Bharath's tribute to his Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar on 21 August 2014 in Vijay Karnataka newspaper
Visit the Vijay Karnataka e-paper archives for further info.
(Go to: page 9 )
A translation of the article from Kannada to English by one of Bharath's students (Suprita)
The teacher who rescued me from asthma
I, Bharath Shetty, was born in Kundapur, and was suffering from severe asthma. When no treatments tried helped me cure it my family was anxious about what to be done. Since I was interested in Yoga I read BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga (Yoga Deepika), which has been published in 40 languages. Though this book drew my interest toward yoga, it is asthma that made me go and meet BKS Iyengar. An acquaintance had mentioned to me, that to learn yoga from him a minimum of 6 months of waiting period is essential, and I may never even get a chance to meet him or learn from him after the waiting period.
With that apprehensiveness in mind, on 26 Dec 2002, I left to Pune, and luckily I got a chance to meet him within a day or two of my arrival. When I met him for the first time, he spoke to me for around 15 minutes looking straight into my eyes. By observing the way he spoke, and with so much patience that he spoke, I started wondering is this the same world famous yoga guru that I am talking to?! Iyengar asked me to meet the administrator, Panduranga Rao. As soon as I met him he mentioned about my meeting with Guruji and asked me when am I ready to start/ join. I was extremely happy with how easy it was for me to get this opportunity to practice with him. For eight months I got the opportunity to learn yoga from Guruji as well as to get to know him personally.
He was 85 years old when he was teaching hundreds and thousands of students then. He used to do a self-practice early in the morning and then come to teach us. We used to practice from 10am to 1pm and in the afternoon from 3.30 to 4.30 we used to go to library and study. We also used to go with him to the library, where we had the opportunity to accompany Guruji – where he initially used to talk about yoga, then he used to exhibit asanas. And then after this, we were supposed to practice them on our own. He used to keenly observe each and every one of us and then he gave individual instruction and correction when we made mistakes.
His way of practice and teaching carved a serious yoga practitioner out of me. Hundreds of asanas, their technique and the uses/ benefits of each asana used to be at the tip of his tongue. He had precise information about the exact benefits from practicing yoga, including its effect on health. He introduced the use of props in yoga for elderly people, props like ropes, pillows etc.
The yoga practice that I learnt from him helped cure my asthma completely and also made me the yoga teacher I am today.