Practice of the Month

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GMM promotes yoga to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee Year 

Ghantali Mitra Mandal (GMM), Member Institute of Indian Yoga Association has entered the Diamond Jubilee Year of its foundation. All at GMM are giving relentless and selfless service to society to make Yoga maximum applicable. On the eve of new year, a grand function of…

RV Institute of Management curates a certification course for senior citizens 

In a groundbreaking move, the RV Institute of Management (RVIM), Associate Centre of Indian Yoga Association has curated a month-long certification course tailored specifically for senior citizens, focusing on the Common Yoga Protocol. This innovative course is designed to cater to the unique health and…

SRD Girls Degree College organises Workshop 

SRD Girls Degree College, Hathras, Uttar Pradesh conducts 7days yoga workshop for the post graduate students in association with Indian Yoga Association (IYA). Yogacharya Sumit Kumar Singh, Member, Uttar Pradesh State Chapter, IYA was instrumental in organising the workshop.

Yog Sports Association of Bengal hosts awarness programme 

Yog Sports Association of Bengal, Associate Centre of Indian Yoga Association organises yoga awarness programme in the remote villages of West Bengal in Megha Yoga Club & Vyamagar in association with Indian Yoga Association. The awareness programs were also conducted in Darjeeling & Coochbehar for…

Jharkhand SCC conducts the 89th day celebration of Yoga Mahotsav 

On the 89th day of the ‘100 Days Countdown Yoga Mahotsav of International Yoga Day 2024,” an event sponsored by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), New Delhi, under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, took place in two sessions at Dani…

Anjali Acupressure Therapy and Yoga Center celebrates Holi 

The Anjali Acupressure Therapy and Yoga Center, Associate Centre of Indian Yoga Association, recently marked the occasion of Holi Milan at Nehru Bal Udyan with vibrant celebrations. Participants joyously engaged in the festivities, adorning each other with flower petals and applying colorful gulal tilak. Amidst…

TNSCC and GTN Arts College organises International Conference 

Tamil Nadu State Chapter of Indian Yoga Association and GTN Arts College (Autonomous), Dindigul jointly held a 2-day International Conference on Physical Education and Yoga recently. The inauguration was presided over by Dr P Balagurusamy, Principal of GTN Arts College. Dr. R. Durai, Director, GTN…

NIRAMAYA offers free training 

NIRAMAYA, Associate Centre of Indian Yoga Association continues to promote yoga and the motto of the Association to uplift the rural sector of the society. Under the rural project Yog-Chetana and Yogabhishek, NIRAMAYA is offering free yoga training to the students. In March, 2024 about…

Yoga & Happiness organises felicitation ceremony 

Yoga & Happiness, Associate Centre of Indian Yoga Association on March 24, 2024, hosted a memorable convocation and certificate distribution ceremony, honoring over 150 candidates who successfully completed their training and received prestigious certificates from both the Yoga Certification Board (YCB) and IYA. The event…

Flax Sesame Crackers 

Flax Sesame Crackers are a healthy light wheat cracker with good quantity of sesame seeds and flax seeds. Oats used in the dish are rich in antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, improves blood sugar. Flax seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and…



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21 May 2024

Yogavani

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI), Pune, India
Legacy Series

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI), Pune, India 

The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute was established in 1975 in memory of Smt. Ramamani, the wife of Yogacharya BKS Iyen­gar. This Institute imparts yoga in the tradition of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar and has students from all the continents of the world. The founderdirectors of the Institute were Yogacharya BKS Iy­engar, Smt. Geeta and Shri Prashant Iy­engar and the current directors are Shri Prashant Iyengar and Abhijata Iyengar. The Institute conducts yoga classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students and special classes for children and individuals with health problems. There are no time bound courses conducted by the Institute and learning is a con­tinuous process of involution to understand the self.

RIMYI the Beginnings: The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute is nothing but the Institution of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar himself. From very humble beginnings, both have attained glorious heights. Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was initiated into Yoga by his brother-in-law, Sriman T Krishnamacharya, a very learned man whose lineage can be traced to Sri Nathamuni, the author of Yoga Rahasya. Guruji BKS Iyengar lineage has been traced several centuries back to Sri Ramanujacharya. Despite such a glori­ous lineage, Sri BKS Iyengar was a very sickly child struggling for survival having born during the world influenza epidemic in 1918 and then having multiple bouts of malaria and tuberculosis in the era before the antibiotics were discovered. His brother-in-law initiated him into yoga to help him gain some health in 1934 and then deputed him to go to Pune in 1937-1938 and thus, Pune became his karmabhumi!

From giving personal tuition to a few students, he struggled for decades to make people learn yoga. It was a meeting with the violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin that changed not his destiny but that of yoga in the world. He traveled to Europe to teach Menuhin and other yoga enthusiasts as his name started spread­ing far and wide. Students started visiting his home in Pune to learn under him. It was only in 1973 that he finally managed to get a plot of land in the suburbs of Pune where he could conduct yoga classes for local and foreign students. It was unfortunate that Smt Ramamani, his wife, who performed the bhumi pujan left her mortal form 2 days later. I was then decided to dedicate the Institute to her memory and this Institute was inaugurated on January 19, 1975. The structural design of RIMYI has a unique significance. Its three floors represent the body, mind and soul. Its height is 71 feet and has 8 main columns representing the 8 pillars of ashtanga yoga – yama, niyama, asana, pranayana, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and Samadhi. The basement houses the library with nearly 12000 titles on a variety of subjects ranging from human anatomy and physiology to the ancient scriptures, from philosophy to psychology to a section for children too. This library also served as a study for Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. The first floor is the asana hall and the second designed to be the pranayama hall. But, due to the demands of space, the begin­ners and intermediate classes are now being conducted here. The top of the structured is blessed by statues of Lord Hanuman and Adisesha.

RIMYI mainly conducts asana and pranayama classes for the general public. From novices to the subject of yoga, there are students who continue their study on yoga for over 4 decades. The classes are taught by Sri Prashant Iyengar and senior students of Yogacharya Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar. Till his demise in 2014, Guruji would also be present in these classes constantly advising the younger generations of teachers in the art of teaching.

RIMYI pri­marily teaches the two limbs of yoga asana and pranayama through which they are made to experience the others. RIMYI teaches the aspi­rants and yoga sadhaka as per their ability and maturity. Children are taught in a dynamic manner while the adults learn to differenti­ate motion from action. Begin­ners are taught the techniques of yogasana and the importance of precision and alignment in practice. As they mature, they learn to study the effect of the mind on one’s practice and develop intelligence in the entire embodiment. They learn the asanas as postures, then they progress to the asanas which include the total involvement of the human embodiment – body, mind, senses, breath and intelligence in their asana practice. And, then it is through asana and pranaya­ma that they learn the science of ashtanga yoga.

The students at RIMYI: The classes are open to one and all irrespective of age, gender, nationality, class, creed and religion. Foreign nationals are also permitted to attend classes at the Institute but the rules are more stringent for them. Those coming from countries where there are ‘Iyengar Yoga’ teachers are expected to study in their own country for 8 years before they can apply to attend the classes at RIMYI and then too, there is a waiting list period of 1 ½ to 2 years because of severe space constraints. Of course, students who come from countries where there are no teachers are admitted to the beginners or inter­mediate classes. There are special classes for ladies, children and medical classes for those with health problems. It is here that many individuals have at­tained relief and cure from ailments for which even modern science has no remedy. Students at RIMYI come from extreme ends of the economic, vocation­al and intellectual spectra from auto drivers, maid servants to highly intellectual philosophers, writers and extremely creative artists and musicians.

Today, yoga is reported to be a billion dollar indus­try in the US. This industry includes the manufac­turing and marketing of yoga props such as blan­kets, pillows, belts, ropes and many other wooden supports created by the ingenuity of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. These props give the practitioner con­fidence to do the asana, stay in the asana, learn cor­rect alignment to do the asana and are a great boon for those suffering from any maladies. The yoga mat which seems to be an integral part of yoga practice these days was also an innovation of Guruji BKS Iyengar.

Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Light on Life, the Asta Dala Yoga Mala I to 8, Yoga: A Gem for Women, the CItta Vijnana of Yoga. Alpha Omega of Trikonasana, Discourses on yoga, Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali, Concept of Ishvara, Yogasana and the 18 ma­hakriyas are some of the major publications of the teachings at RIMYI. Most of these have been translated into various languages. Yoga Rahasya is a quarterly publication of the Institute which has a circulation base in over 45 countries.

The directors of RIMYI are involved in a lot of chari­table activities in cash and kind to provide support and relief to victims of natural calamities. Schools, health care and community centres provide education and health care to remote villagers.

Iyengar Yoga Institutes following the teaching methodologies and philosophy of Iyengar Yoga exist in 85 countries in all the continents. We may speak a different language for verbal communication but the language of yoga remains the same. Each of these teachers at these Institutes is extensively trained and mentored by their seniors in the respective countries and later in India. There are strict ethical guidelines and certification processes which ensure the quality of teaching being imparted by the various teachers.

Iyengar Yoga Associations are also present in US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Netherlands, UK, China, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ma­laysia, Macau, France, Spain, Israel, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bra­sil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan which are governed by independently elected local members who play a role in disseminating the teachings of Iyengar Yoga maintaining high ethical and technical standards. There are a few thousand members who are associ­ated with these Associations. They have annual and bi-annual meetings and conventions so that students meet and share experiences with fellow practitioners from their country and guest teachers from India or other nationalities.

RIMYI really brings about a yuj (union) between people – irrespective of their nationality, religion, language, culture or political inclinations.

The Legacy Series articles are contributed by institutional members of IYA and are published as pro­vided by them; we encourage all Member Institutions of the Association to send a six page article with some photos about their organisations

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