YOGACHARYA BKS IYENGAR 14th December 1918- 20th August 2014

Affectionately known to his students as "Guruji", BKS Iyengar studied and taught Yoga for over 80 years. His dedicated practice and teachings continue to inspire pupils of Yoga all over the world. He is widely respected for his achievements and is recognised as the most influential Yogi of our time.

He was born in 1918 and was the 11th of 13 children. He suffered from malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis as a child. His sister married Shri Krishnamacharya, a great scholar and Yogi who taught in the palace of the Maharaja in Mysore. Aged 15, Iyengar joined his sister in Mysore and learned Yoga from his brother-in law. Although he found it difficult he soon found that his heath was much improved. 

Guruji began teaching classes in Pune 1936 and later taught yoga to Yehudi Menuhin, who famously called him his “best violin teacher”. Menuhin invited Iyengar to London in 1954. Despite being confronted by racial prejudice, ridicule and total misunderstanding Iyengar succeeded in impressing students with his extraordinary demonstrations and instructions. His zeal, and understanding of Yoga was inspirational. His passion for the subject ignited interest in his methods and he was invited to teach Yoga in Europe, the USA and eventually in all five continents. 

At that time people were not taught Yoga in large groups and in India women were rarely permitted to learn. Iyengar made Yoga accessible to all and now women massively outnumber men as yoga practitioners. Guruji pioneered the use of Yoga equipment to extend the benefits of Yoga asanas to people with ailments. He innovated extensively in the field of therapeutic yoga. He believed Yoga was for everyone irrespective of gender, caste, class or creed. he said:

"Yoga is for all of us. To limit yoga to national or cultural boundaries is the denial of universal consciousness."

The wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras permeates his teachings. His book “Light on Yoga” has sold over 3 million copies and is translated into 18 languages. He created the first Iyengar Yoga Institute in 1975 in Pune, which his son Prashant and daughter Geeta and grand-daughter Abhijata continue to run with great skill and dedication today.