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Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

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“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.” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

Asana has two facets, pose and repose. Pose is the artistic assumption of a position. ‘Reposing in the pose’ means finding the perfection of a pose and maintaining it, reflecting in it with penetration of the intelligence and with dedication.” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Regarding perfection, that’s a very difficult question. I can say that I have superseded most in my sadhana [practice]. I am in it, and my mind and my intelligence gets better in my sadhana, and it reaches a certain place. When I stretch, I stretch in such a way that my awareness moves, and a gate of awareness finally opens… My body is a laboratory, you can say. I don’t stretch my body as if it is an object. I do yoga from the self towards the body, not the other way around… BKS Iyengar, Interview on

Motivation Mondays: Practice Awareness in All Things – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory (14 December 1918 – 20 August 2014) Today is the revered Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar aka B.K.S. Iyengar’s 97th Birthday. BKS passed away in August 2014 and this year, Google has created a series of Iyengar Google Doodles to honor this bright light and originator of Iyengar Yoga – a precise and classical form of hatha yoga that concentrates on body alignment and the use of props to create balanced, even perfect, poses/asanas. BKS was born to a poor family in Karnataka, India, and struggled with many health issues during his childhood.

When he was 15 years old, his brother-in-law, yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, invited BKS to Mysore to rid his body of ailments through yoga practice. With great effort, he soon healed his body and gained mastery of the form. Three years later, he was sent out to teach it to others. A key friendship with famed violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, gave him exposure to the West and helped BKS build an international following. Today, Iyengar Yoga is practiced in 72 countries around the world and his legacy remains strong in the Yoga community. When BKS passed away last year, I worked on a post to honor the man whose expertise and love of hatha yoga won me over in my freshman year at college but, I set it aside because I couldn’t find adequate words to express my gratitude.

“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.” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

Motivation Mondays: Awareness - Honoring BKS Iyengar's Memory

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory via Google Doodle


You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind, and soul. B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
When you have an anger, irritability, or disappointment mound, the conditioned reflex works like this: Suppose you’re irritable with your parents, and your mother comes into the room. She might only say “Dinner’s ready,” but the irritability reflex is ready to spring up.  B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom

What does Awareness mean to You? How do you incorporate it in your daily life? As I pointed out above, my introduction to Hatha Yoga came in my college years when I connected with Rita, an Iyengar Trained teacher, who taught her classes with the same rigor and precision that BKS used in his classes/workshops. She invited me to a class and by the end of the class I was sold. At the time, I was taking dance lessons and used the gym regularly to stay in shape but something about the asanas/poses and the breathing exercises/pranayama in the Iyengar class, gave me a deep sense of well-being and calm. My devotion to the form grew and I saw old habits fall away. I developed an awareness that led me to Siddha Yoga, Ammachi, and a daily meditation practice. I believe my introduction to Iyengar and my practice of that form and other forms of hatha yoga, helped me tremendously during a difficult phase in my life.

Awareness, to me, means honoring the earth, all around me, and myself. It means paying attention to how my inner conversations impact my external interactions. With Iyengar Yoga, I improved my flexibility and strengthened my core. I changed my diet and was able to maintain a calm lifestyle during a very crazy time on our planet.  What motivated me back then  and even now, was my reading that BKS  practiced asanas/poses for 3 hours and pranayamas/breathing exercises for an hour daily. Would you believe he continued to do so, well into his 90s?  He also made time to write 14 seminal books on the philosophy and practice of yoga.  When we become aware of our connection to all things and how we impact each other, our impulse is to do whatever we can to preserve and/or improve it. Taking care of all of our faculties and making choices that uplift us make it possible to live peacefully in our chaotic world. It is a mindset and a choice. Are you choosing awareness today?

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for November and December are:

11/02 – LEGACY/REMEMBRANCEAll Souls/All Saints Day (11/1)
11/09 – HONORING VETERANS – Veteran’s Day (11/11) &
11/16 –  HONORING ALL/OUR CHILDREN – Universal Children’s Day/World Children’s Day (11/20) & Great American Smokeout Day (11/19)
11/23 – GIVING THANKS – Thanksgiving Day! (11/26)
11/30 – REVISIT KINDNESS – World Kindness Day (11/13)

12/07  – GIVING SEASON – 6th Chanukah for 8 days, 7th International Civil Aviation Day, Letter Writing Day, National Cotton Candy Day, Pearl Harbor Day,  On this day in 1877- Thomas Edison shows off his new invention, the phonograph
12/14 – AWARENESS –  Poinsettia Day,  International Children’s Day (12/12,13 & 12/15),  Bill of Rights Day, Honoring B.K.S. Iyengar’s Memory and 97th Birthday
12/21 –  HOLIDAY SPIRIT – Winter Solstice (shortest day of the year),  Festivus!, Christmas, Kwanzaa (12/12,13 & 12/15)
12/28 – THE JOURNEY –  National Fruitcake Day,  Boxing Day,  New Year’s Eve (12/27, 28 & 31)

More Below!

“True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness.” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

Motivation Mondays: Awareness – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory

As animals, we walk the earth. As bearers of divine essence, we are among the stars. As human beings, we are caught in the middle, seeking to reconcile the paradox of how to make our way upon earth while striving for something more permanent and more profound. B.K.S. Iyengar
You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind, and soul.  B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life

“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.” B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life

Motivation Mondays: Practice Awareness in All Things – Honoring BKS Iyengar’s Memory:  If there is one takeaway or nugget you receive from this post today, I hope it is that you practice awareness by honoring yourself and all around you  in the way you walk, talk, connect and embrace others on this earth. As we gear up for the holiday season, let us not forget all the families in need, families hurting, and those who have lost lives/loved ones around the world. Happy Holiday Season!

Positive Motivation Tip:  Stay aware in all you do; practice awareness in the way you walk, talk, connect and embrace others and this earth.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Stories via Zen Stories on  All Photos: From my Personal Collection,  Google Doodle  via Google, and B.K.S. Iyengar via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

45 Comments leave one →
  1. Bismah permalink
    17/12/2015 1:19 pm

    Awareness for me is looking at how I can make positive changes within my own self which can also be helpful to others. Yoga is such a wonderful activity for almost everyone. It is both physically and mentally beneficial and very low impact.

  2. Dominique Goh permalink
    17/12/2015 5:00 pm

    Interesting to learn about how Hatha Yoga was founded. It’s quite popular here in Singapore.

    • 18/12/2015 12:30 am

      Actually, he founded the Iyengar style of hatha yoga. The overall form has been around for longer and appears in ancient Hindu texts.

  3. tara pittman permalink
    17/12/2015 8:54 pm

    You must purge yourself before finding faults in others. I like this one best.

  4. Vidya Sudarsan permalink
    17/12/2015 9:22 pm

    I actually saw the tribute to BKS Iyengar on Google and was feeling very happy! Loved your post very much today.. and brought back memories about my yoga classes!


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