B.K.S. Iyengar, widely considered to be the world’s greatest living yoga teacher and largely responsible for the huge popularity of yoga in the West, will make an historic and rare visit to the United States this fall, coinciding with the release of his fourth major book, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom (Rodale, October 2005).
During his Light on Life 2005 tour, Iyengar will make major appearances in San Francisco (10/3), Los Angeles (10/5), Boston (10/9), New York (10/14), Washington, D.C. (10/18), and at the 10th Annual Yoga Journal Colorado Conference in Estes Park (9/26-10/2).
This tour is an unusual and singular opportunity to experience the wisdom and presence of a true legend. Iyengar spends most of his time at his yoga institute in Pune, India, and rarely travels anymore. His last visit to the United States was 12 years ago. At 86 years old, he has said that this will be his final trip to America.
Last year, Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Light on Yoga, Mr. Iyengar’s first book published in 1966, is often called "the bible of yoga" and is the most popular yoga book ever written, translated into 17 languages. Now Iyengar has written what may be the his final and most important book, Light on Life, a synthesis of lessons learned throughout his 70 years of disciplined and daily practice that explains the ideological heart of the life-transforming yoga "journey." In Light on Life, Iyengar uses stories from his own life, humor and examples from modern culture to illustrate the profound gifts that yoga offers. It is the culmination of a master’s spiritual genius, a treasured companion to his seminal Light on Yoga, and a new essential guidebook for anyone who wants to take this journey.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend sold-out events in the tour cities, and hundreds of Iyengar centers across the United States also will join in a day of celebration during the tour.
"It is a great pleasure that destiny made me an instrument for popularizing yoga with merit," Iyengar said. "Yoga, which vibrates in every cell of mine, took me to teaching through lectures, demonstrations and books all over the world. I also give credit to my students who taught with the flavor of yoga in integrating the body, mind and self to so many people. But I do not want the widespread popularity to eclipse the depth of what yoga has to give, to the practitioner in particular and to the world at large. After 50 years since my first trip to the West to shed Light on Yoga, I now wish to shed Light on Life and to share with you all the yogic journey."
Iyengar has dedicated his life teaching the ancient art and science of yoga to the modern world. His first trip to America, for a performance in
Washington, D.C., was captured by a photographer from Life Magazine. Then, yoga was considered extremely exotic and foreign. A half century later, yoga’s popularity is soaring. According to the most recent Yoga Journal survey, 16 million Americans practice yoga on a regular basis. Thousands of Iyengar yoga centers are open around the world. Yoga is a multi-billion dollar industry with new studios opening daily across the country. From colleges to fitness clubs to church basements to senior citizen homes, yoga is mainstream and everywhere.
"Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar’s visit to the United States this year, combined with the publication of Light on Life, is a historic event for our community and for yoga practitioners everywhere," said Marla Apt, president of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States. "He has not been here for over a decade, so most yoga students today only know B.K.S. Iyengar through his books or by reputation. Now they will be able to experience his wisdom firsthand. We are thrilled that he will be visiting."
The full schedule of Light on Life 2005 including the details of events in each city is available at www.lightonlife.org