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International Yoga Day 2024: Who was BKS Iyengar, who taught yoga to world?

The 21st of June marks International Yoga Day, a global celebration that originated in India. The man credited with spreading yoga to approximately 60 countries is BKS Iyengar.

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International Yoga Day 2024: Who was BKS Iyengar, who taught yoga to world?
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The 21st of June marks International Yoga Day, a global celebration that originated in India. The man credited with spreading yoga to approximately 60 countries is BKS Iyengar. For him, yoga wasn't just a physical exercise; he saw it as an art, a science, and a philosophy.

Born in 1918 in Bellur, Karnataka, Iyengar moved to Pune, Maharashtra in 1937. He founded Yogavidya, his own institute, in 1975, which later expanded with branches abroad. Notably, he taught yoga to influential figures such as Jayaprakash Narayan, J Krishnamurthy, and renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

The global observance of International Yoga Day on 21st June aims to raise awareness about the multitude of benefits that yoga offers for both physical and mental well-being. Although yoga is now widely embraced by people ranging from celebrities to the general public, it was once unfamiliar in the West until BKS Iyengar took it upon himself to popularize it on a global scale. Often referred to as the "father of modern yoga," Iyengar received numerous accolades, including the Padma Shri in 1991, Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Vibhushan in 2014. He also authored 14 books on yoga techniques, which have been translated into 17 languages.

Regrettably, BKS Iyengar passed away from a heart attack in Pune on 20th August 2014, at the age of 95. His legacy lives on through the countless individuals around the world who have benefited from his teachings and contributions to the practice of yoga.

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