Sparks of Divinity is a collection of the teachings of yoga master B. K. S. Iyengar first published in a French-English bilingual edition in 1976. The material for this book was gathered and compiled by Noëlle Perez-Christiaens from class notes and correspondence during the formative years of Iyengar’s international career. The entries cover the period from the late 1950s, when Iyengar was invited by Yehudi Menuin to teach in Gstaad, Switzerland, to the year following the death of Iyengar’s wife and the opening of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India.
When Noëlle first studied with Iyengar in Pune in 1959, Iyengar was still teaching his pupils one-on-one at his home. During her stay in India, Noëlle was regarded virtually as one of the household, and this intimacy continued in their subsequent letters, where Iyengar wrote to her more as a colleague and friend than as a teacher. We are fortunate to include Noëlle’s Indian Journal for 1959 and her Early Life of B. K. S. Iyengar, translated into English especially for this edition, for the intimate glimpses they give of Iyengar’s personal life and family.
Sparks of Divinity is also a testament to the deep bond between teacher and student. In an afterword about Noëlle, we learn how an early suggestion from Iyengar moved her in a completely new direction, and how she attributes her discoveries about Aplomb (natural balance) to Iyengar’s ongoing inspiration.