B.K.S. Iyengar, Who Helped Bring Yoga To The West, Died Wednesday

Khrisnamacharya was the renowned Indian yoga teacher, Ayurvedic healer and scholar widely regarded as the father of modern yoga. He is responsible for bringing yoga to the West, but  did so largely through his disciples: K.Pattabhi Jois, his son T.K.V. Desikachar, and his brother-in-law, B.K.S. Iyengar. The lineages we practice today in America are essentially a remix of Astanga, Viniyoga and Iyengar, the paths to personal transformation defined by those iconic men.

The first style of yoga I ever practiced was Iyengar until I moved on to the tradition I now teach in, Viniyoga. Sadly on Wednesday, August 20, B.K. S. Iyengar died at age 95.

For more, read this story by Ellen Barry in the New York Times.

A young Iyengar

A young Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar, who helped introduce the practice of yoga to a Western world awakening to the notion of an inner life, died on Wednesday in the southern Indian city of Pune. He was 95.

The cause was heart failure, said Abhijata Sridhar-Iyengar, his granddaughter.

After surviving tuberculosis, typhoid and malaria as a child, Mr. Iyengar credited yoga with saving his life. He spent his midteens demonstrating “the most impressive and bewildering” positions in the court of the Maharaja of Mysore, he later recalled.

A meeting in 1952 with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, an early yoga devotee, proved to be a turning point, and Mr. Iyengar began traveling with Mr. Menuhin, eventually opening institutes on six continents.

Among his devotees were the novelist Aldous Huxley, the actress Annette Bening and the designer Donna Karan…

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