Sparks of Divinity: The Teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar from 1959 to 1975 – B K S Iyengar
“Sparks of Divinity” is a collection of the teachings of yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar first published in a French-English bilingual edition in 1976. The material for this book was gathered and compiled by Noelle Perez-Christiaens from class notes and correspondence during the formative years of Iyengar’s international career. The entries cover the period from the late 1950s, when Iyengar was invited by Yehudi Menuin to teach in Gstaad, Switzerland, to the year following the death of Iyengar’s wife and the opening of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India.
When Noelle first studied with Iyengar in Pune in 1959, he was still teaching his pupils one-on-one at his home. During her stay in India, Noelle was regarded virtually as one of the household, and this intimacy continued in their subsequent letters, where Iyengar wrote to her more as a colleague and friend than as a teacher. We are fortunate to include Noelle’s Indian Journal for 1959 and her Early Life of B.K.S. Iyengar, translated into English especially for this edition, for the intimate glimpses they give of Iyengar’s personal life and family.
“Sparks of Divinity” is also a testament to the deep bond between teacher and student. In an Afterword about Noelle, we learn how an early suggestion from Iyengar moved her in a completely new direction, and how she attributes her discoveries about “Aplomb” (natural balance) to Iyengar’s ongoing inspiration.
B.K.S. Iyengar, born in India in 1918, is one of the world’s leading teachers of yoga and the author of the bestselling yoga book of all time, “Light on Yoga.” In 2004, he was named one of “Time” magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. His other classic works include “Light on Pranayama, Light on Life, ” and “Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health.” Now in his 90s, Iyengar lives with his family in Pune, India, and still practices and teaches yoga.
Born in 1925, Noelle Perez-Christiaens was one of the first Westerners to study with B.K.S. Iyengar in Pune. Inspired by Iyengar’s teaching, she searched for the principles of natural balance by observing the posture and movement of indigenous people around the world, and shared her discoveries under the name of Aplomb as a basis for the practice of yoga as well as for everyday life. Altogether she has published 27 books on yoga and Aplomb. In 2008, Noelle received the degree of Doctor of Ethnophysiology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris for her work on Aplomb.
Born in 1945, Georgia Leconte began studying with Noelle Perez-Christiaens in 1968. Today she is one of her closest collaborators, having devoted her life to yoga and Aplomb. In 1975, Georgia married Philippe Leconte, a physicist. Both of them have studied yoga with B.K.S. Iyengar. In 1976, they translated his classic work, “Light on Yoga,” into French.
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