BKS Iyengar


B K S Iyengar was an outstanding human being whose vast contribution to human physical, mental and spiritual health cannot be quantified. Through his dedicated practice of yoga B K S Iyengar worked on himself to such an extent that he could help all yoga students from a raw beginner to yoga to an advanced practitioner of yoga. In addition, his ability to empathise with people with medical problems enabled him to help people with health problems of all kinds. There can be no other teacher who has contributed so much to the field of relieving human suffering and yoga therapy.

The origin of yoga philosophy is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. B K S Iyengar studied the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in a uniquely practical way and bought this to bear in his teaching of asanas and pranayama. In 1993 he published his own translation and commentary Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This was the third in his trilogy of publications bringing light to the world.

“Be inspired but not proud” B.K.S. Iyengar

The first was Light on Yoga published in 1966. This contains a concise summary of yoga philosophy, yoga asanas and how to perform them, and some pranayama techniques. The second, published in 1981, was Light on Pranayama which contains the theory, the art and the techniques of pranayama and the art of relaxation and meditation. The third was Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Later, in 2005, B K S Iyengar published Light on Life which is a book about life. The subtitle is The Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace and Ultimate Freedom. In his own words  B K S Iyengar describes the book as an attempt to light the way for you and other spiritual seekers. It aims to map out a path that all may follow. It offers advice, methods, and a philosophical framework at a level that even a newcomer to the practice of yoga may grasp. This book presents the culmination of B K S Iyengar’s understanding of yoga based on seventy years of practice.

Few practitioners of yoga have applied themselves consistently for so long and few have reached the level of practice and understanding achieved by B K S Iyengar. Without doubt he was one of the world’s greatest yoga teachers ever.

Biographical details can be found on the Official B K S Iyengar website bksiyengar.com

OBITUARY B K S IYENGAR (14.12.18-20.8.14)

Guruji died in hospital in Pune on Wednesday 20 August 2014, he left his mortal body at 03.15. He had been ill for a while and had been in hospital since 12 August 2014.

All the Iyengar Yoga students and teachers in Essex send their condolences to Guruji's family.

Our thoughts also go out to all who worked with Guruji at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute.

It is a sad time for all but it may help us to reflect on Guruji's tremendous work and a life well lived.

Guruji has left a huge legacy of yoga both through his inspirational teaching, his training of some exceptional teachers, his family, his many illuminating books, talks and demonstrations. In sum he has given a great deal to humanity.

Guruji shed light on all aspects of the eight limbs of yoga. As practitioners of yoga we have gleaned what we can from his teaching depending on our level of understanding and commitment to yoga practice. As Iyengar Yoga Teachers, with due humility, we must aim to reflect a little of the light Guruji has shed on us to our students and encourage them to progress beyond what we have managed.

Guruji's wide yoga family throughout the world will miss him but we are very privileged to have lived and worked with him. To have stepped on the path of yoga alongside one whose wisdom and light blazed forth is indeed a great honour.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krsna describes to Arjuna the characteristics of a perfect yogi (II55-59, 61, 64-72) which Guruji quoted this in Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (pp 228-9). It is well worth rereading with Guruji in mind.

Yoga Sutra I.48 also seems to describe Guruji, When consciousness dwells in wisdom, a truth bearing state of direct spiritual perception dawns.

To our dear Guruji we offer sincere thanks for his dedication to yoga, for bringing yoga to the West, for all his practice, all his teaching, all his teacher training, and all his remedial work. We resolve and pray that our practices and teaching may be worthy of his name.

Many students and teachers took part in the international Communal Dedication to Guruji on Thursday 28 August 2014 by practicing a simple sequence of asanas and sitting quietly to reflect on the life and work of this great man.

IYCE opened a book of condolences that was taken to the Iyengar family.