Iyengar: ‘Krishnamacharya was the only person who gave Ashtanga yoga’

I think I got that quote right, from about the 45-second part of this short video of BKS Iyengar talking to a group of students. He seems to describe it as the “same as I’m teaching.”

For all you history buffs:

Sort of a throwback Thursday. Maybe other quotes jump out at you?

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

5 thoughts on “Iyengar: ‘Krishnamacharya was the only person who gave Ashtanga yoga’”

  1. Typically, I enjoy every post made on this site but this one made me uncomfortable at first. I have never met Iyengar and listening to him here, I can’t help but think of Manju Jois. Even more now, I appreciate how humble Manju is. And how he preforms adjustments without you even realizing so that the “moving meditation” that is the Ashtanga practice isn’t interrupted by any “external vibration”. For me, Manju has always represented the understanding that yoga belongs to everyone and that it isn’t anyone’s to give.

    I realize they are two very different people with two very different approaches.

    1. Hi Christina.

      I certainly understand your reaction. My first reaction is it is further proof of the need for disparate voices to pass along the Ashtanga / yoga tradition. Not every teacher matches up well to every student. I know people who had bad experiences with Pattabhi Jois. Same with Iyengar. I’ve had limited interaction with Manju, but none that I’ve had inspired me to seek out more. Same with a several handfuls of Ashtanga teachers, including the “senior” ones. Some I’d want to study with more, others I can happily leave aside.

      That’s a little different angle than the one you are brining up — except in your last sentence. But I think humility is probably one of those qualities that either draws someone in or perhaps doesn’t.


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