Divinity Within Reality


“the long journey from taking a bath to meeting God”

At the end of Light on Life, BKS Iyengar leaves us with the reminder of the importance of the first two “limbs” of yoga as the strong and practical foundations of the practice of yoga.

“Divinity is not divorced from practical reality…(and) ethics arise out of the human need to respect the unity of our unique origin and the divine fusion of our ultimate end.

YAMAS : Ethics within community : “Yama is the cultivation of the positive within us, not merely a suppression of what we consider to be its diabolical opposite.”

  1. NON-VIOLENCE – Ahimsa : “an offense against underlying unity”
  2. TRUTH – Satya : “the soul communicating with the conscience”, but it is not a “club with which to beat other people”
  3. NON-STEALING – Asteya : “not misappropriating what rightly belongs to others”
  4. NON- COVETOUSNESS – Aparigraha : “modesty of life”, “living without excess”
  5. CONTINENECE – Brahmacharya : “sexual self-control”, “lack of self-discipline in any area is a waste of energy”

NIYAMAS : Personal Observances : “help us establish a correct procedure and destroy the seeds of the afflictions.”

  1. CLEANLINESS – Sauca : “If we have cleanliness and serenity inside (and out), we harmonize with the immediate environment. We’re in balance and clean, so changes, disturbances, and events in our daily life do not throw us off balance.”
  2. CONTENTMENT – Santosha : “acceptance of one’s mixed lot as a human being”, “yogic sense of lasting and stable harmony”
  3. ZEALOUS PRACTICE – Tapas : “the thread that holds together the whole of yoga practice. It is literally heat, the heat that, in an alchemical sense, transforms.”
  4. SELF-STUDY – Svadhyaya : “Self-knowledge is not always comfortable. If we do not like what we find, we are, in all honesty, obliged to do something to alter it.”
  5. SURRENDER to higher power – Isvara pranidhana : “Divinity in a general and nondenominational sense. It is offering oneself and all one’s actions, however trivial, from cooking a meal to lighting a candle, to the Universal Divine.”

In the end, we must come to the conclusion that “yoga” is not just a practice on a mat in a studio. YOGA is a life practice that can carry one from even the most humble of beginnings to the heights of spiritual connection to Self. In every action we do, in every step we take, we may find yoga.

“The ultimate reach of yoga is the total transformation of consciousness that pervades our whole being with awareness and knows no frontiers.”

This week marked 5 years since the passing of BKS Iyengar, and he and so many of his teachers have left behind a legacy and treasure trove of knowledge and information about yoga that is unparalleled! He hoped that “his end would be our beginning”…

“The great rewards and countless blessings of a life spent following the Inward Journey await you.”

Jennie Williford CIYT

Jennie Williford (CIYT Level 3) is a transplant to LaCrosse via Montana, Illinois, and originally Texas. Throughout her life moves and 5 trips to India, Jennie has acquired a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to Iyengar Yoga since her start in 1998. Jennie loves the experimental and explorative nature of yoga in accessing deeper knowledge of the Self on every level. The practice of yoga can be intense and introspective, however as practitioners we can be light-hearted and open-minded in our discipline. Jennie is intrigued by the philosophy of yoga and hopes to share this depth of subject while teaching the physical and mental benefits that come from the practice of posture.