When Iyengar was writing Light on Pranayama


“When Iyengar was writing Light on Pranyama,his guru had warned him that he could speak on pranayama if he liked, but that he should not write a word on this esoteric practise. But Iyengar had already committed himself to his publisher.

The process of writing was the same. On the Deccan Queen to and from Bombay, Iyengar would spend time formulating his thoughts and putting them down on paper. The next week, in sessions with Barzo and now a new collaborator, Madhu Tijoriwala, these would be crystallized into prose. When Iyengar began work on Light on Pranayama, there were more hands and minds to help put it together. Just like in the old days, this group of teachers would sit together and brainstorm on what should be added, what should be left out and how it could all be better expressed. By now Martha Wartenberger had passed away, so it was Tijoriwala who would convince Barzo to give up le mot juste and concede to Iyengar’s wishes.
When it was ready, Sundara took it to Krishnamacharya. His guru took the book and asked Sundara to return at four the next evening. Sundara did not dare ask him for a foreword this time. When Iyengar returned, he asked his guru if he had looked through the book. ‘Yes. I have read it. You can take it back.’ Sundara, hungry for some acknowledgement from his guru, said, ‘What did you think of it?’
‘I have written inside,’ said the guru. Sundara was happy to accept that as his guru’s blessing. It became the foreword to his second book.”

A Life of Light: The Biography of BKS Iyengar
Rashmi Palkhivala