Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom
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Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  870 ratings  ·  80 reviews
B.K.S. Iyengar--hailed as "the Michelangelo of yoga" (BBC) and considered by many to be the most important living yoga master--has spent much of his life introducing the modern world to the ancient practice of yoga. Yoga's popularity is soaring, but its widespread acceptance as an exercise for physical fitness and the recognition of its health benefits have not been matche
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Paperback, 282 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Rodale Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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Camille Cusumano
I practiced Hatha yoga for 14 years before becoming a convert to Iyengar yoga in 1987. Iyengar is the only yoga discipline I know of where the teachers are trained in anatomy and physiology. I have heard Mr. Iyengar criticized for not having a "spiritual bone" in his body. My repartee is that when you get deep into yoga you move beyond this dualistic thinking and see the body/mind/spirit/soul as one. This book is good for reading but it is highly advised you have a trained teacher guide you in t...more
Vanessa
It's too bad this title sounds so much like the other thousands of books out there on yoga, self-improvement, etc. This one brings clarity to the confused, contradictory, flimsy info on yoga's vision of the self, mind & spirit, and Iyengar is always looking out for ways to make the information transferable to a western experience. His thoughts on vanilla ice cream are particularly enlightening.

("This one is different" is just as familiar as the title, I know. But it is different.)

And also,...more
Janet Papis
Iyengar outlines Pantanjali’s eight limbed path in a way that is clear and understandable by illustrating the steps in an applicable manner to the modern reader, yet intertwining concepts that are so true to his own style. I especially liked his quote, "Is it through the alignment of my body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence. Alignment from the outermost body or sheath to the innermost is the way to bring our own personal Reality into contact with Universal Reali...more
Catherine Wylie
This book is truly enlightening on all the finer aspects of yoga I have ever wondered about and which others (mostly online blogging yogis) have barely touched upon with any greater depth.

Iyengar thoroughly explains the layers of experience that we learn to inhabit and cultivate while maintaining a disciplined asana practice. He uses many apt and articulate analogies that highlight the connectedness of yogic philosophy and physical practice in all of its esoteric complexity. I finally learned e...more
Brad
Dec 01, 2008 Brad rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Brad by: luck
I'm on my SECOND read in a row! This never happens to me. I've just started over at the beginning. Again, I'm learning with every sentence. I'm a yoga instructor and there's so much here for each serious student of yoga to understand... NO, EVERYONE who reads this book will learn so much about themselves. This book delivers on it's title promise.
Carol
B.K.S. Iyengar is one of the most influential yogis in the world today. He’s written a large number of books on yoga and yoga-related subjects.

I love yoga, and have many different yoga books. Most of them are about the asanas or poses. “Light on Life” is completely different from these. Iyengar’s interested in talking about what yoga really is; he also wants to remove certain myths about yoga that people mistakenly believe.

For Iyengar, yoga is a way of living; yoga includes poses, breathing (pr...more
Anne
Aug 08, 2008 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
This is an excellent addition to B.K.S Iyengar's Light on Yoga. Seriously everyone who is searching for something "more" should consider the relativeness of yoga--not just as stretching, but as a spiritual practice toward's growing into your full potential.

I started this book last night, and I'm having a hard time putting it down.

Oh my goodness, I can't even begin to explain how amazing this book has been for me. As I said before, this book is relatable to anyone, even if they've never done a y...more
Eva
I love yoga, so I figured I would love this book. And if you already know chakras, yamas and niyamas, Patanjali, the sutras, and all that good stuff then this will be a worthwhile read. Sometimes I find Iyengar to be a bit misogynistic, but I've been told time and again that he's old school, from another culture, etc. etc. so I'm trying not to include too much of that in my opinion of this book. Yogis: read this, it will deepen your practice. Non-yogis: I don't think this is a good place to star...more
Mallory
Wonderful book about the spiritual and physical aspects of yoga practice. Iyengar is such a wise man, I will definitely use things I learned in this book both in my own yoga practice as well as in daily life situations.
Michael Blackmore
Really quite good. Nothing astonishingly new if you have read Buddhist, Hindu or Yoga philosophy but he presents it in a clear and well organized manner.

Certainly plenty of quotable bits as well as moments where you are inspired to pause and thing about it. And, of course, like any such work moments that don't quite resonate with you as well - for me the comments about Yogi's not dreaming clashed with my Shamanistic bent. ;-)

But still very much worth reading if you have a more than passing inter...more
Mkostelac
I reread so many pages that I think I read the book 5 times the first time round. A book bound in wisdom, experience, light and love. This book has helped me cross the bridge between yoga's physical and spiritual lessons.
Roben
Practicing yoga throughout the years, I longed for background....loved Iyengar's take on the physical body, the energy body, the mental body, the intellectual body and finally living in freedom.
Lauren
May 15, 2010 Lauren marked it as to-read
It is amazing that I am actually making any progress in this book... I feel like I stop every paragraph to write a quote down. This book is absolutely wonderful.
Heather
Life changing ... I am really enjoying how it is changing my perspective on how I move through the world.
Burd
I found this book to be very informative as a guide to Yoga as it is intended to be practiced. I realized that I will probably never reach the ultimate goal in yoga. Very few people do, but Iyengar acknowledges that there is nothing wrong with practicing yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditations with the simple intention to enjoy the practice for where it can take you. (Although in his words, meditation the way we do it in yoga class is a misnomer. What we are actually doing is more like relaxatio...more
Abby
I've dubbed this book "The Happy Indian Man" due to the cover. I love it! And the inside of the book is pretty damn awesome, too.

In Light on Life Iyengar discusses the profound spiritual, emotional and mental effects a dedicated yoga practice can bring to a student. Whereas Light on Yoga focused on the physical aspects of the practice, this book is truly "the culmination of a master's spiritual genius." Iyengar has walked the walk.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that it's not dogmatic at...more
Roxanne
This book was a lot more spiritual than I was expecting it to be, which was awesome. I think maybe I got this book mixed up with Light on Yoga, one of Iyengar's earlier works, which I also want to read. Anyway, I loved this book. Iyengar goes step by step describing how yoga benefits the body, the emotions, the mind, and the spirit, helping the yogi to become a peaceful person united with the Divine. I really feel like I learned a lot and that this book helped me in my practice. Plus Iyengar's s...more
Britt Skrabanek
Light on Life completely blew me away. It's no wonder this is often required reading for Yoga teacher certification programs. It was the very reason I found myself eagerly devouring this magnificence.

Don't let the cover fool you. This smiling fellow, the great Mr. Iyengar, not only knows his stuff, he keeps it real so you don't need a philosophy degree to know what the heck is going on.

This is a book any Yogi should read.

I strongly feel that Light on Life is so valuable that it should be read re...more
Rosalinda
I've been a "yogi" for some years now and this book was just perfect 70% through. I'm sure the other 30% is too. Iyengar is a master. An example. I kept highlighting parts of the book and wishing my level of conscience could one day be at even 5% compared to BK Iyengar. As a yogi who is looking for the holistic experience and not just to sweat while bending like a pretzel I appreciate all he has to say.

He however lost me at the end. I'm just not there yet.

I strive for samadhi, but I'm still ju...more
Emily
Jun 29, 2007 Emily is currently reading it
"...Most of us encounter hardship and suffering, and many are plagued by physical and emotional pain, stress, sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. While we often think of these as the problems caused by the demands of modern life, human life has always had the same hardships and the same challenges--making a living, raising a family, and finding meaning and purpose. These will always be the challenges that we humans face...To a yogi, freedom implies not being battered by the dualities of life, its...more
Aggie
BKS Iyengar does a great job of breaking down the very big, complex and ancient subject of yoga philosophy and puts it in easy to understand terms, how to apply it to life. Great book for anyone, that can be read and re-read, there is so much knowledge here that he's collected, comprehended and applied throughout his life, and he's 94 now. He is a master of his art, the alignment style yoga, who learned on his own body, studied it, perfected it, from a very young age and being sick. He overcame...more
Kuen
Really like this book and how it has successfully convey complex yoga philosophy into the everyday and mundane. However, this book is not for a single reading. The first half of the book serves as a good introduction to yoga, the second half however would be more applicable to practitioners of yoga; as enlightenment can only be experienced and it will assist one to relate better when one is able to return to these texts and reflect upon each of his or her own yoga practice. In the end, it is a b...more
Nadia
As you move deeper into yoga, this book is a huge help. Turning your practice from physical to spiritual. It's very dense reading but accessible. I felt I could deeply study it paragraph by paragraph.
Sandi
I just started this book recently and sort of approached it by hopping in and out of chapters, something I've never done with a book before. Strangely, or maybe not, it all makes cohesive sense. Eventually, I will go from cover to cover.
Anyway, I really love it! this is one of those books that can be read over and over and will always teach something new, because the messages will translate different things at different times in life. Just as I did with The Way of The Peaceful Warrior, I will p...more
Samantha
A lovely inspiring book, one that I found myself re-reading passages and lines over and over until I learned them. Books in the yoga world tend to be over the top instruction, "my way or the highway" types. This one is not so, gently encourages a yogic lifestyle and practice and take what you want. Iyengar though the author is, the style does not matter here. A book I am glad to own as I will treasure it for the rest of my life.
Jennifer
This is an intense book. The wisdom of a lifetime of yoga boiled down into a few hundred pages. Some of it is accesible and inspiring - simple truths about life and the body "nobody ever washes a rental car" - other sections are dense and very difficult to understand. But, then, how do you speak about enlightenment to the unenlightened?

A beautiful, inspiring view of yoga as a way of life. So much work to be done...
Sarah
Jul 18, 2010 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: yoga
Pretty cool yoga philosophy book. I like best how he said when in the physical poses, imagine every pore of your body is an eye that is looking inward. And on a different subject line, how all the space within the atoms that make us up yearn to be at one with all the cosmic space and energy in the universe. Just some neat tweaks of how to look at yoga that give you something to think about :)
Susan Crozier
A great insight into the world of yoga and its many facets. One to read again and again.
Michelle
Dec 08, 2008 Michelle is currently reading it
Loaded with great yogic philosophy on the Right Living, and the ways we bog ourselves down with lame thoughts. The book weaves the positive effect yoga has on the body and mind into how this path can bring light to the reality of living life. I've taken it in small doses, trying to absorb what I read, but I know I will come back to it again.
Elise Blair
2 stars because I made it to page 200 out of 270. I kinda wanted to finish it but decided life is too short. This book was all fluff. I am huge on highlighting and only highlighted a few sections. I liked that this book went into the spirituality of yoga, however I just do not feel like I learned anything.
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Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರ್ ಕೃಷ್ಣಮಾಚಾರ್ ಸುಂದರರಾಜ ಐಯಂಗಾರ್), (also known as Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar) (Born December 14, 1918 in Bellur, Kolar District, Karnataka, India) is the founder of Iyengar Yoga. He is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yogic p...more
More about B.K.S. Iyengar...
Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga... The Tree of Yoga (Shambhala Classics) Yoga: the Path to Holistic Health Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Light on Prãnãyãma: The Yogic Art of Breathing

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“You must purge yourself before finding faults in others.
When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake.
This is the way to take judgment and to turn it into improvement.
Do not look at others' bodies with envy or with superiority.
All people are born with different constitutions.
Never compare with others.
Each one's capacities are a function of his or her internal strength.
Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.”
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“Be inspired but not proud.” 5 likes
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