when it is tilted backward. Are backbends harmful for people who have migraines or neck pain?”— Kelly Sobanski , Bloomington, Indiana The cause of a headache, whether it is classified as a migraine or not, is not always well understood. What we recognize in yoga is that the state of a person’s physical, physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual health also might have something to do with being prone to headaches. Yoga practice

As important as how individual poses are practiced is the sequence of poses that precede and follow the backbends.

can affect all of these things. the structural or physiological shape, need to be practiced with Poses that are safe to do during a migraine are “supta” (lying

particular care by students who have neck pain or suffer from

down) poses such as Supta Virasana, Supta Swastikasana, Supta

headaches. Structural energy flow problems can be corrected,

Baddha Konasana, or chair Purvottanasana, as well as forward

but backbends are stimulating poses, and some backbends in

bends with head support and Viparita Karani with a small

their classical form may need to be avoided. The compression

weight on the forehead. The forward bends should be adapted

problem that Kelly is talking about in her question may be

so there is no strain for the practitioner, using as much height

because the chest is not open enough before the head is taken

as necessary for support. For example, someone with limited

backward. One of the most important preparatory backbends in

flexibility might adapt traditional forward bends to use more

the Iyengar Yoga system is Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana over a

support under the head or buttocks or sit in a chair and go

chair. If the practitioner does not take the shoulder blades in

forward with the knees bent. The supta poses should emphasize

enough, coil the spine enough, or come far enough off the chair,

comfortable support for the back and head rather than the

the neck may feel compressed and proper circulation is

backward arch.

blocked. Correct action must be learned and different head supports also can be tried.

In terms of preventive poses for headaches, when a practitioner is not experiencing a headache, a well-balanced practice

Another good backbend for learning the correct actions of the

including all classes of poses is recommended. Poses that might

shoulder blades, chest, neck, and head is Ustrasana, which can

be particularly important for migraine sufferers would include

be practiced with the ropes at the wall. One way to practice this

inversions, chest openers with emphasis on the shoulder blades

pose is not to take the head back at all until the pose is

and upper back work, forward bends, and twists. Standing

complete and the chest well opened. Until a student can

poses and backbends can be very helpful for alignment and

maintain the correct action of the spine, shoulder blades, and

chest opening, but they are also more likely to stimulate the

neck in Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana over the chair, classical

nervous system in a way that may cause problems for

Urdhva Dhanurasana or Dwi Pada is not recommended.

individuals who get regular headaches. If a practitioner is not particularly careful with alignment, these two classes of poses

As important as how individual poses are practiced is the

might also cause tension, possibly contributing to headaches.

sequence of poses that precede and follow the backbends. The

It is important to note that it is not only the poses but also how

poses that precede backbends should extend the spine, open up

the poses are performed that is essential.

the chest and front of the hips while those that follow backbends need to release any back tension and bring the

All the yoga poses, when practiced correctly, are designed to

nervous system back to a quiet state. The Iyengar Yoga system,

create balance in all the systems of the body so that the energy

with its progression of the different syllabi and its emphasis on

flows freely throughout. By “energy,” we are referring to energy

sequencing (in learning the poses as well as in a single-class

as it relates to circulation, respiration, elimination—a balance

sequence), is an excellent guide to us in our yoga practice.

of muscular tension and relaxation, an electrochemical balance in the brain, etc.

Chris Saudek (Intermediate Senior III) is the director of The Yoga Place in La Crosse, WI. Francie Ricks (Intermediate Senior III) teaches at the

Backbends, because of the stimulating nature of the poses and 30

Yoga Place and at the Winona Yoga Center in Winona, MN. Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


2

1: Purvottanasana on two chairs

1

2: Viparita Karani setup for headaches

3: Paschimottanasana with extra support for limited flexibility

4: Janu Sirsasana with extra support

3

for limited flexibility

4

5: Chair Pavanmuktasana with sand bag over the shoulders to relieve shoulder and neck tension

6: Supta Virasana with support 7: Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana where the placement on the

5

6

chair is incorrect

8: Dwi Pada where the placement and opening is correct

9: Dwi Pada with head support

10: D wi Pada 7

with head support

8

11: Ustrasana without taking the head back

11 9

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

10

31


IYNAUS

Store News

New Items to Celebrate and Inform Our Practice The IYNAUS store was created to provide props, reference materials, and study aids to enhance the practice of Iyengar Yoga and raise funds to support our operations in the United States. The store focuses primarily on items produced in India that are not available from popular retail and e-commerce sources. Additional inventory items include books, audio CDs, and DVDs from senior teachers in the U.S. Here’s a sampling of new items in the IYNAUS store:

Reflection: A Yogi on Her Journey

B.K.S. Iyengar Archive Project 2007

By Karin O’Bannon A limited number of copies of this Beloved senior teacher Karin O’Bannon passed

beautiful hardbound book are available

away on June 10, 2013. Karin was a dedicated

again. This second edition includes rarely

student of B.K.S. Iyengar and his family. She was

seen photos, documents, and articles from

also a teacher of teachers, helping establish the

the IYNAUS archives. Originally printed in

teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga

2007, the book sold out quickly; however,

Institute of Los Angeles and more recently

we recently discovered a cache of boxes in storage. Get your

training teachers in New Orleans. This 72-page

copy while supplies last!

collection of writings and illustrations is a treasure for anyone

$40.00

who was fortunate enough to have studied with Karin— extensively or even just at a workshop—as well as those who never met Karin directly. The knowledge she shared has been a

Yoga In Action: Intermediate Course

benefit to so many teachers in our Iyengar Yoga community.

$20.00

The newest book from Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar includes detailed illustrations and instructions of intermediate-level asanas

Iyengar Yoga Bumper Stickers

and pranayama as taught at RIMYI, the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga

Show your support for Iyengar Yoga with

Institute in Pune, India.

our new bumper sticker. Designed by

$20.00

Nancy Phillips in conjunction with Sarvbhauma Yog, the Iyengar Yoga Conference and Teachers’ Convention held in San Diego in May

Other new titles include Yogashastra Tomes 3 and 4 and The 18

of this year. This item was added to our IYNAUS store inventory

Maha Kriyas of Yogasana by Prashant Iyengar. To purchase any of

by popular demand.

these items and view the store’s full inventory, please visit the

$5.00

website: www.iynaus.org/store. Certified Iyengar Yoga teachers can place discounted bulk orders for props and books by calling

206-623-3562 or sending an email to iynausstore@gmail.com.

32

Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


Classifieds A CALL FOR MUSINGS Yoga Samachar seeks submissions for our “Musings” column, which features a range of short thought pieces from members. These can be philosophical in nature or might focus on more practical topics—for example, a great idea for managing your studio or for creating community in your home town. See page 28 for Musings by Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco student Yoon Cho. Please send your own Musings to yogasamachar@iynaus.org by Feb. 1.

ASK THE YOGI Yoga Samachar seeks questions for our new “Ask the Yogi” column. Rotating senior teachers provide answers to a range of questions submitted by IYNAUS members. We welcome your questions related to how or when to use props, how best to deal with specific health conditions, philosophical help with the sutras, tips on teaching or doing certain poses, and more. Please send questions to yogasamachar@iynaus.org by Feb. 1.

JOIN IYNAUS To join IYNAUS or renew your current membership, please visit our website and apply online: https://secure.iynaus.org/join.php. Membership fees begin at $60, with $30 of each membership going to support teacher certification and continuing education.

RENEW YOUR IYNAUS MEMBERSHIP IYNAUS would like to remind all teachers, including Introductory I and above, that annual membership invoices are posted online and payment is due directly to IYNAUS (not your regional association) by Jan. 31, 2014. General members can pay dues to their regional associations directly or via the IYNAUS website. If you have difficulty logging in to your account, please email generalmanager@iynaus.org or call 206-623-3562. Thank you!

YOUR AD HERE Yoga Samachar accepts short, text-only ads to announce workshops, offer props for sale, list teacher openings at your studio, or provide other yoga-related information. Ads cost $50 for up to 50 words and $1 per word over 50 words, including phone numbers, USPS addresses, and websites. Please contact Rachel Frazee at rhazuga@gmail.com or 608-780-6774 for more information or to submit an ad.

Happy Holidays from everyone at IYNAUS

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

33


treasurer’s

REPORT—IYNAUS FINANCES

Year-End Financial News By David Carpenter

In this issue’s financial report, I present both good news and not so good news. First, the good news: IYNAUS is in better financial condition today than it was a year ago. That is clear from our balance sheet. Balance sheets provide a financial snapshot of an enterprise at a particular point in time and give an estimate of the association’s net worth at that time. The following chart shows IYNAUS’ current balance sheet (as of Oct. 1, 2013) and its balance sheet as of Oct. 31, 2012.

IYNAUS BALANCE SHEETS CURRENT ASSETS

Oct. 2012

Oct. 2013

73,484

105,485

San Diego Conference/Convention loan

18,750

0

IYASE loan on Maitri Conference loss

6,000

6,000

Store accounts receivable

2,456

2,061

IYNAUS store inventory

83,272

79,219

Prepaid expenses

2,414

864

Computers and equipment

5,585

3,452

Certification mark bank accounts

70,041

84,915

TOTAL ASSETS

262,002

281,996

Accounts payable

1,634

2,110

Long-term notes (international archives)

9,250

9,250

TOTAL LIABILITIES

10,844

11,360

EQUITY (Net Worth)

251,158

270,636

TOTAL CASH OR CASH EQUIVALENTS

143,525

190,400

UNRESTRICTED CASH OR CASH EQUIVALENTS

73,484

105,485

Non employee insurance and taxes

7,054

5,612

Unrestricted Assets IYNAUS bank accounts and cash equivalents Accounts Receivable

Restricted Assets

CURRENT LIABILITIES

There are several reasons we are in a stronger position today

account, our net worth has increased. So by any measure,

than we were a year ago. As treasurer, I focus on the cash

our balance sheet—and IYNAUS—has been strengthened

that we have unconditionally available to us, which is the

financially in the past year.

“unrestricted cash or cash equivalents” on the balance sheet. We now have about $105,000 in unrestricted cash—

The other type of IYNAUS financial statement is its “Profit

over $30,000 more than a year ago. This is a good cash

and Loss“ statement, which shows the association’s

cushion for an enterprise like ours. In addition, there also

revenues and expenses during a particular period of time.

has been about a $15,000 increase in our “restricted” cash—

Because a statement for the first nine months of the year

which are monies jointly controlled by IYNAUS and Guruji

would not be terribly meaningful, I will not provide a P&L

(through Gloria Goldberg, Guruji’s attorney in fact in the

statement now. But I can report that, between Jan. 1 and

U.S.) that can only be spent for special projects. For the sake

Sept. 30, 2013, we received new revenues that slightly exceed

of completeness, I should note that collectively, the other

our year-to-date expenses. This is primarily due to two facts:

“noncash” items on our balance sheet are a little less than

1) We have reduced our expenses by eliminating certain

they were a year ago. But even when these are taken into

legal fees and declining to fill some part-time clerical

34

Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


positions, and 2) our store revenues have increased because

a new business model for its operations. We need to reassess

of the strong demand for some exciting new books from

the financial model for regional conferences and other

India. While this is a favorable state of affairs, history

events—which we will have plenty of time to do because

teaches that our store revenues will likely return to historic

there are no such events currently planned for the next two

levels once demand for the new books is met. Also, we

years. We will need to implement a new business model in

cannot postpone filling the clerical positions indefinitely.

which IYNAUS ends its reliance on triennial events and,

So some of the expense reductions will not be sustainable

rather, focus on earning new revenues each year that are

for the long term.

sufficient to cover that year’s expenses. Meeting this goal would present a significant challenge even if the board’s

Also contributing to our results this year is the fact that the

objective were only to continue to perform its historic

May 2013 San Diego Conference and Convention was

functions. But because the board has been striving to do

profitable. IYNAUS received half of the profits from the

additional activities to benefit IYNAUS members and

regional conference portion of the event and all proceeds

promote Iyengar Yoga, achieving this goal will be even

from the convention. It now appears that the two events

more difficult.

together netted about $16,000 for IYNAUS. In today’s economy, it was a real achievement that the San Diego

The board is already vigilant about reducing expenses, so

events made money. The Spring 2012 Maitri conference in

our main focus will have to be increasing revenues.

Washington, D.C., lost $48,000, and I personally had feared

Historically, other than events, we have derived significant

that the San Diego Conference and Convention would lose

revenues only from member dues, sales from the IYNAUS

money as well. But because of the great job done by Gloria

store, and assessment fees. Because assessment fees are

Goldberg, Cyndie Cordle, and their team, the events were not

used exclusively to cover the cost of the assessment system

only magnificent experiences for all who attended but also

and because we have limited ability to increase store

turned a profit.

revenues in future years, it appears that we will have to either increase our dues or develop other significant sources

Now for the not so good news lurking in the background.

of income.

While the San Diego events were profitable, past conventions have generated greater profits, and I

The board will address these issues at its forthcoming

understand that, as a historical matter, IYNAUS has relied

in-person meeting. I can announce one initiative now:

upon large profits from the triennial conventions to

IYNAUS is a Section 501(c)(3) corporation, and while I cannot

subsidize its operations in nonconvention years. For

give tax advice, I have been assured that chartable

example, the 2010 Portland convention generated about

contributions to IYNAUS are generally deductible in

$85,000 (and an additional $70,000 in sales for the IYNAUS

computing income taxes. For those of you who are able to do

store). Also, the 2011 Chicago regional conference generated

so, we urge you to consider making charitable contributions

$35,000 for IYNAUS (and another $35,000 for IYAMW).

to IYNAUS, ideally prior to the end of this year. The contributions that provide us the greatest benefit are those

Because the San Diego event did not generate comparable

that are unrestricted. To make such a contribution, all you

profits, IYNAUS faces a substantial challenge in the near

need do is make out a check payable to IYNAUS and mail it

future. While we earned new revenues in the first nine

to the address below. We will provide you with a tax receipt.

months of 2013 that exceeded our expenses, this appears largely to have been unique to this calendar year. Absent

We also have another option that may be of special interest

significant changes in our financial operations, we will have

to some of you. If you attended the San Diego events, you

shortfalls in 2014, 2015, and 2016. While the cash that we

likely saw the wonderful exhibit that Eric Small and his

have on hand will give us some flexibility in the future,

archives committee prepared. This exhibit was composed of

elementary prudence requires that we maintain a significant

some of the archival materials that IYNAUS has preserved.

cash cushion. This means we do not have sufficient funds to

However, we possess a larger body of archival materials that

provide the level of future subsidies that our programs

has not yet been preserved and cannot be easily displayed or

received in the recent past. Accordingly, the board has

even readily accessed. Significant investments will be

determined that it will be incumbent on IYNAUS to establish

required to image, catalogue, and otherwise preserve these

Photo : Lois Steinberg

Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

35


valuable materials to ensure that they will be available to

Finally, there is one thing that all of us can do to help improve

students in the future. We have received one $2,500

IYANUS’ financial performance. Each year, we have several

donation toward this effort, and we need to raise at least

hundred teachers who do not pay their annual dues on time,

another $2,500 before the necessary steps can begin. To

and while the payments are eventually made, the association

make a contribution that is restricted to this purpose, please

incurs expenses in communicating with teachers about them

make out a check payable to IYNAUS and note “Archive

and collecting them. So please try to pay your dues on time

Project” in the memo portion of the check. Again, we will

when you receive the annual statements.

provide you with a tax receipt. In sum, IYNAUS is now financially stronger than it was a year We hope many of you will consider making charitable

ago, but we face some significant challenges in the future. With

contributions to IYNAUS—either a general unrestricted gift

the support of our members, I am confident that we can meet

or a gift for the archives project. Please send checks to:

these challenges.

IYNAUS P.O. Box 538 Seattle WA 98111

David Carpenter

36

IYNAUS Treasurer

Yoga Samachar Fall 2013/Winter 2014


“ [Yoga] is a universal art for every human being that is wanting in his emotions, his instincts, his intelligence, to improve. So if yoga can build up right knowledge, stabilize the emotions, transform instinct into intuition, take it from me that you and I lose all differences and we all become one. That is the universality of yoga.� —B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala, Vol. 5 Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Yoga Samachar

Photo by Jake Clennell

37


B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States P.O. Box 538 Seattle, WA 98111 www.iynaus.org

Jake Clannell filming with Guruji and James Murphy. (Photo by Lindsey Clennell)

Iynaus1027 ys fall winter  

The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States — IYNAUS — disseminates the teachings of B. K. S. Iyengar and his family. IYNAUS....

Iynaus1027 ys fall winter  

The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States — IYNAUS — disseminates the teachings of B. K. S. Iyengar and his family. IYNAUS....