In Honour of B.K.S. Iyengar

This past week, B.K.S. Iyengar, a pioneer in the practice of yoga and its rising influence around the world, passed away at the age of 95. After a brief battle with a kidney ailment, Iyengar departed peacefully, surrounded by friends and family in India. Though saddened by such news, the yoga community observes his life with gratitude for all that he contributed and all that he challenged us to be.

Born in Bellur Village to a very modest family, B.K.S. Iyengar was afflicted by several ailments as a child, including tuberculosis and typhoid fever. When he was 15 years old, a relative offered to teach him yoga in hopes that it would better stabilize his immune system. Iyengar began his practice with diligence and, at the age of 18, moved to Pune in order to teach yoga. The rest, as they say, is history.

During his lifetime, B.K.S. Iyengar wrote 14 books on the subject of yoga. His book “Light on Yoga” is largely responsible for popularizing yoga in the Western world. With a focus on the 216 asanas and an in-depth look at the benefits of yoga, this book has been an international bestseller, translated into 17 languages. Since then, Iyengar has been listed as one of the 100 most influential people of all time in the 2004 edition of Time magazine.

In addition to all of his hard work, a style of yoga known as Iyengar yoga has been developed. This is a form of Hatha yoga that offers an emphasis on alignment with each asana. With the help of props, Iyengar helps students move through any variety of the 216 yoga poses with precision, allowing students to experience each with minimal strain on the body. When done correctly, the goal is to build strength and stamina, while also focusing on the timing and sequence of the poses. This form of yoga has also been known to promote fantastic healing in the body.

At Yoga Tree Studios, we have used some of B.K.S. Iyengar’s books as part of our teacher training curriculum. His words have been an inspiration to both teachers and students of the program, enriching their lives and practices with each simple word of wisdom. Due to its incredible benefits, we also teach Iyengar yoga at some of our studios, and are hoping to have even more available at our upcoming Bay and Dundas location.

B.K.S. Iyengar once said, “I always tell people, live happily and die majestically.” We can think of no better words to describe his incredible life. Join us, as well as many other yogis around the world, in commemorating the memory and legacy of B. K. S. Iyengar with a communal practice taking place on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 starting at 8:30PM EDT. The Iyengar Yoga Association of United States (IYNAUS) asks yogis to practice the following sequence wherever they choose, taking as long they would like in each pose (unless otherwise specified), whilst holding the memory of Iyengar in their hearts.

Tadasana (3 minutes)

Uttanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Utthita Trikonasana to the right and to the left

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Uttanasana

Tadasana (3 minutes)


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