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The Evolution of Practice Or How Our Truth Changes

Pixie Lillas, founder of the Balmain Iyengar Yoga Studio, recollects her early experiences of studying and practising Yoga with BKS Iyengar


There is no greater gift we could receive than that of being alive to ourselves and our surroundings, of finding a willingness to see and to learn and to be transformed. It is something for which we, Guruji

BKS Iyengar in Natarajasana
BKS Iyengar in Natarajasana

These were new ideas and they had me completely baffled. They now form a large part of the foundation of an approach which I continue to love, admire and wrestle with to this day. Over the period of these last almost 40 years, throughout all the transformative milestones of my life, and the challenges of a body changed by those many events, and just by time itself, I have continued to look to Guruji and his continued practice for inspiration and guidance.

His daughter, Geeta once said in a talk she gave during Guru Purnima that Guruji and his practice were two inseparable things. When he had money and fame he practised, and when he had no money, no food, no acclaim, he practised. When he was young he practised and when he grew old he practised. Practice it seems was not just the key, but was both a tool for life and life itself. In my own experience of perplexing or difficult times, or of a physical problem, or two, I have learned from Guruji

BKS Iyengar in Bhujapidasana
BKS Iyengar in Bhujapidasana

What to do then if we listen but hear only a garbled message, one that seems to leave us with more confusion and doubt? Here again Guruji has given us guidance. He once said something like, if we feel doubt, let it be there and just continue to practise; let it sit side by side with us, and see which one wins out.

I have certainly had many periods of doubt and uncertainty not just about the techniques of the postures but even more about whether my approach was useful, helpful, was I going in the right direction or making things worse for myself? How was I to know, how to find out which direction to move in? According to Guruji nothing can change if we don

There is one particularly vital thing I have learned from Guruji, amongst the many hundreds of lessons received, and it is something that seems to have seeped into my existence almost subliminally over the years. He never stopped learning; he never stopped practising and experiencing in one form or another. This passion and search for excellence made him more than just a master in yoga, but also a teacher on many levels. Yehudi Menuhin once called him

Portrait of BKS Iyengar
Portrait of BKS Iyengar

Geeta has pointed out that it is so simple for us as students of Iyengar Yoga, we only have to


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