O Gúruji, born under Jupiter,
they called you Lion of Poona,
the Michelangelo of Yoga, fierce.
A sickly child, you almost died—
Typhoid, Malaria, TB.
But you were born of fire.
Beaten into yoga by your guru—
you survived. He sent you off to teach.
You called out the yoga mystics,
How can you know God if you don’t know
your own big toe? You challenged us to breathe
through every cell, be the One who sees.
Guided by Patánjali, you strove—
honed your sword, cut through, unyoked the Soul.
In Memoriam: B.K.S. Iyéngar, India (12/14/1918 – 8/20/2014)
John W. Steele is a psychologist, yoga teacher and graduate of the MFA Poetry Program at Western Colorado University, where he studied with Julie Kane, Ernest Hilbert and David Rothman. His poetry has appeared in Amethyst Review, Boulder Weekly, Blue Unicorn, The Lyric, Society of Classical Poets and Verse-Virtual. One of his poems was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart prize, another won The Lyric’s 2017 Fall Quarterly Award.