Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar is one of the greatest yoga gurus who had a unique way of teaching yoga to his students. He was a pioneer who took yoga globally. Also known as B.K.S. Iyengar, was the inventor of "Iyengar Yoga". This style of yoga is followed by certified yoga teachers all around the world. He was born on December 14, 1918, and was a student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, also known as "the father of modern yoga.

Guruji was one of the first persons to teach large groups of students. He laid great emphasis on precision and alignment which is followed by his students. He got students to achieve levels of practice which seemed to be beyond their abilities.

He brought about an automatic transformation in the mind and habits of people.

Iyengar published his book "Light on Yoga" in the year 1966 and this was his first teaching that was made available to people all around the world. Today this book has nearly 18 translation.

In Pune, guruji laid the foundation of Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) on 26th January 1973. The yoga institute was named after his wife Smt. Ramamani Iyengar.

Guruji had taught a large number of students throughout his life and he laid great importance to alignment and precision in yoga. Thays why in 2004, Time Magazine named Iyengar as one of the hundred most influential people in the world.

He transformed the mind and body of his students beyond their ability through his unique style of yoga known as "Iyengar Yoga".

Childhood of B.K.S. Iyengar [Early Life]

B.K.S. Iyengar was born on 14 December 1918 in Kolar District of Karnataka and died on 20 August 2014. His father was a school teacher and he belonged to a very poor family.

When he was born he was attacked by harmful diseases as influenza epidemic was all around the town at that time.

His school days were also limited as he struggled from typhoid, malaria and tuberculosis and general malnutrition. Apart from having all this misfortune Iyengar still surprisingly lived for 95+ years becoming one of the most renowned yoga teachers in the world.

What is Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga is a purist form of yoga named and developed by B.K.S Iyengar in the 1960s. The main focus is on detail, precision and alignment of the physical body in the performance of yoga postures (Asanas).

Iyengar Yoga can be performed by paying close attention to details of your breath control (pranayama), precision and alignment of each posture.

Asanas or postures are held for a long period of time, this allows the muscles to relax and lengthen, and increases awareness in the posture.

Iyengar Yoga is used in moderation with props, such as belts, blocks and blankets to assist guidance to young students, old and physically impaired people in correct working of asanas.

The main difference between Iyengar's Yoga and other forms of yoga is the use of props, sequence and precision.

The props enable beginning students, the elderly, or those with physical limitations to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain.

13 Famous Quotation by Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar

  • My Body Is My Temple And Asanas Are My Prayers
  • Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
  • Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.
  • Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.
  • Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.
  • It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.
  • Breath is the king of mind.
  • Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.
  • Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.
  • Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.
  • There is no difference in souls, only the ideas about ourselves that we wear.
  • Be inspired but not proud.
  • The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.

What makes Iyengar yoga different?

In this style of yoga, attention is given to postural alignment which helps in solving postural and structural problems.

It miraculously releases anxiety and stress just by paying attention to the details of posture. Concentration and effort are required throughout the movement.

Iyengar yoga is all about the quality of movement rather than quantity, to encourage safety throughout your practice.

An Iyengar class ends with re-energising postures so that you leave feeling full of life and energy.


It is good for stability and awareness, helps in improving overall posture and can be therapeutic for specific conditions. It is excellent for building strength and flexibility.

It also protects from diseases, relieves pain and calms the mind.

Very effective for building toned muscles and improves breathing and lung capacity for deeper meditation.

Personalities he taught

B.K.S.Iyengar taught many students including physicians and industrialists throughout his life. Few of the personalities he trained are Jayaprakash Narayan (Indian independence activist, theorist, socialist and political leader), Jiddu Krishnamurti (philosopher, speaker and writer), Achyut Patwardhan (was an Indian independence activist and political leader and founder of the Socialist Party of India).

Books Written By B.K.S Iyengar

B.K.S Iyengar has written various books on yoga practice and philosophy. Some of his famous books are Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Core of the Yoga Sutras: The Definitive Guide to the Philosophy of Yoga, Light on Life, The Tree of Yoga and Light on Yoga.