The American Yoga ReVolution with Iyengar disciples Manouso Manos and Patricia Walden

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The American Yoga ReVolution with Iyengar disciples Manouso Manos and Patricia Walden

welcome to the American yoga revolution my name is John Hayden I’m a member of the Iyengar yoga Association of Northern California I’m going to use the Akron ISM iy ANC before I introduced our esteemed guests and moderator I’d like to offer a few words of thanks to the leadership and staff members of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco our organization iy ANC is honored to be able to partner with such a vibrant and professional organization I’d like to ask Jennifer Morris to stand up and take a quick bow so that I might acknowledge all the hard work and great planning that went into this event Jennifer thank you and I know that what Jennifer would say is that it was the staff here it was the stage staff it was the box office staff it was the a/v staff who did all the heavy lifting I want to thank you all for making this evening a success many of you are aware that our Guruji mr. bks iyengar passed away last August for those of you who have experienced a relationship with someone who is more than just a mentor or a teacher someone who is in fact a guiding light in your life you will understand the significance of such a passing this evening we are honored to have two of Guruji’s longtime students two of the most senior Iyengar yoga teachers in the world join us for a conversation about the evolution and the re evolution of American yoga Patricia Walden has been a prominent figure in the evolution of yoga in the United States Patricia holds one of only two advanced senior certificates granted worldwide by bks iyengar Patricia has played an active role in the Iyengar yoga community since the mid 1980s she came to yoga in her early 20s as a spiritual calling in 1976 she met bks iyengar and was immediately struck by his light energy insight and genius as well as by his joy in yoga and his delightful humor since 1977 Patricia has traveled to India almost 40 times to study with the Iyengar family manouse Amano’s is one of the most capable and variants of the senior Iyengar yoga teachers he also holds one of only two advanced senior certificates granted worldwide by PKS Iyengar he began his studies with Guruji in 1976 and served as chairperson of the first international Iyengar yoga convention in 1984 after numerous trips to Pune India and nearly four decades of personal practice his understanding of and insights into Iyengar yoga are conveyed with authenticity and precision we’re honored to have Monika Desai Henderson as our moderator for this evening Monika is an esteemed member of both the iya and C and J CCSF communities a certified Iyengar yoga teacher devoted wife mother and active community member Monika brings insight and understanding to our conversation this evening please welcome Patricia Walden manouse

Amano’s Monika Desai Henderson thank you John for those kind words I am honored to be the moderator tonight for our distinguished guests we really are fortunate to have two luminaries from the world of Iyengar yoga grace our stage as John mentioned before both Patricia and Manu so have been disciples of bks iyengar for almost 40 years and have much to say about our topic tonight they helped to forge what we know of as American yoga annually making the pilgrimage to Pune and bringing back the teachings to instruct scores of students and to really evolve and influence and inspire a whole new generation of American yoga practitioners and to quote bks iyengar and this is kind of a semi quote he says I am proud of all of them who in the early days made yoga a household subject in all of America and Patricia and Medusa continued to shape the evolution of yoga moving forward and I know they have a lot to say about this topic tonight about American yoga and where it’s headed we have one hour or maybe a little less now so we will not have the usual cue a following our talk but please do join us in the atrium for refreshments where you can visit with our our guests so let’s begin and excuse me while I have my little notes this is not a professional a job I do so many in the audience are meeting you for the first time and I think what would be great is for you to describe the story of how you came to yoga and Patricia would you launch our conversation so like a lot of people from my generation we went to Cal if we went to San Francisco and the these late 60s some of us to take drugs and get high and experience LSD and then some of us thought that if we went to San Francisco and found the right teacher we would reach enlightenment I tried drugs I didn’t reach enlightenment so I decided I would try yoga which I did in San Francisco and didn’t reach enlightenment either during so shortly after that I went back to Boston where I was from where I’m from and began to study yoga there but not Iyengar yoga that wasn’t happening in Cambridge in those days but I was pulled to yoga but my I wouldn’t say that I had a burning desire I hadn’t met that teacher but I felt that it was really really important for me and Medusa what’s your story I’m still trying to figure out who that guy is that they introduced earlier I’d like to meet him then the old Yogi’s were actually spent a great deal of time disguising who they were and where they came from because they realized that their story really wasn’t important who they had been was not as important as what they represented and we’re trying to describe to people and and it’s not that I’m unwilling to tell the story I started yoga because I had back problems I went to see absolutely everybody that I possibly could to try to make my back better nothing worked I picked up a yoga book I started feeling better immediately it was almost frightening it was not angers book but the transition brought me and started to morph me change me into a way that I started to see that there was more to it than just the physical which I had picked up originally and by the time I got to angers book and saw that remarkable thing that we called light on yoga I was hooked that was where my path brought me well amazing and you both really were the among the early Western pioneers to take yoga up in such a big way and establish it in this country and I think you’d agree with me that when anybody

comes to yoga and it just even begins they realized very early on that yoga is this vast ocean of wisdom and it is many things simultaneously and there are many approaches in you guide you both have not you guys I’m sorry you both have studied yoga for so many years and made it your life’s work I imagine you’ve come closer to kind of getting to the essence of what yoga is all about and would you give us your definition of yoga and Medusa would you like to start not particularly you described it very well as this kind of of all-encompassing kind of look and if you take the old old old definition that Yoga is the vehicle that brings you to heaven or you take the one that says that Yoga is skillful action or you tell it take the one that says Yoga is when the mind ceases to fluctuate all of those are true it has to also do with position relativity the audience at once speaking to I’m speaking at the JCC I have a group of people that are probably somewhat yoga practitioners and so the way I see it today is has to do with the perspective that’s in front of me on some days if someone turns to me and says Yoga is about fixing someone’s back like it did for me I would say absolutely and if the next person turns to me and says I’m only seeking enlightenment which was what Patricia’s path was I would say absolutely you’re correct so again it has to do with my personal feelings at that moment and what’s going on what do I think Yoga is I think it’s the part that brings you to more of a state of awakeness I think that the old practitioners and the new practitioners are all interested in trying to figure out what we’re supposed to be doing at any given time why we’re here those grand questions that humans have always asked i think yoga makes a genuine attempt puts out the possibility of a path that could lead you toward some understanding of who you are patricia so one of my favorite experiences and one of my favorite definitions is that Yoga is a state where nothing is missing Yoga is a state that is beyond duality I have monkey mind my mind tends to jump and move very fast so at the end of my yoga practice or halfway into my yoga practice where you reach this state that is beyond dualities where everything is quiet inside I treasure that experience I treasure that experience and you’ve mentioned guru G’s passing every day I begin my practice with his definition of yoga which is yoga is the blending together the intelligence of the brain with the intelligence of the heart so that definition has become kind of a mantra for me right now wonderful I think Yoga is so experiential and so subjective that to hear how people come to it there are so many different doorways in and that’s the beauty of yoga it can be approached at any age at any time well going back in time yoga as we know came from India and the 5th century BCE and in those days it was a very individual meditative almost esoteric mostly seated practice and in fact the Sanskrit word for seated seat is asana which we use for all the postures now but great yoga masters like T krishnamacharya bks iyengar Pattabhi Jois they push to yoga forward and evolved it by adding to the cedar postures a great set of more rigorous poses asanas they systematize them they popularized them they brought yoga to the West and they taught to the masses so could you talk a little bit about the importance of that revolution that change and how you have experienced it here in America during your yoga career who you want to be first oh sure where did you get your figure of 5th century BC we don’t start by telling you I’m going to disagree with it okay well III think you’re right it probably

preceded that by eons but if there is actual documentation yes like you like people suggest that yellow is brought to America at a certain time too and they try to put a line in the sand the persons looking for a sense of who they are I think predates the fifth century BC in any part in the world the Yogi’s as as we have some sort of codification starts to come out of Patanjali and etc but but getting to the point of this yoga itself doesn’t change because seekers are always there because the human condition itself whether you take the the Buddha’s understanding who talked about the suffering of life or that the taking life itself is in fact taking on suffering of a certain degree and we know that he studied yoga so we can actually document that that’s its fact part of what we do as well but understanding that that’s the case we look to see if we can find a way to get some clarity on that or some way around it or over top of it or to even help someone else in the human suffering the reason why we have these visionaries and luminaries that that you described and they are brilliant brilliant people bringing it to the modern world meant that it had to be changed in a way that brought in and filled in the empty spaces it in imagine now knife was very very hard and people had to walk miles per day and and do heavy physical labor whether it was picking or running down an animal or gardening or to bring up crops every one of those the the essence of doing asana would have been downplayed but coming into a world where whether you call it modernization or industrialization those people were allowing us to wake up and utilize the physical body to bring ourselves to a state of understanding spiritual mental intellectual and bringing those together did the essence of yoga change no did the outlook perspective of yoga change certainly because we were finding different inroads when you talk to someone and you start to study the world and the way we look at it there was a group of people in Nepal and a group of people in China staring at the same mountain that we call Mount Everest they had different names for it but they were staring at the same mountain I think that’s what we’re always looking for in yoga and the perspective of the way that we see it and what we do it we may even change the name of it but in fact its essence is not going to change yeah Patricia do you have anything to add just to acknowledge that Patanjali yoga has been around for SATA 3000 years bhagavad-gita has been around for I don’t know how many thousands of years and then the upon Ishod so the names that you mentioned they these teachers were teaching teach us these timeless teachings in a way that we can relate to it so I think you know these scriptures are going to continue on for years and years and years to come how we do also now what we do in terms of our physical body who knows but I think these scriptures will go on for you know hundreds of years because people’s problems and issues are more or less the same so there is a universal language this’ll inverse the language well unseen people will be suffering it’s our human condition right well historically in India the way that a tradition was passed down was through a direct transmission from master to disciple and in sanskrit that’s called the guru-shishya tradition you both have have had the opportunity to study directly at the feet of bks iyengar guru ji for so many years I would like you to tell us a little bit about your modern-day guru shishya relationship with him so Patricia would you like to start yes I would my favorite subject so I just wanted to give a little background and feel free to stop me if I if I gone too long but I met guru ji in 1977 he was on a tour in the United States and the last stop and his tour was in Boston and I wasn’t one of the organizers but the it was organized beautifully and it was a big platform and we prepared for his visit for four months by studying light on yoga and we went to the back of the book unfortunately and just did back bends we didn’t practice danzo’s but so just to

share that the excitement that we had in preparing for because I anger was excitement like I hadn’t known before in my life the day of his work he gave a five-day workshop and the first day we all got there early and we were just so excited and he he was a little bit late coming out and we were getting more and more excited and when he finally walked out the whole room went silent and he had his hands on his hips I’m sure you remember you know that stance hands on his hips and his little shorts and looked around the room and and it seemed like he was looking around the room for 10 minutes it was probably only a men he said you Bostonians tough coconuts to crack so I’m not sure why he said that but it was true it was absolutely true but um on a personal level before he said anything I felt something that I had never felt before in the presence of another human being my life changed in that one minute to minute or three minute period where he came out and it chained I mean it changed I went to India the following year and I have been going since then but his presence filled the room and the way yoga was taught in those days and on the East Coast anyway would turn the lights off make a circle and I would leave poses but I would never get up and adjust my students it was just the way it was done was called flow and glow so when when when Gertie came down off the platform we weren’t prepared for that and you know he has a fierce look and we were a little bit alarmed we didn’t know what was going to happen but I just loved the tension that he created in the room the fact that he went around and slept people on the back and looked in their eyes and say you’re not lifting Harry and not doing that it was so different than anything I had seen before and I just thought my life is really going to change now so and then just to say I’m the following year I did go to Pune and Manisha was there we were there at the same time that’s where we met each other the first class guru ji came up to me and said psychologically I’m going to break you down and allow and I wasn’t scared I was I was I glad I was glad I was getting attention from him I have taken any kind of but um and then I decided I’m going to come back here every year for ever I mean that’s how my mind was working so I did I came back the next year the year after the year after he say anything to me the next year the year after the year after the year after the year after no he didn’t speak to me and every year I was more determined to get his attention I would have done anything to get his attention on year number eight and my practice really took off and we he taught sheersh-asana too so I came into shavasana tube and I felt him come behind me you always know when he’s around you just you just feel it and he stood behind me and he took his foot and he was kicking my back and I thought I’m not coming down I’m not coming down and you’re kicking my back kicking my back and I thought I’m not coming down and I used every ounce of mental and physical strength to stay there so he gave me one final kick and then walked away and said now you understand I said yeah so that doesn’t that was a that was a turning point in my relationship with him and in my own in my own sauna so there are many more stories but I want I won’t go on ha and Vanessa how about your release your girl she’s showing well when she started with 76 it’s it’s the turning point for me too I had studied out of this book for two and a half years but I I was unable to get into his workshop when he was teaching here in Berkeley and and they gave me an observer spot so I could see which in some ways I felt I was cheated because I couldn’t get in other ways I had a bird’s-eye view that almost no one else got so I could sit behind him on the stage and look out at the what he was looking at first pose not awesome people standing there second pose would heated tricking us and jump your feet apart there’s a woman almost dead center maybe feet in front of him she got one arm down and one arm up just like this he

said I told you all bring your arms out to the side she says a frozen shoulder he comes down off the stage goes down grabs her holds one hand on her shoulder grabs her hand goes like this you hear this blood-curdling scream her knees start to go out he grabs her by her ribs puts her up like this he says now keep your arm there every pose he comes down off the stage and adjust this woman every time it’s a little bit less of a scream by the end of the class she’s got her arms straight up in the air like yes I watched him cure a frozen shoulder that had been there for more than two years in a few hours and the way that he it wasn’t charisma because that’s the easy word that we spit at each other but his command of the subject his belief in the subject his his ability to inspire others into this was breathtaking and beyond belief since she mentioned her first class in Puna I’ll mention my first class in Puna same day 1977 we get all done and I had begged him in California to help me with my back and he said I had to come to Puna we get done with the first class four and a half hours of standing poses I grabbed him just as he’s leading that’s not an exaggeration as he’s leaving I turned him when I said I’m the fellow from California and I told you that I had a back problem you told me they come to Pune and you’d help me just almost that fast and he leans into me and he whispers your back pain will be worse than it’s ever been and then it so imagine now he did this with these two people and a couple of hours and had that kind of inspiration that he could do across the board amazing you both were so fortunate to have that kind of one-on-one relationship with the Guru and I have to say that I think your students are very fortunate to have you as teachers because you’re like you are the link you you have that source material at your disposal which is amazing we did touch upon this earlier about the universal language of yoga and how it it does change a little bit as it crosses cultures and time but it also stays the same meeting people where they are that’s what yoga is supposed to do do you think though that there is a difference between Indian yoga and American yoga yeah there’s no such thing there’s no such thing yeah because if I make it because the human condition is the human condition that one’s description of how to get out of it is going to change you look at Patanjali Yoga Sutras he’s talking about a furrow and burnt seeds well I’m not much of a farmer so if I describe it from a TV experience or the way that education was given in my generation it’s it’s it’s just a matter of trying to make a translation that communicates with the individual in front of me and and we all have this experience whether it’s with ghee dyeing or our bks anger and he stands in front of a group of people and he begins to describe the word fish plate she’s laughing because she was there and there’s nobody in the room understands what a fish it’s it’s something that they use on a railroad and he’s trying to make a description of this but you see because it’s so far out of my lexicon there is no way that it’s all any of it’s going to sink in now is he teaching Indian yoga now he’s trying to make a communication in terms of words that don’t do anything and then the other one he used at one point was splash board with my deck chair deck chair deck chair is those canvas chairs that they put on the deck cruise ship you know the old ones they almost never do it anymore but these were the words but again it was just a matter and then when he realized that everybody around he was looking at him like we have no idea what you’re talking about it wasn’t that it was Indian yoga and it wasn’t that it was American yoga it was a communication process in ways that people can do you made the description that because the subject is what it is you’re trying to describe almost a sensation to somebody and that words will always fall short and so we tell stories so somebody can try to put themselves into it to get that feeling Yoga has to be done with that experience and you have to bring them to that experience and then once in a while you have to make a description in a language that they can appreciate and relate to I remember um when we were in China with with guru ji and he one of the things that he is often stressed as you have to teach people where they are and so one

of the things that happened in China students came very dressed up to yoga class full makeup and you know outfits really beautiful outfits and Guruji was looking around the first day and I I don’t remember if it was the first day or the second day where he talked about the difference between cosmetic beauty and cosmic beauty I like that so he is a master of playing on words you know don’t settle for cosmetic beauty go to cosmic Beauty and then everything it was the second day he started talking about the different proportions that Asian bodies had and I was the Western body with long limbs and then an Asian body with short limbs and long spine so there are there are some differences obviously and he is very skillful in dealing with them and I won’t say well good bad or indifferent because of where we are I was lucky enough to be with be chaos anger when he taught in Israel and somebody asked him about Jewish yoga and he said no such thing meaning he was not going to let them draw that cultural difference it wasn’t that he didn’t respect they’re both people the religion the heritage none of that was the issue it’s just he was not going to allowed for that severe demarcation of or separation yeah he’s often used the word no divisions he started that at SDS T’s part no divisions I love that kind of echo medical open-minded approach I’m going back to bks iyengar he stated that Yoga is a living breathing art that it’s not static and excuse me while I look at my notes oh he was constantly refining and developing his own postures which translated into his teachings and now that he’s no longer with us how do you see a yang Gor yoga maintaining the integrity of its tradition while making the necessary changes to appeal to future yoga practitioners either one of you can start he was always a seeker you could there were all kinds of ways of describing him and if he inspired anything in us it was to also be a seeker now if the old books are correct there are thousands and thousands of poses as you know that the tea krishnamacharya said that his he watched his teacher demonstrate 7,000 poses of which he taught him 700 whether it’s an exaggeration is inconsequential he’s saying that there’s a lot of them we will never know exactly which poses because hunger invented and now the reason I mentioned this to you is is that those of you who practice if you come up with something whether anybody ever gave it to you as an asana or not if you find out that this position seat posture gives you some sense of understanding enlightenment relief from pain then that goes on the problem that we’re going to have is to brief people try to codify it so solidly and place it into stuff I learned this exactly from Iyengar hat where he was willing to change that same pose when you would see him the next day let alone the next year when you came back to see him so if there’s anything we should be doing it’s continuing to push people to keep examining themselves I agree the other the other thing that that I noted at guru G’s 95th birthday was so usually there are different speakers at his birthday celebration and usually it’s the older students but in this particular birthday the people that got up and spoke were the younger generation of teachers of Indian teachers and he really want wanted to see younger teachers beginning to teach the younger method and and I think that’s why Geeta did the convention that she did it was for students and teachers that had three years of experience and she really wanted to focus on bringing the younger teachers along and that just started I think about four years ago their emphasis on you know bringing younger people to to the Iyengar to the anger method I think it’s a you know I think Yoga will always be a draw but it’s just the idea of I guess the Sanskrit word is param para which is that tradition that you you know you pass down and now it’s not Guru shishya it’s it’s you know teaching to large groups and then they in turn many of them become teachers and teach ever

large larger ever-widening circles of people and you know I think that the challenge is is maintaining the foundation and and moving it forward but not losing sight of where it came from yeah you know because it gets farther and farther away if it would sort hold it like this ya know it’s a it’s a it’s a juggling act it’s a pushing a pole I think um let’s see okay we’re going faster than I thought okay so this this is a question that is a little long-winded but you know when we think of another great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi who said be the change you want to see in the world and we think of yoga I think I think of yoga as such a very individual practice even though I’m practicing with lots of people I’m like in my own zone it’s it’s what MIT what makes me feel like a better person and hopefully the positive changes that are beginning to develop in me radiates out but one of the main goals in yoga as you touched on before Minoso is it enables the practitioner to transcend suffering and you talked to John on that as well our our world just seems so full now of I mean it may be this has been the case always but by virtue of population and the fast-paced nature of our lives the world is so full of turmoil and war and injustice and poverty how can yo –ga be a tool to serve those large populations that are facing such crises and can yoga as a collective practice be the movement that brings people together to establish a more peaceful world that’s a big one I keep trying to pass it off to her because she called me a few days ago asking that she get to speak that is not true not one day I’d like to answer it okay it’s all yours you can start you talked let me summarize what you said in the last several sentences because you talked at one point about the Guru shishya and now expanding into major classes watching anger teach twelve thirteen hundred people in China eight hundred people when he was in Russia those kinds of figures were not uncommon with him but I would suggest to you that the human suffering human condition is in fact exactly what it was three thousand years ago and whether I feel like I’ve got a problem because there’s a drought in this country because there’s turmoil turmoil on the other side because there’s someone trying to destroy the lifestyle that I think might be important I believe that those things have been reported from individual to individual over many centuries and among the humans all the way across the face of the earth so when yoga expands from a group of one or two people and that you get twelve disciples and then you change that over and now there’s thousands of people who are our classes mega classes that go 50 80 70 people at a time you understand that message goes out of what yoga is and what it could potentially do for the individual even if they don’t have to have someone sitting with them lecturing them or talking to them about the minutiae of their day like the old guru might have the ability for this to be morphed into this society you know Yoga was brought kicking and screaming into this century and now the new avenues that are being explored on television with lilius all those years ago and the new generation with trying to figure out how to you know the Internet I’m not even talking about a commercial business or business I’m talking about people genuinely trying to help other people through this path through this very difficult thing that we call living I suggest you is exactly the same as it’s always been and it’s not going to work for everybody because it calls on everyone to have a drastic understanding of how falling into the regular patterns that happen to human beings can in some ways keep you in that suffering and they’re changing your outlook perspective on the universe which is what yoga was always about could in fact give you some sense of this disharmony

this possibility of harmony yeah it’s a yeah I guess I was thinking on that level of world you know they say that you know the wings of a butterfly effect you know can be felt halfway around the world and so I I do suppose that all of us who do practice yoga in whatever form at whatever level does create some kind of change whether conscious or unconscious I know that is radiates out it has a really annoying effect I think that unfortunately that thinking is a person thinking or considering themselves separated from the universe rather than part of it when I get even slightly better I’m egotistical enough to think that the entire universe gets better when I get a little more peaceful the people around me start to get a little more peaceful when I get more angry more hostile than the universe itself turns up so if there’s a lot of people starting to do yoga they may start by getting hostile but maybe in the long run the universe will be changing because we’re all by example right not just example no even in the fabric of what it’s like to be human all of us together mm-hmm great um so uh what are the biggest myths about yoga and today’s modern world that you would like to demystify I I’m not really interested in that question okay I like your honesty what do you want to talk about eight hour orgasms do you want to talk about what I would oh you’ve not heard this myth right I’m the only one that heard this I don’t think I did bunked out at that moment but but what goes on is is yoga gets changed when it came to the commercial world because it was really was separated from that until the 20th century sometime when it started to become a multi-billion dollar business it’s going to change and there are growing always going to be charlatans that’s that’s never going to change and it’s not that people shouldn’t make money at it but but the moment that you start to do that then everyone’s got their own kind of way to hook the next person in and it’s not that some of them are really quite viable but but but suggesting to somebody that when you really start to go to the outer limits of what it is of somebody reaching so far as you know giving out beer at the end of their yoga class or y’all happening yoga and chocolate chocolate now I can relate to see chocolate is a mystical mythical and mystical experience but mmm but but those are the things you know where it gets it gets a bad name in in many many ways and and that’s what if we’re going to debunk anything that would be it you know at some point it should still be about getting yourself to an understanding of who you are yeah right um let’s see I think I’ve gone through all of my question I wanted to there was one that you didn’t oh yeah I think Minnesota and I would both like to okay what was that question so um I think it was laughs I do you remember anymore in that question yeah oh yeah that’s the best question of all I wish all right why not that I’m really into yeah here we go now take your time on answering this one looking back at where you were when you first started this companion and taking stock of where you are now what have been the greatest lessons learned or discoveries made that inform your life well I wanted to just talk a little bit about what it was like to be taught by bks iyengar on a fairly regular basis when I went to Pune and one of the one of the things that I learned early on and working with him is that I had to learn how to surrender completely in order to be taught by him and he would never use the word surrender he had never used that word it was kind of an unspoken saying when he would adjust me I had to be physically strong and stable and mentally strong and stable but at the same time absolutely receptive to

whatever it was that he was asking me to do physically and learning to surrender for me was not something that you just say oh I’m going to surrender it was probably a 10-year process and I learned a tremendous amount in this process of learning to surrender and I feel of course my practice got better because of it but even deeper than that I felt that surrendering to Guruji in some way was learning to surrender to myself I felt that my heart opened deeply in his presence and on rare occasions I actually felt the presence of God when he would adjust me or when he was when he taught me and those memories are will always stay with me they’re very precious memories and I think he gave me the gift of surrender the art of surrender and it really had a rippling effect throughout all aspects of my life so I wanted to I wanted to share that because that’s I think that’s part of what it would it is to have a group that you you know you are you surrender to this being and the the other thing I wanted to say is for me what his with his legacy is for me Geeta Iyengar and Guru Poornima I gave a talk about guru ji of course and she began the talk by saying when guru ji was young he practiced when he was poor he practiced when he was rich he practiced when he was injured he practiced when he was tired he practiced so what she’s saying is no matter what guru ji practiced he practiced you know from the age of sixteen seventeen until a day before he died and that to have that living example of what practice can do for one’s being and how it has a rippling effect how fortunate many so and I have been in all of you who’ve been in his presence and seen that even someone like guru ji transformed he was because Iyengar when he first met him you know but he also but he became guru ji and as he transformed I feel he took us along with his transformation so and I feel that he you know his life was about practice and devotion to God that’s how I see I mean it was much more than that but that those are two of the things that I think of now and I look at who Richie’s life and what he has done with it those are beautiful gems to you to sustain sustain a life and my new so Jesus my turn to say I’m not interested in the question do you know I’m tremendously interested in the question but it’s a fascinating thing again with perspective and outlook the thing about being close to be kissing her and many of us were quite lucky to do that is is we were all treated as individuals and his individual treatment of Patricia was drastically different than mine and mine different than hers and both of us could report different times that he seemed to be really quite harsh and etc but but he he he actually was willing to listen to my particularly stupid questions and money from my career day one tells that story privately and I’ll tell the one that she tells and that is is there were very few of us in the first intensive that we did together and he would get done with showing something he say now do you understand then I would go nope in a very loud loud voice and he would say okay he’d start describing it again you see the difference between that and someone that felt like he was trying to break her or he’s trying to danger maker surrender he’s doing something quite different with me in other words it wasn’t like you idiot just listen to what I’m telling you he didn’t go there he never did those words with her and but but he was looking at the individual the problem with describing Iyengar is is is is is that it ends up sounding just like guru

worship that you have been you have been morphed into some sort of a cult and and and it couldn’t be any further from the truth the thing that it looks at and people would start to describe him and they say he was born to this life and that unfortunately short sells him so badly because as as Patricius so eloquently described Gita’s words the reason why he could have effect on people’s lives is as he took the time to examine who he was and knowing who he was he could translate that in a way to find out who the person was in front of him and help them along on their path he is his movement towards becoming a guru has all kinds of portions of history he never let anybody call him a guru until his gurus already dead he was he was disquieted by it and I think that puts it mildly but what he tried to do is eventually he had to wear that mantle because we kept putting it on him going onward with that every one of his senior teachers has slightly different qualities and when it came to the way he would describe what to do or what the job was that Patricia would do he didn’t expect the same thing out of me and he didn’t expect the same thing out of her but he wanted us to take what we brought to the table and bring it out to its full essence because he was not a realized human being in the way that people think that he could never make mistakes don’t hear that from me but imagine a human being fighting to find his way into the highest potential that he had and ask the people around them that it might be worth their while to consider doing exactly this and to do that repeatedly and to do it publicly with his hands on his hips and he described and to insist upon them that as far as they had gotten was fantastic and now move on go further go tell someone else describe to them that there is a human potential that can be brought out in each individual and he didn’t really vary from that in any conversation I ever had with them he would tell me about how bad things were you know here or how he he sympathized empathized with me and he says and now let’s go to work because that’s all there was and then he asked senior teachers now don’t go back and teach like me go out and figure out how to teach those people in front of you and that’s in a way moving it forward and addressing the future generations as they need to be met and that’s the beauty of that teaching well what a wonderful evening we have has been pipe I want to thank such a shenmue new so for their time their generosity thank you thank you we can give you stand up mr. song daddy you you