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Who was Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 3:56pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

World-renowned yoga guru and founder of the Iyengar School of Yoga BKS Iyengar passed away in Pune early this morning following illness. The 96-year-old yoga guru had been ailing since some time and was admitted to a private hospital here a week ago. He was put on dialysis after his condition worsened two days back. He breathed his last at 3.15 am. People from across the globe mourned his death.

Here is a brief about the life of BKS Iyengar

- Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (December 14 1918- August 20, 2014) founded the style of yoga known as "Iyengar Yoga" and is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He has written many books on the yoga practice and philosophy. Iyengar was a living legend who taught yoga in unique way to his students throughout the world.

At the age of 16, he was introduced to yoga by his Guru Sri T Krishnamacharya. At the age of 18, he was sent to Pune, Maharashtra by his guru to teach and preach yoga. 

In 1943, BKS Iyengar married Ramamani. He has five daughters namely Geeta, Vinita, Suchita, Sunita and Savitha and one son Prashant.

- Iyengar taught several eminent personalities such as J Krishnamurti, Jayaprakash Narayan, Achyut Patwardhan and many other physicians and industrialists. His teachings were well appreciated by Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Mohammad Hatta and other eminent personalities from different countries.

His meeting with the violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin in 1952 introduced him to the western World.

He laid the foundation of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune on January 26, 1973 and it was inaugurated on January 19, 1975.

His teachings were first published in 1966 as “Light on Yoga”. This book has been translated into 18 languages. He authored 14 books, including Light on Pranayama and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Iyengar also supported nature conservation and had donated Rs 2 million to the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore.

In 1998, he taught 800 students for a week on the occasion of his 80th birthday at Pune.

Again, in the year 2000, he conducted a special course for senior teachers from nearly 40 countries.

Various yoga institutions established by BKS Iyengar

- Pune: Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI)

- Mumbai: The Iyengar Yogashraya was inaugurated in 2001. It is run by the Light on Yoga Research Trust

Youth's Offerings to Guruji (YOG) was formed in 1996 with the objective of raising funds to propagate Iyengar Yoga. 

Iyengar also started a public charitable trust 'Light on Yoga Research Trust (LOYRT)' with a prime objective of propagating and research on Iyengar Yoga. 

- Bellur: Bellur Krishnamachar & Seshamma Smaraka Niddhi Trust (BKSSNT) was formed with a vision to serve the village Bellur with all the necessities.

Many renowed personalities and followers expressed their condolences on his death on the micro-blogging site Twitter




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