Light on Yoga – reading for yoga teacher training

Light on Yoga

Less than two weeks until my yoga teacher training course begins at Laughing Lotus! I’ve been chipping away at the pre-reading assignments for the course (various chapters from the five required texts). So far I am in love with part I from Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar. This book is often called the “Bible of modern Yoga” and now I understand why. In 2008 a friend gave me his copy to borrow but I could not get into it. I had skipped the first 55 pages of the introduction and went straight to the poses – VITAL MISTAKE. Part I contains so many gems and beautiful explanations on everything in the “what is yoga?” category. I found myself pausing to reflect and highlight something on every page, * * * * * (5 out of 5 stars). I’m beginning to understand why there’s a campaign to nominate BKS Iyengar for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Yoga is “chitta vritti nirodhah” (Yoga Sutra 1.2, Patanjali): A method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels. ~ BKS Iyengar

My favorite BKS Iyengar quotes from Light on Yoga:

  • [The Yogi] starts to realize that all creation is meant for bhakti (devotion/adoration) rather than for bhoga (enjoyment)”
  • The Yogi conquers the body and renders it a fit vehicle for the soul
  • To win a battle, a general surveys the terrain and the enemy and plans counter measures. In a similar way the Yogi plans the conquest of the Self.
  • The Yogi shares his strength with the weak until they become strong.
  • The impurities of the mind are washed off in the waters of bhakti (devotion)
  • [Food] should be eaten with the feeling that with each morsel one can gain strength to serve the Lord
  • Yoga is not a religion by itself. It is the science of religions
  • The sacred books of the world are for all to read. They are not meant for the members of one particular faith alone. As bees savour the nectar in various flowers, so the sadhaka (seeker) absorbs things in other faiths which will enable him to appreciate his own faith better.
  • Emptying the mind of the whole of its illusion is the true rechaka (exhalation). The realization that “I am Atma (spirit)” is the true puraka (inhalation). And the steady sustenance of the mind on this conviction is the true kumbhaka (rentention).


My required reading for Laughing Lotus’ Yoga Teacher Training program:

  • A Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield
  • The Heart of Yoga, by TKV Desikachar
  • Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar
  • Healing Mantras, by Thomas-Ashley Farrand
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Swami Satchidanada
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2 thoughts on “Light on Yoga – reading for yoga teacher training

  1. I am so glad you found inspiration in Iyengar’s book. That book continually makes a huge difference in my life. I’m also glad Jack Kornfield is on your reading list. Sounds like a great TT program.

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