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Introduction to Iyengar Yoga
Several specifics of this approach
About Institut de yoga Iyengar de Nice
A New teacher Training Course
Accomodation in Nice


Introduction to Iyengar Yoga

Shri B.K.S.Iyengar, on himself.............
" I was born on the night of Saturday, December 14th, 1918. My mother had an attack of influenza. It was a country-wide epidemic and thousands of people died. By the grace of God my mother and I survived. I was very dark, my head used to hang down and I had to lift it with an effort. My head was bigger in size to that of my body and my brothers and sisters often teased me.
I had a weak constitution. In the year 1931 I suffered from malaria and later on again I was laid down with fever. Even after the fever had subsided and one year had passed, I did not show any progress in my health. I was as weak as before and my schooling was affected and in 1932 I failed in English. I was very weak physically and the doctor suspected that I had consumption.
During April-May 1934 my brother-in-law, Shri Krishnamacarya, was asked by the Maharaja to go to Bombay to meet Swami Shri Kuvalayananda and to see for himself the Yogashram conducted by Swamiji at Lonavla and Bombay. He asked me to stay with my sister till his return from Bombay. As there were summer holidays, I agreed to go to Mysore. On his return he asked me to continue my studies in Mysore.
In the beginning I enjoyed the school. My brother in law, though a very kind-hearted man, was hot-tempered. Gradually fear cropped up in me and I grew nervous even to stand or sit in his presence. I was asked by Krisnamacarya to practise Yoga asanas, but for several months no asanas were taught to me. However, when I tried to do some asanas on my own I found that my body was as stiff as a poker. It was impossible for me to do any bending. Shri Krishnamacarya did not teach me or permit me to go to the Yogashala. For several months I did not even know where the Yogashala was located.
Shri Krishnamacarya had brought up an orphan boy named Keshavamurthy. He had even celebrated the boy's thread ceremony and taught him Yoga. The boy was no doubt an expert. He and I shared the same room and he was my only friend and I felt sure that one day he would shine in life. But Providence willed otherwise. One morning in June or July 1935 he left all of a sudden and never returned. I was left alone. When Keshavamurthy was with us, Krishnamacarya used to wake us at four in the morning and ask us to water the garden. We were so sleepy that we used to close the door and sleep outside the house for   a few minutes and then start watering the garden. This task took us about an hour and a half.   When Keshavamurthy left, this share of the work also fell on me and I was ever hungry. I had no guts to ask even my sister for something to eat.
My brother-in-law needed someone to perform the asanas at the Yogashala in the place of Keshavamurthy who had left. This was the turning point of my life.
Till that time Shri Krishnamacarya did not think of teaching me Yoga asanas. Whenever
I asked him to teach me some asanas, he used to answer that it all depended upon one's Karma in previous birth. It was my good fortune that due to Keshavamurthy's absence my brother-in-law taught me for a few days and he thus became my Guruji.
My legs pained terribly, backache was unbearable. Out of fear, I could not express difficulties to anyone. For years I practised Yoga asanas mechanically and I had no interest in learning asanas in the beginning.
In 1937 after a demonstration I was asked to go to Pune to teach. It was a tremendous challenge. I had neither the pratical or theoritical qualificiation. Language was also a problem. I asked my self if I was to learn from books or needed practical knowlege and I chose the latter and started to practise 10 hours a day.................."
To present Shri B.K.S.iyengar’s teaching is like trying to describe the Himalayas. One could do it from the point of view of a geologist, a zoologist, a botanist, a meteorologist, an anthropologist, a native, a climber, a poet, a lay man, or from the myth. Nevertheless, they are all points of view. “The map is not the territory.” said Korzybski.
What follows is just another point of view and the reader will keep in mind the Italian saying: “traduttore, tradittore” (translators, traitors).
Here follow a few quotes from Shri Iyengar to rid the notion of a split between so called spiritual and physical yoga: (Traditionally this duality did not exist. All the arts in India are pointers towards the intuition of the free nature of consciousness).

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“The body is my temple asanas are my prayers.”

“Each pose teaches you the art of silence.”

“Each pose is free. Learn to diffuse it everywhere.”



Several specifics of this approach
1) Kriyavasta: Action and postural rituals. Sense of direction.
In postural language there are three rhythms that can be described as emanation, maintenance and resorbtion. These rhythms take their full signification in senses of direction which are the foundation of alignment.
In the beginning, external movement of different asanas will be used. Motion can be vertical, horizontal, spiroidal, expanding or, contracting. This is applied to the different parts of the body. Mobility moves towards action which is intelligence in motion, unfolding different and contrary senses of direction, some parts being stable, others mobile.
In this phase the body and its different parts become the object of a dynamicconcentration.

2) Vijnanacarasa: Awareness and sensations. Alignment.
In the first phase the dynamic concentration was fragmentary dividing the body usingmotion and action. This opens the gate of attention which is no longer focalised but unifies the parts into the whole. The image of warm oil spreading is used to describe that phase. Sensation is paramount and one observes the feeling of the body and its texture in the flow of the pose.
This phase is related to the concept of alignment or equanimity (samattva).

3) Cidakasha: The space of consiousness. Resorbtion of dynamism of poses in their source.
In this phase attention itself dies in the space of consiousness. All the dynamism of doing and action die out. The asana is a reflection of the source. The body-mind is an appearance in the space of consiousness.

4) Vinyasa Krama: Invocation, decantation and resonnance. The rhythms of silence. The art of sequencing.
The postural sequence is very important in Mr. Iyengar’s approach. The postures are like a necklace of pearls linked by the thread of consciousness. It is by sequencing that the postures whisper their richness and colouration and where they reveal their differerent energetic resonnances. Vinyasa Krama has several definitions:
> The starting point, how to move into, stay in and come out of a posture in accordance with the breath
> The gradual flow of postures synchronised with the breath
> The gradual progression of postures which have not been mastered over a certain length of time
> The precision in establishing and unfolding the postures
> The unfolding of the variations, modifications, and intensifications of postures
> The phase of resorbtion and the postures which unfold the feeling of tranquility

5) Trikala: Evolution, maintenance and postural dissolution. Timings in the postures.
The length of time in poses, which was not important in the beginning stages of learning, now becomes very important.
Longer timings in the poses are used to leave the verbal explanation of the body complex and establish a sensorial relationship.
Abhinavagupta speaks of two faces of the same energy. One of effervescence of the nature of fire, the other, earthed and of stability.
In the effervescence phase, the processes of awakening, budding, and unfolding elements from the sublter to the grossest, takes place.
Time spent in postures allows immersion in the form/shape of the pose, the breath patterns of the pose and therefore, the energetic resonnance of the pose. Then begins the process of involution, resorbtion and withdrawal which can be described as the practice of fainting or engulfing.

6) Saguna-Nirguna-Sahaja: From the props to the propless and the caress of the spontaneous.
The other huge contribution of Shri B.K.S. Iyengar’s teachings of yoga are the creation of props to help the postural practice.
Props are a very important aid to help awaken sensation and can be used as pointers towards “ the wonderful form of the supreme firmament.”
Correctly used, the props can become a source of intuitive understanding of the essence of a posture. They also allow access to previously unchartered zones in the body and permit different postural flavours.

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Institut de yoga Iyengar de Nice
The institute is dedicated to the practice of yoga according to the teachings of Yogacharya Shri BKS Iyengar.

All classes, workshops and teacher training are taught by Christian Pisano. The studio is fully equipped with all necessary props required for Iyengar Yoga.

Christian Pisano has been practicing Iyengar Yoga for many years. More than 35 years ago he lived in Pune for several years in order to be close to and learn directly from his guru, B.K.S. Iyengar. His philosophical inclinations are those of the non-dual approaches, especially that of the "Trika" system known as Kashmir Shaivism. He is one of only 3 teachers worldwide to have the Advanced Senior Intermediate Teachers’ certificate given by BKS Iyengar. He continues to study with the Iyengars annually in Pune and he is the Director of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Nice, France.

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Accomodation in Nice
For those wishing to attend our workshops or intensives in Nice and searching for accomodation, we often propose "Clair Hotel" which is 10 minutes walk away or the local “Hotel Commodore” or the less local “La Maison du Seminaire”. Although it is 25 minutes walk away, the latter overlooks the sea. Citea Nice Acropolis offers apartment accomodation and is also local. They do singles, doubles and up to 4 people.

All are adequate, clean and inexpensive, though there are very many other choices of hotels in Nice.

Clair Hotel
23 Bd Carnot, ImpasseTerra Amata 06300 Nice, France
Tel: 04 93 89 69 89

Hotel Commodore
10 rue Barberis, 06300 Nice, France
Tel : +33 (0)4 93 89 08 44

La Maison du Seminaire
29 Boulevard Franck Pilatte, 06300 Nice, France
Tel : +33 (0)4 93 89 39 57

Citea Nice Acropolis
42 Boulevard Risso, 06300 Nice
Tel. +33 (0)4 92 27 82 00

Certain of our Nice students sometimes offer accommodation to rent. Find out further on our Facebook, 'Institut de Yoga Iyengar de Nice' page where there are sometimes posts from them with their contact details.

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"Hero's Contemplation" by Christian Pisano

Hero's Contemplation book cover

The unknown, invisible hero of the ordinary goes through life like a whisper, pouring out his heart in every moment. At each instant he contemplates the eternally quivering, vibrant wheel of energies. By resting at their source, he remains at the centre of all things, of the Whole, savouring the caress of the Absolute.

His contemplation is the reverse flight of the Yogi, the motionless race towards and within the primary wave of energy, the supreme Spanda, source of all activity. A hero stripped of qualities who, at the end of desire and doing, devours all limitations so he may be immersed in the ultimate place of rest, the vibrant Heart of Bhairava.

Christian Pisano narrates the intuitive longing that pulsates behind our own personal story. A book, inspired by the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar and Kashmir Saivism, that at last places postural practice into the broader subject that is Yoga! It is a comprehensive and remarkable account of teachings, often unknown legends and hidden symbolisms behind the names of asana, accompanied by insightful quotations and wonderful illustrations and pictures.

Like a finger that points towards the moon, these precious ingredients point towards the Absolute."

Available from Yogamatters: & West End Lane Books, 277 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6 1QS:

"Le désert de Thar" a novel by Christian Pisano (in French only)

Le désert de Thar


'Iyengar - The Yoga Master'

Christian Pisano is one of several guest authors. To find our more about the book and how to purchase it visit:

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Official site of BKS Iyengar:

Facebook: Institut de Yoga Iyengar de Nice

Mark Dyczkowski (Kashmir Shaivism):

Association Française de Yoga Iyengar:

Iyengar Yoga Institute Maida Vale, UK:

Yogamatters (yoga equipment):

Anuttara (Iyengar Yoga Retreat centre near Bergamo in Northern Italy):

Iyengar Yoga Resources:

Information on Iyengar Yoga:

Advaita Fellowship (Advaita Vedanta):

The Wei Wu Wei Archives:

South West Iyengar Yoga Institute:

Centre de Yoga Iyengar de Marseille:

Iyengar Yoga Association of the UK:

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Institut de yoga Iyengar de Nice
79 boulevard Delfino
06300 Nice

tel: +33 (0)4 93 89 53 91

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