Iyengar Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Iyengar. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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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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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Be inspired but not proud.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Breath is the king of mind.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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What you see determines how you interpret the world, which in turn influences what you expect of the world and how you expect the story of your life to unfold.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Nothing can be forced, receptivity is everything.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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There is only one reality, but there are many ways that reality can be interpreted.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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One's spiritual realization lies in none other than how one walks among and interacts with one's fellow beings.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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There is a universal reality in ourselves that aligns us with a universal reality that is everywhere.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Love begets courage, moderation creates abundance and humility generates power.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek, but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Do not aim low, you will miss the mark. Aim high and you will be on a threshold of bliss.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind, and soul.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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A person of β€œgood character” was one who acted in accordance with the expectations of his community
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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As animals, we walk the earth. As bearers of divine essence, we are among the stars. As human beings, we are caught in the middle, seeking to reconcile the paradox of how to make our way upon earth while striving for something more permanent and more profound.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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We are sculptors finding ourselves in the evolution of choosing, not in the results of choice.
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Sheena Iyengar
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The union of nature and soul removes the veil of ignorance that covers our intelligence.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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There is no progress toward ultimate freedom without transformation, and this is the key issue in all lives.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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You exist without the feeling of existence.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Sheena Iyengar, a Columbia University professor who specializes in research on choice, put it to me another way: β€œPeople are not products,” she said bluntly. β€œBut, essentially, when you say, β€˜I want a guy that’s six foot tall and has blah, blah, blah characteristics,’ you’re treating a human being like one.
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Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
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We must create a marriage between the awareness of the body and that of the mind. When two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The great artist Michelangelo claimed that his sculptures were already present in the stone, and all he had to do was carve away everything else. Our understanding of identity is often similar: Beneath the many layers of shoulds and shouldn’ts that cover us, there lies a constant, single, true self that is just waiting to be discovered.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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As breath stills our mind, our energies are free to unhook from the senses and bend inward.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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As we explore the soul, it is important to remember that this exploration will take place within nature (the body), for that is where and what we are.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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It is Einstein’s famous equation E=MC^2, in which E is energy (rajas), M is mass (tamas), and C is the speed of light (sattva). Energy, mass, and light are endlessly bound together in the universe.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Yoga is about the will, working with intelligence and self-reflexive consciousness, can free us from the inevitability of the wavering mind and outwardly directed senses.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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A fusion of nature and soul.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Life itself seeks fulfillment as plants seek sunlight.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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when people are given a moderate number of options (4 to 6) rather than a large number (20 to 30), they are more likely to make a choice, are more confident in their decisions, and are happier with what they choose.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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When we free ourselves from physical disabilities, emotional disturbances, and mental distractions, we open the gates to our soul.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The physical body is not only a temple for our soul, but the means by which we embark on the inward journey toward the core.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Asanas maintain the strength and health of the body, without which little progress can be made. Asanas keep the body in harmony with nature.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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There is no difference in souls, only the ideas about ourselves that we wear.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The head is the seat of intelligence. The heart is the seat of emotion.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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no matter how prepared we are, though , we can still have the wind knocked out of us.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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life has a way of poking holes in your plans, or in the plans others make for you
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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we all make assumptions about the worldβ€”based on individual experience and cultural backgroundβ€”that affect our judgment of how that balance should look
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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valuing the condition of having options over the quality of the options can sometimes lead to decisions that don’t serve us well.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Meditation is oneness, when there is no longer time, sex, or country. The moment when, after you have concentrated on doing a pose (or anything else) perfectly, you hold it and then forget everything, not because you want to forget but because you are concentrated: this is meditation.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Sparks of Divinity: The Teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar from 1959 to 1975)
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Breath is the vehicle of consciousness and so, by its slow measured observation and distribution, we learn to tug our attention away from external desires toward a judicious, intelligent awareness.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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But a yogi never forgets that health must begin with the body. Your body is the child of the soul. You must nourish and train your child. Physical health is not a commodity to be bargained for. Nor can it be swallowed in the form of drugs and pills. It has to be earned through sweat.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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All games are meaningless if you do not know the rules.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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We are a little piece of continual change, looking at an infinite quantity of continual change.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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When we speak of choice, what we mean is the ability to exercise control over ourselves and our environment. In order to choose, we must first perceive that control is possible.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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We may appreciate and aspire to a certain level of uniqueness, but we believe it’s also important that our choices be understood
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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A clear right answer and the opportunity to change the options? This is the chooser’s dream.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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We often fool ourselves that we are concentrating because we fix our attention on wavering objects.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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If we become aware of its limitations and compulsions, we can transcend them.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Anything physical is always changing, therefore, its reality is not constant, not eternal.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Reflective processing allows us to handle highly complex choices, but it is slower and more tiring than the automatic system. It requires motivation and significant effort.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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You have to create love and affection for your body, for what it can do for you. Love
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Action is movement with intelligence.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Our beliefs about how much personal control people have over their lives, which are shaped in part by the level of individualism to which we have been exposed, also play an important role in our preferences for allocating choice.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Your enjoyment of the chosen options will be diminished by your regret over what you had to give up. In fact, the sum total of the regret over all the β€œlost” options may end up being greater than your joy over your chosen options, leaving you less satisfied than you would have been if you had had less choice to begin with.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Yoga is the teacher of yoga; yoga is to be understood through yoga. So live in yoga to realize yoga; comprehend yoga through yoga; he who is free from distractions enjoys yoga through yoga.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
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we need others to see us as we see ourselves. We want to find common ground, but not be a copycat. The need is so powerful that we may even behave in ways inconsistent with our true desires in order to avoid creating the β€œwrong” impression.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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The challenges we face when it comes to identity and choice exist precisely because choosing is not only a private activity but a social one, a negotiation between many moving parts. Choice requires us to think more deeply about who we are, both within ourselves and in the eyes of others.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Asana has two facets, pose and repose. Pose is the artistic assumption of a position. β€˜Reposing in the pose’ means finding the perfection of a pose and maintaining it, reflecting in it with penetration of the intelligence and with dedication.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
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It's easy to assume people are conforming when we witness them all choosing the same option, but when we choose that very option ourselves, we have no shortage of perfectly good reasons for why we just happen to be doing the same thing as those other people; they mindlessly conform, but we mindfully choose. This doesn't mean that we're all conformists in denial. It means that we regularly fail to recognize that others' thoughts and behaviors are just as complex and varied as our own. Rather than being alone in a crowd of sheep, we're all individuals in sheep's clothing.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence, and benevolence of spirit.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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An opening is like a doorway, and there is no such thing as a doorway that you can only go through one way. Yes, we are trying to penetrate in, but what is trying to come out to meet us? It
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Yoga is for everyone. You need not be an expert or at the peak of physical fitness to practice the asanas described...Yoga helps to integrate the mental and the physical plane, bringing about a sense of inner and outer balance, or what I term alignment. True alignment means that the inner mind reaches every cell and fiber of the body.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Your choices of which clothes to wear or which soda to drink, where you live, which school to attend and what to study, and of course your profession all say something about you, and it’s your job to make sure that they are an accurate reflection of who you really are. But who are you, really? The imperative β€œJust be yourself!” seems straightforward enough. (What could be easier than being who you already are?) Yet we often end up blinking in its headlights, perhaps frozen in place by the concomitant notion that we might, if we are not careful, turn into someone else. It’s difficult to move forward when each step could move us further away from the β€œauthentic” self, and so we dither.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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One could even argue that we have a duty to create and pass on stories about choice because once a person knows such stories, they can’t be taken away from him. He may lose his possessions, his home, his loved ones, but if he holds on to a story about choice, he retains the ability to practice choice.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Happy is the man who knows how to distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the transient and the good from the pleasant by his discrimination and wisdom. Twice blessed is he who knows true love and can love all God's creatures. He who works selflessly for the welfare of others with love in his heart is thrice blessed. But the man who combines within his mortal frame knowledge, love and selfless service is holy and becomes a place of pilgrimage.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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Life is perpetually testing us not only by administering these "thousand natural shocks" but by making us choose among them. Rarely is the answer as easy and obvious as "cake." In the most challenging predicaments, perceived causality for an undesirable outcome, even if there was no clearer or better choice, can be a debilitating burden. We frequently pay a mental and emotional tax for freedom of choice.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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In a conversation with the master jazz musician and Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Wynton Marsalis, he told me, β€œYou need to have some restrictions in jazz. Anyone can improvise with no restrictions, but that’s not jazz. Jazz always has some restrictions. Otherwise it might sound like noise.” The ability to improvise, he said, comes from fundamental knowledge, and this knowledge β€œlimits the choices you can make and will make
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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PataΓ±jali is saying that yoga is a preventive healing art, science and philosophy, by which we build up robust health in body and mind and construct a defensive strength with which to deflect or counteract afflictions that are as yet unperceived afflictions.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
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Our Parusa or Universal Soul is an abiding reality. It is logical, but remains conceptual to our minds under we experience it;s realization within ourselves.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Which comes first, the customer or the designer? Do we make fashion, or does fashion make us? The more we think about the question, the more the answer slips through our fingers.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Undoubtedly, the mind is restless and hard to control But it can be trained by constant practice and by freedom from desire." - B.K.S. Iyengar. Climbing is really great, we all love climbing. But what's interesting to me is what happens in my head or in my life because of it. Ultimately, I think climbing is a vehicle for exploration - of the world, of the self.
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Steph Davis
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Unlike captive animals, people’s perceptions of control or helplessness aren’t entirely dictated by outside forces. We have the ability to create choice by altering our interpretations of the world.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Whether we do it consciously or subconsciously, we tend to organize our lives to display our identity as accurately as possible. Our lifestyle choices often reveal our values, or at least what we’d like people to perceive as our values…as we make our everyday choices, we continuously calculate not just which choices best match who we are and what we want but also how those choices will be interpreted by others. We look for cues in our social environment to figure out what others think of this or that, which can require being sensitive to the most localized and up-to-date details of what a particular choice means.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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our lives are shaped for better or worse, to move forward along largely unmapped terrain. to what extent can you direct your own life when you can see only so far and the weather change quicker than you can say?
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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For animals, the confinement of the body is the confinement of the whole being, but a person can choose freedom even when he has no physical autonomy. In order to do so, he must know what choice is, and he must believe that he deserves it. By sharing stories, we keep choice alive in the imagination and in language. We give each other the strength to perform choice in the mind even when we cannot perform it with the body.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Keeping the bigger picture in mind allows us to reconcile the multitudes we contain, as long as we are also careful to clearly communicate to the world our broader guiding principles. To be ourselves while remaining adaptable, we must either justify a decision to change as being consistent with our identity, or we must acknowledge that our identity itself is malleable but no less authentic for it. The challenge is to feel that although we have not always been exactly who we are now, we will nevertheless always recognize ourselves.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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If you have smoked since you were sixteen, every time you pick up a cigarette in the day you are also brainwashing yourself. "In this situation I pick up a cigarette" sends a little ripple down through consciousness that adds to the "take a cigarette" mound. That's why cigarettes are more difficult than almost anything else to give up. Aside from their physical cravings, we create mental cravings because the habit is very repetitive. The habit of smoking puts itself into every situation. The triggers to that situation are so many that many smokers still sometimes want to smoke even years after they have stopped because the mound is still there.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Ask Americans β€œHow similar are you to others?” and on average they will answer β€œNot very.” Ask the same question in reverseβ€”β€œHow similar are others to you?”—and their judgment of similarity increases noticeably. The two answers should be exactly the same because the questions are, in essence, identical, but we manage to delude ourselves, just as we all claim to be above average or wholly unsusceptible to social influence. Time and time again, each one of us assumes that he or she stands out. What is it that makes us believe we’re more unique than everyone else?
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Alexis de Tocqueville, the French thinker who keenly chronicled early American society, described the consequences of ever-increasing choice more than 170 years ago: In America I have seen the freest and best educated of men in circumstances the happiest to be found in the world; yet it seemed to me that a cloud habitually hung on their brow, and they seemed serious and almost sad even in their pleasures…. They clutch everything but hold nothing fast, and so lose grip as they hurry after some new delight.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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When you have an anger, irritability, or disappointment mound, the conditioned reflex works like this: Suppose you're irritable with your parents, and your mother comes into the room. She might only say "Dinner's ready," but the irritability reflex is ready to spring up.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Our flawed mechanisms of perception and thought are not a cause for grief, but an opportunity to evolve, for an internal evolution of consciousness that will also make possible, in a sustainable form, our aspirations toward what we call individual success and global progress.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The less control people had over their work, the higher their blood pressure during work hours. Moreover, blood pressure at home was unrelated to the level of job control, indicating that the spike during work hours was specifically caused by lack of choice on the job. People with little control over their work also experienced more back pain, missed more days of work due to illness in general, and had higher rates of mental illnessβ€”the human equivalent of stereotypies, resulting in the decreased quality of life common to animals reared in captivity.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Like the swimming rats in Richter’s experiment, we can survive for only so long without solid ground beneath our feet; if the choices aren’t real, sooner or later we will go under. It’s important, therefore, that we examine our assumptions about choice and that we openly discuss how, when and why it falls short.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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The seeker should have faith in himself and in his master. He should have faith that God is ever by his side and that no evil can touch him. As faith springs up in the heart it dries out lust, ill-will, mental sloth, spiritual pride and doubt, and the heart freed from these hindrances becomes serene and untroubled.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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Life itself seeks fulfillment as plants seek the sunlight. The Universe did not create Life in the hope that the failure of the majority would underscore the success of the few.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Pain is a great philosopher, because it thinks constantly of how to get rid of itself and demands discipline.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Ignorance has no beginning, but it has an end. There is a beginning but no end to knowledge.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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Balancing hopes, desires, and an appreciation of the possibilities with a clear-eyed assessment of the limitations: that is the art of choosing.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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how much choice the animals technically had was far less important than how much choice they felt they had
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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What affected people’s health most in these studies wasn’t the actual level of control that people had in their jobs, but the amount of control they perceived themselves as having.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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People who perceive the negative experiences in their lives as the result of uncontrollable forces are at a higher risk for depression than those who believe they have control
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Without education, confidence does not come.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Consumers presented with six choices on an item were twice as likely to buy as consumers overwhelmed with 24 varieties of the same item.
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Sheena Iyengar
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The mind (manas) and the breath (prana) are intimately connected and the activity or the cessation of activity of one affects the other.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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To my father, Bellur Krishnamachar, my mother, Seshamma, and my birthplace, Bellur
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Stability-The Physical Body (Asana)
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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disturbances of the mind and emotions fade away, and we are able to see true reality.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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Samadhi is an opportunity to encounter our imperishable Self before the transient vehicle of body disappears, as in the cycle of nature, it surely must.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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True alignment means that the inner mind reaches every cell and fiber of the body.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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The ability to choose well seems to depend in no small part upon our knowing our own minds. And when we ask for more choice, we seem to be saying, β€œI know what I want, so however much choice you give me, I will be able to pick out the thing that I want.” We firmly believe that no matter how many alternatives we’re given, ultimately we’ll know which door we prefer to walk through. Yet, paradoxically, asking for more choice is also an admission that we don’t always know what we want, or that we are changeable enough that we cannot know what we want until we are in the moment of choosing. And it’s clear that after a certain point, the amount of time and energy directed toward choosing counteracts the benefits of the choice.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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The higher the exposure a product receives and the greater its perceived social acceptability, the more people will buy it, which in turn further increases its exposure and acceptability.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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For one who lacks ethical discipline and perfect physical health, there can be no spiritual illumination. Body, mind and spirit are inseparable: if the body is asleep, the soul is asleep. The
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
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The yogi uses all his resources - physical, economic, mental or moral - to alleviate the pain and suffering of others. He shares his strength with the weak until they become strong. He shares his courage with those who are timid until they become brave by his example. He denies the maxim 'survival of the fittest', but makes the weak strong enough to survive. He comes a shelter to one and all.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga)
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It seems to him there are / a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.” Whether the bars are real or metaphorical, when one has no control, it is as if nothing exists beyond the pain of this loss.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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We measure our lives using different markers: years, major events, achievements. We can also measure them by the choices we make, the sum total of which has brought us to wherever and whoever we are today.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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True choice requires that a person have the ability to choose an option and not be prevented from choosing it by any external force, meaning that a system tending too far toward either extreme will limit People’s opportunities. Also, both extremes can produce additional problems in practice. Aside from the fact that a lack of β€œfreedom to” can lead to privation, suffering, and death for those who can’t provide for themselves, it can also lead to a de facto plutocracy. The extremely wealthy can come to wield disproportionate power, enabling them to avoid punishment for illegal practices or to change the law itself in ways that perpetuate their advantages at the cost of others, a charge often levied against the β€œrobber baron” industrialists of the late nineteenth century. A lack of β€œfreedom from,” on the other hand, can encourage people to do less work than they’re capable of since they know their needs will be met, and it may stifle innovation and entrepreneurship because people receive few or no additional material benefits for exerting additional effort. Moreover, a government must have extensive power over its people to implement such a system, and as can be seen in the actions of the majority of communist governments in the past, power corrupts.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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but in public school i learned that it was not only natural but desirable that i should make my own decisions. it was not a matter of cultural background or personality or abilities; it was simply what was true and right
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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So we would say in yoga that the subtle precedes the gross, or spirit precedes matter. But yoga says we must deal with the outer or most manifest first, i.e. legs, arms, spine, eyes, tongue, touch, in order to develop the sensitivity to move inward. This is why asana opens the whole spectrum of yoga’s possibilities. There can be no realization of existential, divine bliss without the support of the soul’s incarnate vehicle, the food-and-water-fed body, from bone to brain. If we can become aware of its limitations and compulsions, we can transcend them. We all possess some awareness of ethical behavior, but in order to pursue yama and niyama at deeper levels, we must cultivate the mind. We need contentment, tranquility, dispassion, and unselfishness, qualities that have to be earned. It is asana that teaches us the physiology of these virtues.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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A classic study by Columbia’s Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper monitored the behavior of consumers in a grocery store. One day, the store set up a sampling table with 6 different kinds of jam, and customers loved it; another day, the store set up a table with 24 different kinds of jam, and it was even more popular than the first. The surprise came at the cash register: Customers who’d chosen among 6 jams were 10 times more likely to actually buy a jar of jam than customers who’d chosen among 24! It was fun to sample 24 flavors, it seems, but painful to pick among them. The choice was paralyzing.
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Chip Heath (Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work)
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the way we frame information for ourselves or for others can make a big difference in how we see and respond to choice. Every time we encounter new information or reexamine old information, we’re influenced by its presentation. We can use framing to our advantage, but sometimes it has a negative impact on the quality of our decisions.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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In practical terms, most of us have built up negative habits. You want to turn them into positive habits and then into no habits. As progress reaches into the subtle levels of kosa, you don't avoid smoking because you are "a nonsmoker" or because smoking is bad. You are not invoking a duality of good versus bad. Similarly, you do not have to bite off your tongue to avoid giving an angry retort to people who irritate you; you're not being self-consciously good. It simply becomes second nature to be free. You might give an angry answer to a rude person, you might give a courteous answer to a rude person, but either way you act in freedom, you act appropriately, unconditioned by the past.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)
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When the options are few, we can be happy with what we choose since we are confident that it is the best possible choice for us. When the options are practically infinite, though, we believe that the perfect choice for us must be out there somewhere and that it’s our responsibility to find it. Choosing can become a lose-lose situation: if we make a choice quickly without fully exploring the available options, we’ll regret potentially missing out on something better; if we do exhaustively consider all the options, we’ll expend more effort (which won’t necessarily increase the quality of our final choice), and if we discover other good options, we may regret that we can’t choose them all.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Recall Aesop’s fable of the fox and the grapes. After trying in vain to reach the grapes, the fox gives up and wanders away, muttering, β€œThey were probably sour anyway.” The fox’s change of heart is a perfect example of a common strategy we instinctively use to reduce dissonance. When we experience a conflict between our beliefs and our actions, we can’t rewind time and take back what we’ve already done, so we adjust our beliefs to bring them in line with our actions. If the story had gone differently, and the fox had managed to get the grapes, only to discover they were sour, he would have told himself that he liked sour grapes in order to avoid feeling that his effort had been a waste.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Erich Fromm in his 1941 book "Escape from Freedom", about the nature of one of our culture’s most cherished values. Fromm argues that freedom is composed of two complementary parts. A common view of freedom is that it means "freedom from the political, economic, and spiritual shackles that have bound men,” which defines it as the absence of others forcibly interfering with the pursuit of our goals. In contrast to this β€œfreedom from,” Fromm identifies an alternate sense of freedom as an ability: the β€œfreedom to” attain certain outcomes and realize our full potential. β€œFreedom from” and β€œfreedom to” don’t always go together, but one must be free in both senses to obtain full benefit from choice. A child may be allowed to have a cookie, but he won’t get it if he can’t reach the cookie jar high on the shelf.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Why is choice powerful, and where does its power come from? Do we all choose in the same way? What is the relationship between how we choose and who we are? Why are we so often disappointed by our choices, and how do we make the most effective use of the tool of choice? How much control do we have over our everyday choices? How do we choose when our options are practically unlimited? Should we ever let others choose for us, and if yes, who and why?
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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The saying goes that history repeats itself; personal histories do the same. We can gather the lessons of others’ lives through observation, conversation, and by seeking advice. We can use the automatic system to find out who the happy people are, and the reflective system to evaluate how they got to be that way. Pursuing happiness need not be a lonely endeavor. In fact, throwing in our lot with others may be a very good way of coping with the disappointments of choice.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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We do the same thing in our own lives, embracing information that supports what we already prefer or vindicates choices we previously made. After all, it feels better to justify our opinions rather than challenge them, to contemplate only the pros and relegate the cons to the back of our minds. However, if we want to make the most of choice, we have to be willing to make ourselves uncomfortable. The question is, if we are willing, how exactly do we go about fortifying ourselves against these biases?
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Consciousness is imbued with the three qualities (gunas) of luminosity (sattva), vibrancy (rajas) and inertia (tamas). The gunas also colour our actions: white (sattva), grey (rajas) and black (tamas). Through the discipline of yoga, both actions and intelligence go beyond these qualities and the seer comes to experience his own soul with crystal clarity, free from the relative attributes of nature and actions. This state of purity is samadhi. Yoga is thus both the means and the goal. Yoga is samadhi and samadhi is yoga. There
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
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Recommendations and categorization are both useful features to seek out when trying to make a difficult decision, because they can benefit our choices in two ways. They make the decision in question easier by allowing us to borrow the knowledge of experts or crowds, and they also help us to develop our own expertise more rapidly than we would if we chose without assistance. Learning what others consider good and relevant provides us with a general overview of a given field, catalyzing our understanding of it and the development of our preferences within it.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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PataΓ±jali describes the fluctuations, modifications and modulations of thought which disturb the consciousness, and then sets out the various disciplines by which they may be stilled. This has resulted in yoga being called a mental sadhana (practice). Such a sadhana is possible only if the accumulated fruits derived from the good actions of past lives (samskaras) are of a noble order. Our samskaras are the fund of our past perceptions, instincts and subliminal or hidden impressions. If they are good, they act as stimuli to maintain the high degree of sensitivity necessary to pursue the spiritual path. Consciousness
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
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The mere exposure effect explains many facets of our lives, such as why it’s so hard to find someone who can prepare our childhood favorites like Mom did, and it also holds when we see the latest fashion trends prominently featured in stores, catalogs, and finally on people we know. In addition, when a trend emerges, it sends the message that it’s becoming increasingly accepted. When we see the supplies of multiple independent retailers simultaneously shift in one way, we assume the demand has shifted as well. Of course, the change may actually be driven by the prediction of a future shift in demand, which may or may not materialize, but it still affects people’s choices.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Henri PoincarΓ©, a celebrated French mathematician and philosopher of science, said, β€œInvention consists in avoiding the constructing of useless combinations and in constructing the useful combinations which are in infinite minority. To invent is to discern, to choose.” I’d like to invert the second sentence and propose a corollary: To choose is to invent. What I mean by this is that choosing is a creative process, one through which we construct our environment, our lives, our selves. If we ask for more and more material for the construction, i.e., more and more choice, we’re likely to end up with a lot of combinations that don’t do much for us or are far more complex than they need to be
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Changing our behavior purely for the sake of appearances may seem to conflict with the need to be authentic and consistent, but in many ways it is actually a result of those needs. After all, resolving the tension between standing out from the crowd and becoming isolated requires finding our niche in the world. But what would happen if we weren’t accepted in the place where we felt we belonged? For others to see us as a β€œposeur” or as β€œdelusional” would be painful. Even worse, what if they were right? The social consequences and self-doubt that follow when our self-perceptions conflict with how others see us can be just as destabilizing to our identity as conflicts between our own self-perceptions and actions.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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When heuristics don’t yield the results we expect, you’d think we would eventually realize that something’s wrong. Even if we don’t locate the biases, we should be able to see the discrepancy between what we wanted and what we got, right? Well, not necessarily. As it turns out, we have biases that support our biases! If we’re partial to one optionβ€”perhaps because it’s more memorable, or framed to minimize loss, or seemingly consistent with a promising patternβ€”we tend to search for information that will justify choosing that option. On the one hand, it’s sensible to make choices that we can defend with data and a list of reasons. On the other hand, if we’re not careful, we’re likely to conduct an imbalanced analysis, falling prey to a cluster of errors collectively known as β€œconfirmation biases.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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The idealized capitalist system first and foremost emphasizes β€œfreedom from” external restrictions on one’s ability to rise in society’s ranks. At least in theory, people are given equal opportunity to succeed or fail based on their own merits. But a world without restrictions is a competitive one, and people who are more talented, harder working, or simply luckier will have an advantage. As a result, a wide variety of goods and services will exist, but not everyone will have access to the full range of choice available; some people may even be unable to afford basic necessities such as food, housing, and health care. The idealized communist/socialist system, by contrast, aims for equality of outcomes rather than of opportunities, guaranteeing all its members the β€œfreedom to” obtain an adequate standard of living. The rub is that the additional resources given to those in need have to come from somewhere, or more specifically someone, which means reducing others’ β€œfreedom from” and having the state commandeer their property and dictate their economic activities.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
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Opposition without love leads to violence; loving the wrong-doer without opposing the evil in him is folly and leads to misery.
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B. K. S. Iyengar (Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga)
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When an asana is done correctly, the body movements are smooth, and there is lightness in the body and freedom in the mind.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Do not think of yourself as a small, compressed, suffering thing. Think of yourself as graceful and expanding, no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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As a farmer ploughs a field and makes the ground soft, a yogi ploughs his nerves so they can germinate and make a better life. This practice of yoga is to remove weeds from the body so that the garden can grow. If the ground it too hard, what life can grow there? If the body is too stiff and the mind is too rigid, what life can it live?
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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...in all asanas, ascend to descend and descend to ascend.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Sabhi Ke Liye Yoga)
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Slouching acts like a narcotic to the body. When our parents tell us not to slouch, it is because they instinctively understand that collapsing our chest caves in the very Self. It is because you mind shrinks that your soul shrinks. It is the spine's job to keep the mind alert. It is the spine's job to keep the mind alert. To do this, the spine has to keep the brain in position.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Consider this analogy. When it rains heavily, the water does not necessarily penetrate the earth. If the surface is dry and hard, the rain water floods the surface and runs off. But if it rains gradually for many days continuously, and the ground is moist, then the water seeps deep into the earth, which is good for cultivation and for life. Similarly in ourselves, we must moisten our muscles and nerves through the expansion and extension of the various asana. In this way, the stress that saturates the brain is diffused throughout the rest of the body, so the brain is rested and released from strain and the body releases its stress and strain through movement. Similarly, while doing the various types of pranayama the whole body is irrigated with energy. The nerves are soothed, the brain is calmed, the hardness and rigidity of the lungs are loosened. The nerves are made to remain healthy. There is a certain vibration, which you can make rhythmic and subtler in your asana and pranayama practice without force or stress. You are one with yourself and that is in and of itself a meditative state.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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In contrast to rigidity, tension is not good or bad. it has to be present at the right time in the right amount. Weighing or balancing it evenly is life. There is nothing in this world where yogis say there should be no tension at all. Even dead bodies have tension. You have to find the right amount of tension in your body. The right amount will keep all of your energy in your body. Too much tension is aggression.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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As we experience pleasures happily, we must also learn not to lose our happiness when pain comes. As we see good in pleasure, we should learn to see good in pain. Learn to find comfort even in discomfort. We must not try to run from the pain but to move through and beyond it. This is the cultivation of tenacity and perseverance, which is a spiritual attitude toward yoga. This is also the spiritual attitude toward life.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Many yoga teachers ask you to do the asanas with ease and comfort and without any stress or true exertion. this ultimately leaves the practitioner living within the limits of his or her mind, with the inevitable fear, attachment, and pettiness.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Ballet dancers have the opposite problem to most people in that, because of their excessive flexibility, their physical capacity outstrips their intellectual consciousness.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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We use right pain like a vaccine against the unavoidable pain and suffering that life always sends our way, but the dose must be correct. Asana practice is an opportunity to look at obstacles in practice and life and discover how we can cope with them.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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You have to ask yourself, using your intelligence and you willpower, can I do a little better than I am doing? Light comes to a person who extends his awareness a little more than seems possible. We limit ourselves by settling. We say, "Oh, I do not want to go beyond this, because I know this is good." This is living in one's old mind. Question whether you can do a little more. Then immediately you experience the movement is coming. If you are conscientious, your conscience whispers, "Try to go a little further." If one keep one's aim to the maximum, Self-knowing will come.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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You have to tame your breath to tame your brain. Live from moment to moment absorbed in the unruffled flow of the circular movement of the in- and out-breaths. It's current should be like that of a very full, stately river, whose movements cannot be seen.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The main causes of negative stress are anger, fear, speed, greed, unhealthy ambition, and competition, which produce a deleterious effect on the body and mind. When one does good work without selfish motives, though there is the stress of work, it is positive, and it does not cause the far greater stress that comes from grasping and greed. The practice of asana and pranayama not only de-stress you, but energize and invigorate the nerves and the mind in order to handle the stress that comes from the caprices of life.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The genius of nature's intelligence is self-expression. That is why nature is infinitely varied, infinitely inventive. Prana is out link to this infinite intelligence.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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To do nothing is an action too, with inevitable consequences, and so that is not a way to escape pain and suffering either.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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We all have presence of mind when everything goes well, but we need to have presence of mind when something goes wrong. If we face suffering and accept it as a necessary means, all anxiousness disappears.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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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 judgement and 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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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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As you take great pains to learn, continue with devotion in what you have learned. Learning is very difficult, but it is twice as difficult to keep the ground gained.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Hindus often say the GOD is Generator, Organizer, and Destroyer. Inhalation is the generating power, retention is the organizing power, and exhalation, if the energy is vicious, is the destroyer. This is prana at work. Vigor, power, vitality, life, and spirit are all forms of prana.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Prana is special because it carries awareness. it is the vehicle of consciousness.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Most people want to take joy without suffering. I will take both. See how far suffering takes me. when you do not resist suffering, you will make friends with other people who suffer. I suffered a lot in my own body. Now when someone tells me of his sufferings, I feel in my body what that suffering is. My personal experience provides me with great love and compassion. So I say, "My friend, let me try and do something." Pain comes to guide you. When you have known pain, you will be compassionate. Shared joys cannot teach us this.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Many intellectually developed people are still emotionally immature. If they have to face pains, they try to escape from them. They are seldom prepared to face that pain and to work through it when they are taken intensely into a posture. This practice brings them face to face with the reality of their bodies' natures. We must face up to our emotions, not run away from them. We do not do yoga just for enjoyment; we do it for ultimate emancipation.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Perfecting: Always Be Happy with the Smallest Improvement
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Do not allow past experiences to be imprinted on your mind. Perform asanas each time with a fresh mind and with a fresh approach. If you are repeating what you did before, you are living in the memory, so you are living in the past. That means you don't want to proceed beyond the experience of the past. Retaining that memory is saying, "Yesterday I didn't it like that." When I ask, "Is there anything new from what I did yesterday?" then there is progress. Am I going forward or am I going backward? Then you understand how to create dynamism in a static asana. That memory has to be used as a springboard from which you can ask yourself, "What more can I do than what I did yesterday?" This is equally true in life as in asana practice.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The moment you say, "I have got it," you have lost everything you had.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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You must keep your balance by using the intelligence of the body (whether instinct, feeling, or ability) but not by strength. When you keep the balance by strength, it is physical action; when by intelligence of the body, it is relaxation in action. Evenness is harmony, and in that evenness alone you learn.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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When performing asanas, no part of the body should be idle, no part should be neglected.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Always watch your base: Be attentive to the portion nearest the ground. Correct first form the root.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Balance does not mean merely balancing the body. Balance in the body is the foundation for balance in life. In whatever position one is in, or in whatever condition in life one is place, one must find balance. Balance is the state of the present - the here and now. If you balance in the present, you are living in Eternity.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The answer lies in the three qualities of nature, which are the guna. These three qualities must be balance in your asana practice and in your body, mind, and soul. Roughly they are translated as solidity, dynamism, and luminosity.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Mathematicians say that numbers progress from one to two to three to many. Its is the number three that unlocks the possibility of infinite diversity. Infinite, unmanifested origin is one. Duality is two.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The challenge of yoga is to go beyond our limits - within reason.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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We continually expand the frame of the mind by using the canvas of the body. It is as if you were to stretch a canvas more and create a larger surface for a paining. But we must respect the present form of our body. If we pull too fast or too much at once, we will rip the canvas. If the practice of today damages the practice of tomorrow, it is not correct practice.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Right pain is not only constructive but also exhilarating and involves challenge, while wrong pain is destructive and causes excruciating suffering.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Right pain is not only constructive but also exhilarating and involves challenge, while wrong pain is destructive and cause excruciating suffering. Right pain is for our growth and for our physical and spiritual transformation. Right pain is usually felt as a gradual lengthening and strengthening feeling and must be differentiated form wrong pain, which is often a sharp and sudden cautionary feeling that our body uses to tell us we have gone too far beyond our present abilities. In addition, if you get a pain that is persistent, and intensifying as you work, it's likely a wrong pain.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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If the practice of today, damages the practice of tomorrow, it is not correct practice.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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While we do not actively seek out pain, we do not run from the inevitable pain that is part of all growth and change. The asanas help us to develop greater tolerance in body and mind so that we can bear the stress and strain more easily. In other words, the effort and its unavoidable pains are an essential part of what the asanas can teach us.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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If you can adapt to and balance in a world that is always moving and unstable, you learn how to become tolerant to the permanence of change and difference.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The asana will not come by making faces.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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To get freedom, you have to bear the pain. this is equally true in life.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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It is not just that yoga is causing all of this pain; the pain is already there. It is hidden. We just live with it or have learned not to be aware of it. It is as if your body is in a coma. When you begin yoga, the unrecognized pains come to the surface. When we are able to use out intelligence to purify our bodies, then the hidden pains are dispersed.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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In this way, pain can be a great teacher, which educates us how to live with it and eventually say goodbye.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Pain comes only when the body does not understand how to do the asana, which is the case in the beginning. In the correct posture, pain does not come. To learn the right posture, you have to face the pain. There is no other way.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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With regard to asana practice, this means that initially we need to exert ourselves more as resistance is greater. Of the two aspects of asana, exertion of our body and penetration of our mind, the latter is eventually more important. Penetration of our mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Though the mass of our body is heavy, we are meant to tread lightly on this earth.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Pain: Find Comfort Even in Discomfort
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Many people focus on the past or the future to avoid experiencing the present, often because the present is painful or difficult to endure...The pain is there as a teacher, because life if filled with pain. In the struggle alone, there is knowledge. Only when there is pain will you see the light.
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B.K.S. Iyengar
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Pain is your guru.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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While me must recognize the existence and importance of pain, we must not glorify it. Where pain exists, there must be a reason for it.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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There are only two ways to confront pain: to live with the pain forever or to work with the pain and see if you can eradicate it.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Internal mistakes such as forcing , acting without observing, tightening the throat, and blocking the ears create habits, and these habits create lack of awareness, constriction, heaviness, tightness, imbalance, and pain.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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It is a modern illusion to imagine that positive emotions, sympathy, pity, kindness, and a general but diffused goodwill are equivalent of virtues. These "soft" emotions can serve as a form of narcissistic self-indulgence. Often they are impotent. They make us feel good about ourselves, like when we give a coin to a beggar. They create the illusion of health and well-being. But sensitivity should be used as a diagnostic tool, not as a mirror to our own vanity. Real compassion is potent as it implies the question, "What can I do to help?" The compassion Mother Teresa of Calcutta felt for the dying and dispossessed was always a spur to action, to care, to intelligent conversation.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Positive emotions are not the same as virtue. Virtue is valor, moral courage, persistence in adversity, and protection of the weak against the tyranny of the strong - not hand-wringing sympathy. Compassion is the recognition of sameness, of kinship with others.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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As the modern saying goes, we should live in the solution, not in the problem.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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I am fanatical with myself when I practice yoga. It is true. You should be fanatical with yourself, but not with others.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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When you empty the brain, you also empty the toxins of memory. With an exhalation and retention, you let go of resentment, anger, envy, and rancor. Exhalation is a sacred act of surrender, of self-abandonment. At the same time we abandon all those stored up impurities that cling to the self- our resentments, angers, regrets, desires, envies, frustrations, and feelings of superiority and inadequacy and also the negativity that causes the obstacles to adhere to consciousness. When ego falls away, they all fall away with it.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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The first specific advice that Patanjali gives us about these disturbances I will translate very loosely. "If you are happy, pleasant, and unselfish in your behavior toward others, obstacles will shrink. If you a miserly with your emotions and judgmental in your mind, obstacles will grow." More precisely, what Patanjali said is this. In order to achieve a serene consciousness, we have to be willing to change our behavior and approach toward the external world. This is for our own good. Certain treatments, known as the Healthy and Healing Qualities of Consciousness, cultivate the mind and smooth the yogic path. They are: 1. Maitri - Cultivation of friendliness toward those who are happy. 2. Karuna - Cultivation of compassion toward those who are in sorrow. 3. Mudita - Cultivation of joy toward those who are virtuous. 4. Upeksa - Cultivation of indifference or neurtrality toward those who are full of vices.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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To take joy in the well-being of others is to share in the riches of the world.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Religions tell us to get rid of these emotions, but we cannot. They are human emotions that we will feel whether we want to or not. Suppression does not work. George Stevenson invented the steam engine because he noticed that the steam in a boiling kettle lifted the lid. The force was irresistible. yoga is about channeling and transforming that energy to higher purposes, just as Stevenson used the energy of steam to drive locomotives.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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This is the problem with "long termism," a problem yoga identified more than two thousand years ago. When life's rap on the knuckles is not immediate enough to react as a deterrent, or the reward does not come fast enough to act as a spur, we tend to fell and act like children. We seek immediate gratification.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, said, "Know yourself. Know what is good. Know when to stop.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
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Mind, all minds, whether brilliant or dull, are equipped with a simple and instinctual survival tool that is, "Repeat pleasure and avoid pain." This enables us to avoid putting our hands in the fire twice or continually trying to quench our thirst with sea water. The converse of "nasty" implying danger is that "nice" or pleasurable implies the opposite, which is a survival advantage. You can see this most strongly in sexual reproduction. If the sexual act were unpleasant, it would hardly favor the propagation of either our individual genes or the species in general.
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B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)