Sparks of Divinity by Iyengar & Perez-Christiaens
This book takes a fascinating look inside the early days of Iyengar’s teaching from the perspective of one of his first western students. Noëlle Perez-Christiaens gathered and compiled pertinent quotes from Iyengar’s teaching from 1959 to 1975 through class notes and letters. Some of these quotes read like mystical koans; others are practical, spiritual, or personal, and several show Iyengar’s humorous side. Many of these quotes inspire me to hop on my yoga mat to investigate and inquire about their meaning. Others have moved me to further contemplate yogic philosophy or motivate me to deepen my meditation practice.
The book starts with Perez-Christiaens’ fascinating journal of her first visit with Iyengar in India. The last chapter is a tribute to this great teacher, partly documenting his early life story and largely consisting of anecdotal personal stories. Both of these chapters show the affection, admiration, and personal relationship that Perez-Christiaens quickly forged with Iyengar. The book itself is beautifully printed and designed, and contains fascinating historical photos of Iyengar during this time period.
If you are an Iyengar student, then this book is an absolute must-read. Even if you aren’t I would still recommend this book as an abundant source of inspirational and potent quotes on the practice, art and philosophy of yoga.