Yoga Masters

Yogacharya is the term of ultimate respect given to a teacher of Yoga. There are few who hold this title and those that do have dedicated their lives to Yoga, the study of yoga and imparting that knowledge by teaching others. These masters of the art have changed the face of the modern world and been instrumental in bringing Yoga and the philosophy of Yoga to the western world and beyond.

Great teachers, both past and present, have shared their styles and interpretations and in so doing have created vast followings of people around the world. Many of these have and continue dedicating their lives to Yoga and the continuation and expansion of this positively life changing art.

There are many styles and schools of Yoga and often the first one you experience, becomes the one that you will always return to and is the one at the basis of your practise. My own basis was in Iyengar Yoga and although I get huge enjoyment out of experiencing different types of yoga or schools of yoga, I am grounded in the purity of classical Iyengar.

This brings us to each Yogacharya and their story…

YogaCharya Sri BKS Iyengar

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BKS IyengarBKS 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 who  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….

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To learn more about Iyengar Yoga visit BKS Iyengar

YogaCharya Sri K Pattabhi Jois

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Sri K Pattabhi Jois

Sri K Pattabhi Jois

The late Sri K Pattabhi Jois was and will always be a renowned Ashtanga Yoga master, who was well known in the west where he had a big influence on the spread of Ashtanga Yoga.

He played an immensely important role in the teaching of yoga to the western world.

Pattabhi Jois was also a student of T Krishnamacharya from a young age, along with BKS Iyengar. You can learn all about the story of Yoga and how Krishnamacharya brought it back to the worlds attention on the Story of Yoga page.

In this short video, Pattabhi Jois talks about Ashtanga Yoga…

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More to follow on Pattabhi Jois. Namaste.