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  • Writer's pictureAngela Lane

B K S Iyengar (1918-2014)

B K S Iyengar (1918-2014) is one of the most notable yoga teachers of the 20th century. He was born in Bellur India, into a large poor Brahmin family and was a sickly child. At the age of 14 he was placed into the care of his sister and brother-in-law Krishnamacharya, the venerable scholar of philosophy and Sanskrit.

Krishnamacharya recommended a rigorous yoga regime to knock Iyengar into shape. This marked a turning point for BKS Iyengar, who went on to become the legend, whose influence is found in yoga studios everywhere. He wrote, travelled, taught and lectured around the globe for more than sixty years.

His works include his now classic treatise Light on Yoga (1966), a seminal work featuring photographs of Iyengar demonstrating and describing hundreds of asanas, all required for the demanding internationally certified teacher training. He went on to publish a plethora of works including a translation and commentary of the Yoga Sutras in his Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1966); a definitive guide on breathing Light on Pranayama (1981) and much more.

In 2004, BKS Iyengar was named as one of the hundred most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

Iyengar Yoga is characterised by its attention to detail, precision, alignment, timing in poses, sequencing and the use of props. With sustained practice, integration develops and when integration is sustained, it becomes meditation. For BKS Iyengar, yoga is “the path which cultures the body and senses, refines the mind, civilises the intelligence and takes rest in the soul, which is the core of our being”


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