BKS Iyengar’s Temple Of Yoga & India’s Traditional Celebrations

September 29 - October 8, 2024
BKS Iyengar Yoga Retreat Center Of Bellur, India
An 8 Day Intensive & Retreat Celebrating The Sacred Festivals Of The Yogic Tradition  

Retreat Activities & Curriculum



BKS Iyengar’s yoga method is a revival of the ancient integrative practices of the sage patanjali’s eightfold path of Ashtanga yoga. 


A fully integrative yoga simultaneously encompassing physicality, psyche, and spirit alike. 


Where guruji masterfully presented and taught these elevated practices, Sri Krishan Mantriji revealed through his teachings the philosophical teachings underlying them. 


The teachings of these two great gurus are the lens through which we will explore these maps of yogic scripture during our 8 day intensive.


Our gurus taught how the authentic Path of practice cultivates all the 8 limbs of the yogic path in equal unison. 


A subtle degree of oneness taking time, focus, and experienced guidance.


During each day of this intensive you will engage in 6 hours of integrative Yogic practice including Asana, pranayama, Japa mantra & scriptural study. 


Yama –  Moral Disciplines – An examination of the “Yoga of Right relationship” in light of the yogic themes of Pitri Paksha & Navaratri’s celebration of the Feminine Divine.


Niyama –  Daily Sattvic Observances – The daily routines & yogic lifestyle in Bellur will support us in upholding the Niyamas laid out in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.


Asana – Posture Practice In The Temple Of Asana – Gloria Goldberg guiding you in Iyengar Yoga Asana & pranayama with her many years of experience holds the key to all the subtle and powerful practices of this intensive. There will be a prime focus placed on Asanas for certain chakras which we will explore during the week’s philosophical teachings.


Pranayama – Control & expansion of breath: The synchronization of pranayama with japa mantra recitation will be emphasized, as taught by B.K.S Iyengar in Light on Pranayama. Being many miles from the city gifts us some of southern India’s cleanest air. Bellur is an ideal place to work with breath and prana. 


Pratyahara – Withdrawal Of The Senses – An oasis nestled among the silent hills, the stillness of the yoga hall enables you to practice inward mindedness without interruption from the outside world. You’ll be guided through a variety of sadhanas (yogic spiritual practices) to help you go deeper within.


Dharana, Dhyana, & Samadhi –  Exploration of the trinity of concentration, meditation, and meditative absorption will place emphasis on Mantra recitation & pranayama. The traditional rituals of the two festivals form the foundation of the meditations taught.


Many practitioners of Yoga simply focus on a few aspects of the eightfold path, yet the neglected pillars have long been known as The Forgotten Limbs of Yoga. 


Contemporarily, they’re rarely practiced in harmonious integration.


To reach heightened states of consciousness and deeper stages of asana, however, these forgotten limbs hold the keys to the development of the yogi. 


During our time together, you’ll experience what it feels like to practice in this classical integrative manner. 


Each day fully integrates all 8 limbs of yoga, in a way which we simply cannot accomplish online nor in just a few hours of study. 


When Iyengar wrote The Core of The Yoga Sutras  he emphasized that devotion – Bhakti –  is the direct route to Self realization. 


All other practices are merely slow and indirect. 


In this intensive you’ll explore the Tradition of Bhakti Yoga and learn many of the traditional rituals and sadhanas connected with the Devotional Path of Yoga.


The Yoga tradition’s most celebrated festivals also happen to be some of India’s dearest holidays. 


The rituals and spiritual practices of these auspicious festivals coincide perfectly with our retreat and beautifully integrate with Iyengar’s sadhana.


To come together at this time when the devotional practices are at their strongest is a blessing:


  • Pitru Paksha: The Festival In Dedication To Your Ancestors, Guru, & Spiritual Lineage


  • Maha Navaratri: The Nine Night Festival In Celebration Of The Feminine Divine


The first two days of our retreat explore this ancient and fundamental tradition of Pitru Paksha and the energetic anatomy of the muladhara chakra. You’ll journey into the practices of Asana & Pranayama which connect you to the strength and vitality of the chakra of your ancestors, the Muladhara chakra. 


You’ll learn the recitation of Mantras for appeasing the ancestors  to help recover and heal ancestral memories. We will likewise participate in a Traditional Ritual for the ancestors performed by Pujaris connected with the Bellur Centre.


After these first two days, our group will turn towards the Celebration of the Maha Navaratri Festival – The Celebration of The Feminine Divine.


This festival is commonly divided into 3 parts connected with the 3 forms of the Goddess: Durga, Maha Laksmi, and Saraswati.


This Festival’s 3 Stages Of Sadhana Include:


Stage 1 – Represented By The Shakti Of Durga: Practices to clear negative habit patterns no longer conducive to positive spiritual growth.


Stage 2 – Represented By Lakshmi: Nourishing and healing practices where we bring abundance, vitality & wholeness to our lives. 


Stage 3 – Represented By Saraswati: Transcendence, going beyond the known, where we want to break past our limits and grow spiritually. This is the stage where we hope to discover all the nuances and depths of ourselves. 


These rituals and festivities place you in the perfect environment at the best time to experience what it really means to be a yogi.


Whether it be the forgotten yogic practices of an Indian holiday or the intelligent asanas Iyengar’s method has become famous for, all practices and studies during this retreat will place utmost focus on a balanced integration of all limbs of the sage patanjali’s eightfold path of ashtanga yoga.


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