- B.K.S. Iyengar is considered by many to be the world’s foremost exponent of yoga, having devoted his entire lifetime to its study and dissemination.
- He began practicing yoga at 13 years old and teaching it at 18. He practiced and taught until his passing in August 2014.
- His reference point was always the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali (alive between 350-450CE), important classical Indian text explaining what yoga is and how to practice disciplined meditation to overcome human basic afflictions.
- ‘Light on Yoga’, his first book, took 6 years to write, and is now considered the ‘bible of yoga’. First published in 1966, it has sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone and has been translated in 26 languages.
- K.S. Iyengar opened his own Institute in Pune, India in 1975.
- His daughter and son, and granddaughter continue to teach and carry on with Guruji’s work at their centre.
- On the 14th of January 2015, after B.K.S. Iyengar’s death and on his birthday, a Google doodle was dedicated to him. See it here: http://www.google.com/doodles/bks-iyengars-97th-birthday
FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT IYENGAR YOGA
- Iyengar yoga concentrates on postural alignment and body awareness, not just for the alignment of one body part with another, but also for the functioning of the whole human being. If the body is aligned with precision then the breath is aligned with the same precision, and then the mind, emotions and senses become balanced.
- Standing postures form the foundation of each class and of everyone’s regular yoga practice. In these one learns the fundamentals of how to adjust and align the body correctly. In this manner the most advanced postures will be understood and practiced safely.
- With an emphasis on the standing poses, over time, other postures are added, including forward bends and back bends, twists, inversions and restorative poses. Each class ends with relaxation.
- Classes follow a monthly rota as set by the mother institute in Pune, of standing poses, forward and back bends, plus restorative practice, covered for a week each.
- As the student progresses, Pranayama (the control of the breath) is introduced.
FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT IYENGAR YOGA-
- Clear demonstrations and specific teaching points which awaken the body’s intelligence are the marks of an Iyengar Yoga teacher.
- Iyengar Yoga teachers modify the classic poses with the use of props, such as blocks, blankets and belts. Props allow for a deeper penetration into the posture, as well as a longer stay.
- Props are props to the awareness and body intelligence as they allow better understanding of each pose
- Teachers devise sequences of poses, which build skill and understanding, from posture to posture, and from class to class.
- Certified Iyengar Yoga instructors are held to an unusually rigorous standard. Only after 5 years of training and evaluation they become certified.
- Iyengar Yoga Associations established all over the world take care of certification procedures and standards as set by the mother institute in Pune.
- Teachers are expected to follow classes and be guided by Senior teachers, and also to visit the Indian mother institute, regularly.