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Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, better known as BKS Iyengar recently passed away at the ripe old age of 96 and even he couldn't have dreamt of the impact his yoga teachings have had all over the world. His teachings transformed yoga from an esoteric spiritual practice, practised in the East, to a worldwide phenomenon and one of the most popular forms of exercise in the West.
He would then go on to set up his own practice, befriend violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who became his student and invited Iyengar to Europe to teach others. His students would go on to include luminaries from around the world including Aldous Huxley, J Krishnamurthy and sportsmen like Martin Crowe, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Javgal Srinath, Rahul Dravid and Virendra Sehwag. His classes are even taught to military academies and police forces around the world and even in prisons in Israel!
Here are his top 30 quotes on yoga, life, death and being:
'I always tell people, live happily and die majestically.'
'It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.'
'You must purge yourself before finding faults in others.
When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake.
This is the way to take judgment and to turn it into improvement.
Do not look at others' bodies with envy or with superiority.
All people are born with different constitutions.
Never compare with others.
Each one's capacities are a function of his or her internal strength.
Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.'
'Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.'
'Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.'
'You exist without the feeling of existence.'
'The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.'
'Nothing can be forced, receptivity is everything.'
'One's spiritual realization lies in none other than how one walks among and interacts with one's fellow beings.'
'Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.'
'Breath is the king of mind.'
'There is only one reality, but there are many ways that reality can be interpreted.'
'Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek, but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.'
'It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.'
'Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.'
'We must create a marriage between the awareness of the body and that of the mind. When two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides.'
'When we free ourselves from physical disabilities, emotional disturbances, and mental distractions, we open the gates to our soul.'
'The physical body is not only a temple for our soul, but the means by which we embark on the inward journey toward the core.'
'Yoga is about the will, working with intelligence and self-reflexive consciousness, can free us from the inevitability of the wavering mind and outwardly directed senses.'
'True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness.'
'We often fool ourselves that we are concentrating because we fix our attention on wavering objects.'
'By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.'
'As breath stills our mind, our energies are free to unhook from the senses and bend inward.'
'Breath is the vehicle of consciousness and so, by its slow measured observation and distribution, we learn to tug our attention away from external desires toward a judicious, intelligent awareness.'
Read: Yoga tips for beginners
'Asanas maintain the strength and health of the body, without which little progress can be made. Asanas keep the body in harmony with nature.'
'If we become aware of its limitations and compulsions, we can transcend them.'
'The union of nature and soul removes the veil of ignorance that covers our intelligence.'
'Our Parusa or Universal Soul is an abiding reality. It is logical, but remains conceptual to our minds under we experience it;s realization within ourselves.'
'There is a universal reality in ourselves that aligns us with a universal reality that is everywhere.'
Read: 12 yoga poses for weight loss
'Anything physical is always changing, therefore, its reality is not constant, not eternal.'
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