BKS Iyengar’s pioneering work has touched the lives of people from many different backgrounds. His methodical system of Yoga is taught worldwide by himself and his pupils trained under his exacting guidance. His ideas have had a profound influence and have even been taken on by other schools of yoga.
BKS Iyengar was born in 1918 into a large, poor family in southern India. His childhood was marked by serious illnesses such as malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis, as well as malnutrition.
At the age of fifteen, he was given instruction in yoga by his brother-in-law Professor T. Krishnamacharya. With practice his health started to improve. In 1937 his Guru asked him to begin teaching. Through extraordinary dedication and long hours of practice his understanding of yoga increased and his reputation as a teacher spread.
In 1966 his book, the unsurpassed “Light on Yoga” was published. Since then he has published many more authoritative yoga texts.
In spite of his celebrity BKS Iyengar lives a simple life and, though now in his eighties, continues to practise, research, teach and inspire lovers of yoga the world over.
"How can you find Peace of Mind when there is no peace in the body?"
The word “Iyengar” is synonymous with excellence in Yoga and he is known to almost everyone who practises the subject. His influence in the world of Yoga continues to be unparalleled in modern times and he is widely accepted as the world’s foremost authority on Yoga.
Today Yoga has become a household word largely thanks to Iyengar’s groundbreaking books and many years of teaching in India and around the world. Since his first visit to Europe in 1954 at the invitation of his pupil, Yehudi Menuhin, Iyengar has done more to propagate the growth of Yoga than any other person. Through his devotion he demonstrates that Yoga is not merely a fashionable exercise routine but an enduring spiritual subject.
Iyengar’s contributions to the subject have earned him global fame as well as prestigious awards from governmental, academic and spiritual authorities, in India and around the world.
Iyengar has devoted his life to practising Yoga. He continues to practise at the age of 92. He is a virtuoso of his art who seeks recognition only for the immeasurable value of Yoga’s ancient teachings and not for himself.
BKS Iyengar’s students have coined the term “Iyengar Yoga” to describe his systematic method of teaching classical yoga. It has become the world’s most practised method. The Iyengar method is renowned for its clarity, systematic approach and accessibility; it is practised by people of all ages, and, in all walks of life. It addresses the needs of ordinary people as well as those with particular health needs such as sports people and those with health problems. It is both a challenging and enjoyable way to learn Yoga and experience a feeling of balance, vitality and contentment.
Iyengar developed Yoga as a therapy to help people with a vast range of health problems and disabilities – physical, mental and emotional.
It was Iyengar who devised the use of everyday objects such as chairs, belts, walls and wooden blocks as props in the postures to enable every type and level of practitioner to attain the correct and beneficial effects of yoga in each pose,
Through his discoveries and innovations Iyengar has established himself as the definitive authority on the performance of yoga asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath control).