BKS Iyengar can be said to be the Guru who was most instrumental in bringing Yoga to the West. This incredible man, who, at the time of writing this article, is 92 years old, will go down in history books as the most influential Yogacharya of the 20th and 21st century.
A Short History of BKS Iyengar.
BKS Iyengar, born in 1913 in India, started learning yoga at the age of 7, with his uncle, T Krishnamacharya, a man whoÂ is single handedly responsible for bringing the ancient art of Yoga back to the world! Iyengar suffered from many illnesses as a child, including Typhoid, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Influenza and this is what led him to take up Yoga under the instruction of his uncle. BKS Iyengar moved to Pune in India in 1938 and Pune has remained his home ever since.
BKS Iyengar Founds The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute.
In 1975 BKS Iyengar founded the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune. It is dedicated to his late wife Ramamani Iyengar, who was his greatest supporter. The Iyengars’ two children, Geeta and Prashant, are directors of the institute along with Mr Iyengar. They are both authorities in Yoga and have taught thousands of students from around the world. Geeta Iyengar has written two books and is an authority on prenatal yoga. Prashant has extensive knowledge of the scriptures and ancient texts and is an experienced violinist.
The architecture of the building is wholly representative of Yoga in true Iyengar tradition. The three floors represent the mind, body and spirit. The eight columns of the building represent the eight limbs of Astanga Yoga.
Iyengar yoga made popular the use of props like straps, bricks, benches and stools to name but a few. The use of these props during practise ensures the absolute correct execution of each asana which therefore enables the aspiring yogi to experience fully from the benefits of Iyengar method yoga postures. This focus on the correct alignment and positioning in each asana along with pranayama is most important, especially when using yoga therapuetically to treat illness and ailments.
The Institute offers yoga teacher training,workshops and of course Iyengar yoga classes, amongst many other offerings. Here, in this remarkable video, BKS Iyengar tells his story….
To learn more about Iyengar Yoga visit BKS Iyengar