In India, Guru Purnima is held on the full moon in July/August. This Sunday, July 15th, from 2pm to 4pm, at the Iyengar Yoga Institute, in Los Angeles, we will celebrate with a teacher team taught class dedicated to our teachers Sri BKS Iyengar, Geetaji and Prashantji. For details, please visit
In Sanskrit, the root “Gu” refers to darkness or ignorance, while “Ru” means the remover of darkness. Our teachers do help us to, through our practice, find ways that we avoid or are addicted to sensations, and ideas of the way that we think things should be. Habits are hard to identify, as they have become so familiar. These habits form our experience. The Upanishads say:
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.
Through a daily yoga practice we encounter many habits; some of them create a pleasurable experience and others are helpful as they point out fears and ways that we undermine growth. Guruji Iyengar encourages us to cultivate a reflective attitude throughout practice, what he calls reflection in action. This has been a life long practice for me, and one that has helped to remove darkness to see the play of insight, endeavor, patience and persistence pay off. I am eternally grateful to my teachers!