Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, professionally known as BKS Iyengar is known across the globe as a founder of the type of yoga named “Iyengar Yoga”. He is taken as one of the modern pioneers in the teaching of yoga. He was born in the year 1918, 14th December. He has written numerous books relating to yoga practice and its philosophies which include his masterpieces like “Light On Yoga” , “Light on Pranayama”. He was the student of the person regarded as the father of modern yoga whose name was Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. His bio include following details. He has been awarded with the renowned title Padma Shree in the year 1991 by the Indian Government was awarded with another title named “Padma Bhusan” in the year 2002. The Times magazine was named as one of the most influential persons in the earth in their list of 100 most influential people in the world in the year 2004. He was born in a very poor family in the village of Bellur, at the district of Kollar which is situated in the state of Karnataka, India.
He was 11th of the 13 children his father and mother had but among those 13 only 10 had survived. His father’s name was Sri Krishnamachar who was a school teacher and his mother’s name was Sheshamma. When he stepped on the fifth year, all of their family members shifted to Bangalore but unfortunately in the fourth year, his father died because of appendicitis. His hometown was gripped by the pandemic of influenza during the time he took birth; that was the reason that among 13 children, only 10 survived.
He had to struggle against Malaria, Malnutrition, Typhoid, and tuberculosis. He said that his arms were thin and legs were spindly and his stomach howled in an ungainly manner. In the year 1934, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya asked the teen Iyengar to come with him to Mysore so that he could improve his heath through health practice. That was the first stepping stone for Iyengar in the yoga discipline. He learned different yoga asanas in the place and slowly improved his health. He along with his brother-in-law and other students gave different yoga demostrations on the court of Maharaja at Mysore which created a positive vibe on Iyengar. No wonder, he considers that his decision to go with his brotheriin law was the greatest decision he ever took. He also said in an interview that in the period of 2 years, he was taught only 10-15 days but those few days were enough for him to become who he is today.
A person named K. PAttabhi Jois claimed that it was not his brother in law who was his guru, it was K. PAttabhi Jois himself. He was sent to Pune at the energetic age of eighteen by his brother in law to spread the teachings on yoga. He moved to Pune because of motivation by Krishnamacharya in the year 1937 just to teach yoga. He spent majority of his lifetimes just by teaching yoga and experimenting different techniques.
He taught yoga along with his wife Ramamani to different noted personalities in different fields which include Yehudi Menuhin, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Jayaprakash Narayan; he also had the opportunity to teach sirsasana to the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium at her early eighties. Other pupils of him were the actress Annette Bening, Aldous Huxley, and designer Donna Karan. His pupils were the brightest in their field, Sachin Tendulkar, and Bollywood actress Kareena KApoor learned yoga asanas with him. This great human who brought a new era in the field of Yoga breathed his last in the year 2014, 20 August at the age of 95 because of renal and heart failure.