Letter from the President

Dear Fellow IYNAUS Members

Serving as president of IYNAUS has been a fascinating and sometimes challenging experience that has taught me much about our community of teachers and practitioners of Iyengar Yoga. One of the benefits of this office is that it brings me into contact with many wonderful members of our community whom I would otherwise never have met. 

Throughout my term on this board, we have made it one of our objectives to create more opportunities for communication and partnership between the national association and the regional associations. This has been done in a number of ways: through the creation of a Regional Support Committee (headed by board member Leslie Freyberg), through the program of Regional Conferences that has so far produced conferences in Providence (2009), Chicago (2011), and Washington, D.C. (2012), and by a change in our bylaws to create a new form of elections to the IYNAUS Board. Under the new system—which brings our organization more in line with what B.K.S. Iyengar has recommended in the revised Pune Constitution—regions will elect or appoint their representatives directly to the national board, with each region having either one or two members, depending on the size of the region. We will be working hard over the next few months to make sure there is a smooth transition to the new system of governance. 

The editors of this issue of Yoga Samachar—Richard Jonas and Pat Musburger—decided that this would be an ideal moment to celebrate the histories of the regional associations, and we have devoted a section of the issue to these histories. They are a reminder of what a rich and vibrant community we have in this country, from the coasts of New England to the deserts of the Southwest. I am struck by the number of individuals who have been involved in building these regional associations, and by the resiliency of what has in some cases meant rebuilding associations that for one reason or another had become inactive. We salute both the pioneers who set up these associations—some of them even before the national association was created—as well as the newer members who are now bringing their skills, energy, and enthusiasm to building ever stronger regions. 

This issue of Yoga Samachar also contains a number of other significant articles. There is an interview with Geeta Iyengar on teaching philosophy to youngsters, and an excerpt from Prashant Iyengar’s lectures on the occasion of Guruji’s 85th birthday. There are also articles on yoga and religion, the recent Maitri convention, and a long article on teacher education in the United States. We are excited to be able to bring so much important material to our members. As always, we welcome your feedback, not just about Yoga Samachar but about everything we do. 

Namaste,
Chris Beach,
President Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States