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In the tradition of Iyengar yoga it is usual that the invocation is chanted at the beginning of classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute, Pune.
The sage Patanjali is the author of the Yoga Sutras, one of the classical yoga philosophy texts. We chant this invocation to Patanjali to honor the ancient tradition of yoga and the lineage of yoga that we practice.
Geeta Iyengar describes another reason for reciting the chant: “We chant so that at the very beginning that feeling of sanctification comes from inside, with the feeling of surrendering oneself, because nothing can be learned in this world unless you have the humility to learn.”
(From an interview of Geeta Iyengar by Margo Kitchen, RIMYI, 1992.)
Let us bow before the noblest of sages Patanjali,
Who gave Yoga for serenity and sanctity of mind,
Grammar for clarity and purity of speech, and
Medicine for perfection of health.
Let us prostrate before Patanjali,
An incarnation of Adisesa,
Whose upper body has a human form
Whose arms hold a conch and disc, and
Who is crowned by a thousand-headed cobra
I just wanted to say thank you for the introduction to Iyengar yoga. I’ve only had 5 classes but right from the first lesson I have felt the benefit and my whole body feels looser and less tense than it did before I started. As for the reduction in knee pain, well – that was an unexpected bonus. Obviously the arthritis is not going to go away, but yoga is helping me cope with it. I do struggle with some of the poses, but you always adapt them so I can have a go and I never feel silly or a failure, for which I’m grateful. For the first time in ages I feel like I have found a form of exercise I can stick with, with the added bonus that I feel good about myself too.
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