When we research back to the yogis that made an impact on the yoga practice and yoga teacher training we see today the name BKS Iyengar pops out at us. The full name of BKS Iyengar is Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar and he is one of the most famous yoga gurus in the world.
This yogi is responsible for founding the Iyengar Yoga. He has been teaching people the love of yoga for over sixty years and has also authored many books on yoga practice, philosophy and many yoga texts. Some of his more popular books are “Light on Yoga”, “Light on Pranayama”, and “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.”
He has made quite an impact on the yoga studies around the world. You can find a yoga studio that specializes in Iyengar yoga all over the world.
Background and Childhood
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar was born on December 14, 1918. His father was a teacher and he learned how to become an educator by watching. He was always fighting some sort of illness during his childhood which left him weak and frail. When he turned 15 he went to live with his sister and her husband who was a scholar yogi. It was in this school that Iyengar would learn about yoga. At the early age of 16 he was introduced to yoga and was sent at the age of 18 by his guru yoga teacher to teach and preach yoga to others. This opportunity may have taken him away from a personal yoga teaching experience with his guru, but it allowed him the opportunity to grow and explore his own practice while teaching yoga to others and sharing the love of yoga.
International Recognition for Yoga
As time moved forward BKS Iyengar was slowly becoming a known name in the yoga teacher world. His name spread and he started becoming more known and then began writing books on yoga. His first book was published in 1966 and was called “Light on Yoga” which became an international best seller.
In 1973 he laid the foundation for his Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute located in Pune which was named after his late wife. Two of his children followed in his path to become yoga teachers and are now part of the yoga teaching at the institute.
Iyengar Yoga consists of eight different aspects which are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Prtayahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Iyengar yoga is a style of yoga that serves as a way of life for everyone. Anyone is able to practice this style and if modifications are necessary you can use props. Some of the props that can be used during yoga teachings are: belts, ropes, blocks which will allow you to achieve the right alignment during asanas. Having a regular practice of Iyengar Yoga will create an integration of your body and mind.
In 1984 BKS Iyengar officially decided to retire from teaching on a regular basis. He continued to take medical classes and would teach at special events as well as continuing his important role of promoting yoga across the globe and being involved in his institute and its charitable foundation. At this point in time he felt even though he was still able to physically continue with his yoga practice, it was time to let the next generation come in and give their practice the influence it deserved. The institute still runs regular yoga teaching classes which are still quite popular in the yoga community. Your yoga teacher could be his daughter or son but either way you will have the opportunity to practice with a senior yoga teacher.
Recognition for his Work
He has many influences in the world of yoga and for this he was recognized by the government of India with two different awards:
Padma Shree in 1991
Padma Bhushan in 2002
As BKS Iyengar sets a great example of the yogis in our world, he is known for his style and influence everywhere. Yoga teacher training gives you the ability and knowledge. Accuracy and beauty mark the asana and with a regular practice you can connect the body, mind and emotions.