"I always tell people; live happily and die majestically."
- B.K.S. Iyengar 1918-2014
Yoga is one of the oldest systems of personal development in the world. It is a complete system for balancing the body, mind and spirit. It was first systematised by the great Indian sage Patanjali over two thousand years ago.
B.K.S. Iyengar devoted his life to the study of yoga and dissemination of the Iyengar Yoga method, which is now the world’s most widely, practiced system of yoga. The Iyengar system places great emphasis on detail, body alignment and precision. He is famous for his therapeutic yoga and his techniques are applied to help heal those with chronic and acute ailments and diseases.
Iyengar has written a number of important books and ‘Light on Yoga’ is regarded by many as ‘The bible’ of yoga.
Born on 14th December 1918 in Bellur, India, Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar was a weak and sickly baby. By thirteen he had suffered with malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis. At sixteen he went to live with his brother-in-law Sir T. Krishnamarcharya who taught yoga at the palace of the Maharaja of Mysore. Krishnamarcharya gave Iyengar basic instruction in yoga asanas. At first he struggled, finding the asanas difficult and painful but with determination he progressed and gradually improved, further motivated by his steadily improved health.
From then Iyengar made rapid progress and began to give yoga demonstrations around the country. By eighteen he was teaching and over the years he practised diligently to acquire an in-depth knowledge of each asana.
Iyengar’s reputation grew and he gained many influential students including the violinist Yehudi Menuhin who became a devoted student and helped introduce Iyengar to the western world in 1954. Iyengar taught in London, Paris and Switzerland and with his reputation spreading across the globe, he first visited The United States in 1956.
In 1975 the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute in Pune was opened. Named after his beloved wife, it is here where Iyengar conducted many yoga classes, along with his eldest daughter Geeta and his son Prashant and his granddaughter Abhijata. The institute is an internationally renowned centre of excellence with highly oversubscribed classes that are taught by Geeta, Prashant and Abhijata and other senior teaches that have trained under Iyengar’s strict tutelage.