Lisa Towson has been a student of Iyengar yoga for 25 years and teaching for almost 20. She studies with senior teachers in Canada and internationally and returns to Pune, India regularly to learn directly from the Iyengar family. Lisa connects most with the joy of practicing and the day-to-day real life benefits of yoga. She teaches to inspire others to develop and deepen their own practice.
BKS Iyengar (1918-2014)
Yoga in the Iyengar Tradition
Sri BKS Iyengar was considered one of the foremost authorities on the subject of yoga. He approached the eight limbs of yoga from the platform of asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breath control), while enveloping his teachings in the wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. His first book, Light On Yoga, was published in 1966 and is considered to be the "bible of yoga". He went on to publish numerous books and teach around the world, continually sharing his evolving understanding. His compassion for his students led him to develop props and a methodology that allowed all people to practice and gain the benefit of yoga. The physical aspect of the Iyengar method covers a broad range of practice, from athletic and vigorous to gentle and therapeutic.
To learn more, please visit iyengaryogacanada.com
Land and Water Acknowledgement
Tamarack Yoga Centre is located in Treaty 2 Territory, traditional lands of the Anishinaabe nations Dauphin River, Ebb and Flow, Keeseekoowonin, Lake St. Martin, Lake Manitoba, Little Saskatchewan, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi, Pinaymootang and Skownan, as well as the traditional lands of the Métis Nation. Treaty 1 and Treaty 4 signing communities also reside within Treaty 2 territory.
Our drinking water comes from Riding Mountain National Park which sits inside Treaty 2 territory. Resources, including water, were not included in the treaty, and have been accessed without consultation with or permission from Indigenous communities. Terms of the Northern Flood Agreement, negotiated with five indigenous communities in Northern Manitoba in an attempt to define compensation for flooding due to hydro electric projects, remain unfulfilled.
To present a land and water acknowledgement comes with responsibilities to Indigenous nations, the people and their territories and to the plant and animal nations, geologic beings, and landforms that are present with us on the land. To offer a land acknowledgement is to also acknowledge that solidarity with Indigenous peoples demands an active and ongoing process of supporting the ability of Indigenous peoples to fulfill their traditional and spiritual responsibilities to land.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are the foundation of BKS Iyengar's work and provide us, as students of yoga, with a framework of ethical guidelines (Yamas) that direct our actions towards the benefit of all life. The Yamas are not so much moral commandments as they are skillful ways to relate to the world without adding to its suffering or our own; they hold us collectively accountable to a higher standard.
May we each consider finding ways to bring this accountability to our practice in the territories in which we live, work and play.