Yogacharya Shri B.K.S.Iyengar Guruji is a legend in the field of Yoga. He founded a new yoga style known as Iyengar Yoga which is being followed by millions of people around the world and has hundreds of certified yoga teachers.
B.K.S Iyengar has written many well-received books on yoga and philosophy such as light on yoga, light on pranayama, light on the yoga sutras of Patanjali and light on life. Iyengar Ji was one of the earliest students of famed yoga guru Tirumalai Krishnamacharya also known as “the father of modern yoga”.
Iyengar Ji is credited to popularize the art of yoga throughout the world. The Indian government awarded Shri Iyengar Ji, the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014. In the year 2004, Iyengar Ji was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the prestigious Time Magazine.
B.K.S Iyengar Ji is considered as one of the greatest yoga teachers of all time and is often credited to introduce yoga to the western world. His style of teaching had a great impact on western yoga followers which made him the epitome of yoga in the west. Precision and beauty mark the asana, and the regular practice he advocates integrates the body, mind and emotions.
B.K.S Iyengar Ji has taught yoga in a unique way to millions of people around the world. He practised yoga for years and after noticing the positive outcomes of yoga in his life he decided to spread his art of yoga throughout the world to cure people of mental and physical illness.
He wanted everyone to include yoga in their daily routine and experience the healthy benefits of yoga. Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar Ji was born on December 14, 1918, to a school teacher named Sri Krishnamacharya. During his childhood, he was struggling from malnutrition and a lot of dangerous diseases like malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis.
Then, He was introduced to yoga at the early age of 16 by his Guru and brother-in-law Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Shri Krishnamacharya advised him to practice yoga daily to improve his health and soon after he experienced a positive change in his health.
When he turned 18 he was sent to Pune, Maharashtra by his guru to teach and popularise yoga. This task took the opportunity from him to learn more insides of yoga directly from his guru. Iyengar considers shri krishnamacharya ji his inspiration and gives him the credit of shaping his life as a yoga teacher.
Shri Iyengar Ji started practising and experimenting with different yoga techniques for several hours a day which made him an expert. He taught yoga to many notable personalities such as Jiddu Krishnamurti (philosopher), Jayaprakash Narayanan (freedom fighter), Yehudi menuhin (violinist) and even sirsasana to 80 year old elisabeth (queen of belgium).
Guruji’s stint with these famous personalities made him a household name in the west which paved the way for his imminent success. Some other famous fans of Shri Iyengar Ji are Sachin Tendulkar, Mira Nair (film director), Kareena Kapoor, Donna Karan (fashion designer), Annette Bening (actress), Aldous Huxley (novelist).
On 26th January 1973, Guruji laid the foundation of Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, named after his wife Smt. Ramamani Iyengar. The institute was inaugurated on January 19, 1975. Guruji’s teachings were first published in 1966 as Light on Yoga which has been translated into 18 languages and has sold more than 3 million copies. His children (daughter Geeta and son Prashant) has also gained praise as famous yoga teachers.
The noun “Iyengar” has been added in Oxford dictionary which explains its meaning as “a type of Hatha yoga focusing on the correct alignment of the body, making use of straps, wooden blocks, and other objects as aids in achieving the correct postures.
In the year 2015, a Google Doodle has been made in the honour of Shri B.K.S Iyengar Ji. Shri Iyengar Ji used to practise asanas for 3 hours and pranayama for 1 hour daily at the age of 90 years. Guruji was the first person to teach large group of students.He is the only person to teach the highest aspects of yoga — Atma Darshan — through asanas.
Guruji rested in peace on 20 August 2014 in Pune from heart and renal failure at the age of 95 but left an invaluable legacy for all of us to follow in the form of IYENGAR YOGA.
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