Bellur Krishanamachar Sundararaja Iyengar was born in 1918 in Belur village, located in south India, in poor family and very harsh circumstances.
Bellur Krishanamachar Sundararaja Iyengar was born in 1918 in Belur village, located in south India, in poor family and very harsh circumstances. His mother died shortly after his birth, and father left young Iyengar when he was 9. During his childhood he undergo many different illnesses, including malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid and underfeeding. As a teenager he started taking Yoga lessons under guidance of his brother-in-law Krishnamachar, appreciated Yoga teacher. Iyengar’s experience in Yoga practice and teaching is over 70 years.
Iyengar developed his knowledge with his master, and soon he became a maker of his own method, which relayed on careful and precise arranging body in asanas. To his method he also implemented many supports – blankets, rolls, mats, belts which makes exercises more stable. These additions are precise and easily accessible for everyone, no matter their age or experience with yoga.
Iyengar focused his work on asana and pranajama, two main levels of yoga. He said that, for people of today, it’s surprisingly, but also unbeatable way to achieve peace of mind. His practice proved that balancing symmetry of one’s body is a fundamental basic.
In his teaching he especially put a lot of emphasis on precision while doing exercises. Only because of that it was possible to receive and progress in work with muscle and joint block. Also, accuracy had impact in stability, health and spirit lightness. Mastering asans’ techniques gave him possibility to practice pranajama, which is responsible for calming and strengthening mind.
During 60s he started publishing texts about techniques and philosophy of yoga, which nowadays are recognized as classics. In 1975 he found Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, where he taught for next 10 years. In 1991 he received high Indian commendation – Padma Shri, then, in 2002 – Padma Bhushan, and 12 years later Padma Vibhushan. In 1984 officially he abandoned teaching yoga, but he still took part in many seminars and events. His last opus is Yoga: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH (2001)
His knowledge finds recognition all over the world. As a teacher he taught Jiddu Krishnamurti, Aldous Huxley, Belgian queen Elizabeth and famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Iyengar’s pupils often referred to him as Guruji which means teacher, who lighten up darkness of spiritual doubt. That term perfectly sums up what yoga is – clean and simple. B.K.S Iyengar is said to be the most prominent hatha-yoga authority of our times.
Iyengar left his physical body August 20, 2014.
He is author of classical textbooks teaching about asan and pranajam.
“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”