A name from the past assailed me today on looking at the dreadful morning news.
Iyengar the yoga guru has died at the age of 95. I had gone to London to hear him speak during my hippie phase.
Yoga was something I dabbled with on and off. The physical exercises were not too difficult and I was enthralled to be to be told. " If it hurts don't do it"
I did the exercises I found fairly easy, became a vegetarian and practised yogic breathing. When Mr Iyengar came to lecture I was intent on being part of his audience.
It was a bit of a disappointment I'm afraid and added nothing to my meagre attempts at proper yoga. After a few months struggling I more or less gave up the exercises but stayed with the breathing.
Sitting cross legged, breathing , holding the breath and breathing out again became a daily event for me...
I still do it in times of stress, though no longer cross legged I'm afraid. But breathing slowly and holding the breath both in and then out is a great stress reducing exercise.
The reaction of other people to any mention of yoga is always interesting.
During my period of giving talks on various subjects I was banned from a young wives group in a local church, the vicar believing that yoga was a black art and was not to be encouraged...
For me it has been a life long, life enhancing practice...it brings me closer to God in my moments of meditation...I just wish I'd kept up the physical part of it....it might have kept me fitter than I am now....