Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (14 December 1918 – 20 August 2014) was born in Karnataka, India. During his childhood, he struggled with bad health and had to suffer malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and general malnutrition. As he used to say: “My arms were thin, my legs were spindly, and my stomach protruded in an ungainly manner”.”My head used to hang down, and I had to lift it with great effort.
At 16 years old, to improve his health, he started to practice yoga in Mysore with the yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, but the young boy faced many difficulties during his studies. In order to achieve asanas, he found different techniques using furniture to guide his practice.
At 18 years old, he went to Pune to teach yoga and had the opportunity to teach noted personalities including Jiddu Krishnamurti and Jayaprakash Narayanan.
His meeting with the violonist Yehudi Menuhin, in 1952, transformed his indian career in an international one. Aldous Huxley, Anette Bening, Mira Nair and Elisabeth, Queen of Belgium were some of his students.
In 1966, Iyengar published his first book Light on Yoga. It eventually became an international best-seller , translated in 17 languages. It was followed by 14 other books on yoga.
In 1975, Iyengar opened the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune.
He was the first person to teach large group of students. He laid great emphasis on precision and alignment which was followed by his students. He got students to perform and break barriers. He brought about an automatic transformation in the mind and habits of people.
B.K.S.Iyengar (Guruji) is now a legend who has taught yoga in unique way to all his students. He found the meaning of the yoga sutras by his practical search and regular practice of yoga. His style of teaching yoga is called “Iyengar Yoga” and is now being followed by teachers and students across the world.
Iyengar died on 20 August 2014 in Pune, India, aged 95.