BANGALORE: Soon after B K S Iyengar's passing, his Bangalorean student H S Arun is bringing out a book with a foreword by the yoga guru.
The book is titled Experiment And Experience On The Chair: The Yoga Way, and draws inspiration from the use of props in yoga that Iyengar introduced. “He wrote the foreword in July and passed away in August,” he says.
The book launch will celebrate Arun’s 60th birthday as well as the 30th anniversary of Prashant Yogashraya, the yoga training centre he runs in Jayanagar. It is also the culmination of the centre's 30 Glorious Years, a year-long festival of lectures, yoga demonstrations, yoga and pranayama classes, and video screenings.
Arun had requested his teacher to read the book. “But he said it was too heavy for him to carry, and asked to be excused. Even at that age, he was so humble,” he says.
Arun says the book is a compilation of transcripts from talks and workshops he has held for over five years. This is his first book after about 15 years.
“I wrote quite a few books before, all of them in Kannada. But then my guru called me and asked me to stop writing because people would start thinking I was very commercial. And after that, I couldn’t write a single paragraph,” he says.
So people had to chip in to transcribe and edit recordings of his talks. About 12 people have contributed to the book, he adds.
An idea began to take shape when Arun was visiting Argentina and his host’s husband, also a yoga practitioner, began to click some interesting snaps.
“I don’t impose restrictions on people taking photos or videos wherever I go. So people started telling me that if I didn’t get them published, others might,” he told Express.
Perhaps this will be the first of a series, he speculates. “After Experiment And Experience On The Chair might come Experiment And Experience with Ropes, and then belts, and after that blocks and bricks,” he said.
While he might have improvised on what he learnt from his guru, Arun says nothing that his book has is his own, since the technique is the same.
“Even if there are variations, our wavelengths match, so they are all from the same pool of teachings, and none of it is mine,” he says.
(‘Experiment And Experience On The Chair: The Yoga Way’ will be launched at Mangala Mantapa, NMKRV College for Women, Jayanagar, on Sunday, 5 pm)