Yoga and meditation, an introduction
When you practise Yoga with genuine interest and commitment – taking your mind and body ever deeper into the postures – you become more and more conscious of your states of mind. In this way Yoga challenges your creativity and ability to throw yourself wholeheartedly into a discipline. As a result you will experience your aliveness in a more intense and refined way, and your general awareness will increase.
Normally when we talk of Yoga in the West, what we mean is Hatha Yoga. But in India, the word ‘Yoga’ refers not only to physical postures but also to methods of spiritual development in general. Nonetheless, Hatha Yoga is not concerned simply with the physical body on a crude material level but rather with the body as a vehicle for liberating psychophysical energy, refining one’s sensory perception, and increasing awareness.
The form of Yoga presented here is based on the system developed by the eminent Yoga master, BKS Iyengar of Pune (born 1918). From the age of sixteen, he has practiced, researched, and developed Yoga. His books, including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, have been translated into many languages. When the violinist Yehudi Menuhin became his pupil in 1952, Iyengar’s fame began to spread outside India.
Numerous teaching and demonstration tours have led BKS Iyengar to Europe, America, Australia, Japan, and Africa, and his system of Yoga has spread widely throughout the world.