Iyengar yoga is the method of yoga developed by Mr Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (14th Dec 1918-20th August 2014), better known as BKS Iyengar.
Mr Iyengar is recognised as being a foremost exponent of yoga and significant in the introduction of yoga to the western world. Iyengar yoga is founded upon the philosophical text “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” which was codified over two thousand years ago. Patanjali states that yoga is about understanding ones own mind, so as to become free of suffering. Iyengar Yoga is essentially a study of consciousness that utilises asanas (bodily postures) as instruments to study the workings of the mind.
Mr Iyengar made a number of great contributions to yoga.
- He introduced and worked continuously to refine the methods of technique, timing, sequencing and repetition, so that the practitioner had a way of studying themselves
- The introduction of props brought the asanas to the level of the students and thus enabled all people regardless of ability, age or health to participate and have an experience of yoga
- He wrote a number of books including “Light on Yoga” now recognised as the ‘bible’ of yoga
- He established a school in Pune, India and has trained thousands of teachers from around the world
- He demanded a highly rigorous method of assessment for any person seeking to teach under his name. Iyengar national associations, institutes and schools are spread across the globe and must conform to his demanding and exacting criteria.
BKS Iyengar’s son, Prashant, and daughter Geeta are recognised as great teachers in and of themselves. They continue to teach at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute (RIMYI) in Pune.
Until his passing at the age of 95 in 2014, Mr Iyengar continued to teach and inspire students all over the world, to write and research and live his life according to the philosophical precepts of yoga.