CREDOS : Yoga — I

Many consider B K S Iyengar, now 87, the world’ s greatest living yoga master. Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine in 2004, he is the author of the best-selling yoga book of all time, Light on Yoga, first published in 1966. Iyengar lives in India, and although he is now retired, he serves as an advisor and an inspiration to students around the world.

What yogic practice allows us to do, he writes in his most recent book, Light on Life, is to “rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit the broken pieces together.” He describes yoga as an inward journey that can lead to happiness and inner peace. I interviewed him recently.

In Light on Life you write of the yogic system as a vehicle to enlightenment. Do you think yoga has something to offer people of any faith, even those who don’t believe in and aren’t trying to attain enlightenment?

Yoga has a lot to offer to people, whatever their faith. It has no geographical boundary, gender, caste, or religion. As each of us is susceptible to physical problems as well as mental, emotional, and intellectual problems, yoga can help us recover from these wants. It is an art to practice, a science to ponder over, and a philosophy that shows us the ways of right living. Whether one believes or not, it enlightens one in giving physical health and lightness in mind, emotional stability, and clearness in thinking. —