I’ve travelled to celebrations at RMIYI since Guruji’s 80th birthday in 1989. That was my first trip to India and I loved the country, ‘the motherland’ some call it, there’s a depth of spirit in India that leaves me satisfied.
This trip had the feeling of farewell about it. Guruji wasn’t there, he had died the previous August and people were still in mourning.
Yet it was the biggest yoga gathering I had ever experienced. More than 1500 people had come from the far corners of the earth.
The people who spoke of their Iyengar yoga experiences came from the deserts of Africa to the cold northern countries of Europe, the vibrant salsa dancing Argentinians and the careful articulate Chinese, and so many more. I loved being part of a group where English was only one of many languages spoken.
Geeta taught in English. It is the language taught in Indian schools.
Dr. Geeta Iyengar. – How can I express the influence this woman has had in my life. How her intelligence has permeated my own approach to communicating the subtilties of yoga.
How her free and open emotional expression somehow validated my own occasionally firey temperament.
How her kindness was the linchpin in everything she did.
Including taking classes for 10 days to celebrate her 70th birthday.
Geeta taught from 8 am, took a break for half an hour at 11, then taught pranayama till 1pm.
Geetaji is 70, she gets tired.
So what does she do? ‘I will be available in the afternoons at the Institute if you would like to talk to me’. When we arrive there’s a line of about 100 people waiting & more arriving, to have a chat.
That’s where this photo was taken. Myself & Kay Parry are with Juliana Fair who is telling Geeta a very funny story. It is one of my fondest memories of that time, to hear Geetaji Laugh Out Loud.