BKS IYENGAR AND HIS CONTRIBUTION TO YOGIC WORLD

Your yoga has been impacted by B.K.S. Iyengar regardless of the type of yoga you practice or the location—whether it’s Ashtanga at the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, Yee Yoga at Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, New York, or Anusara at Yoga Sangha in San Francisco.

Mr. Iyengar, who brought his brand of yoga to America for the first time many years ago, is mainly responsible for the enormous popularity of yoga in the West.

Many of his inventions are now considered norms:

He pioneered the use of props as teaching aids, changed the way we think about alignment, and taught us how to eliminate esoteric Hindu trappings without compromising the yoga quest for the union of body, mind, and soul.

The “father of yoga” label is frequently applied to BKS Iyengar. He was a kind, engaging, and challenging instructor passionate about sharing his knowledge with students worldwide. In 2014, BKS Iyengar passed away at the age of 95. Aside from his son Prashant, he had six children: Geeta, Vanita, Suchita, Sunita, and Savitha, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He also had a son named Prashant. His findings have demonstrated yoga’s ability to treat a wide range of illnesses, and the outcomes of his research have increased yoga’s legitimacy in the scientific and medical worlds.

And the Reason It Matters

The Iyengar Yoga School of Yoga was established and developed more than 75 years ago by Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar. Based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga, initially outlined by the great philosopher Patanjali more than 2500 years ago, Mr. Iyengar committed his life to build his yoga philosophy.

Mr. Iyengar developed yoga with the belief that it is not merely a physical practice but also an art, a science, and a philosophy.

Iyengar yoga is suitable for people of all ages and physical types. It is also known for emphasizing timing and accuracy and using Mr. Iyengar-designed props, which help practitioners perform asanas perfectly. Regular practice of Iyengar yoga unites the body, mind, and emotions.

Iyengar Yoga differs from other methods in using a uniform, consistent instruction methodology. Iyengar yoga teachers who have earned certification (CIYTs) have undergone rigorous training and examination.

The term “Iyengar Yoga” may only be used by CIYTs to describe their teaching methodology. CIYTs are qualified to explain each position in detail. They are skilled at extending the more seasoned student and assisting the less flexible learner by using affordable props to maximize the opening and awareness of the body. A universal, consistent system of instruction distinguishes Iyengar Yoga from other approaches. Iyengar yoga teachers that have attained certification (CIYTs) have undergone extensive training and testing.

Only CIYTs are allowed to refer to their teaching style as Iyengar Yoga.

CIYTs are qualified to give precise explanations of each posture. They are adept at maximizing the opening and awareness of the body by employing inexpensive props to assist the less flexible and extend the more experienced student.

Iyengar Yoga differs from other methods in using a uniform, consistent instruction methodology. Iyengar yoga teachers who have earned certification (CIYTs) have undergone rigorous training and examination.

The term “Iyengar Yoga” may only be used by CIYTs to describe their teaching methodology. CIYTs are qualified to explain each position in detail. They are skilled at extending the more seasoned student and assisting the less flexible learner by using affordable props to maximize the opening and awareness of the body. Instead of emphasizing immediate and transitory results, teaching emphasizes continuous improvement.

The CIYT created a unique sequence for each Iyengar Yoga session to lead students through a secure and orderly progression.

Through skillful instruction and practice, students develop vitality, clarity, and calmness by accessing the inner kosas (layers) of mind, energy, and spirit.

Iyengar yoga can be done at any stage of life and is a strong and sophisticated discipline. Wide-ranging advantages will help the practitioner in all facets of daily life.

Young Years

BKS Iyengar, born on December 14th, 1918, in Bellur, India, overcame tremendous poverty and disease at a young age by studying yoga.

He was the eleventh of thirteen children, and when he was five years old, the family relocated to Bangalore. BKS Iyengar lost his father when he was nine years old and suffered from severe starvation, malaria, TB, and typhoid throughout his young life.

Training in Yoga

At the age of 15, BKS Iyengar moved to Mysore with the permission of the yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya so that he may practice yoga and enhance his health.

Iyengar, however, had a difficult connection with his teacher, who frequently neglected the young Iyengar and provided little guidance, foreseeing that the rigid, ill-looking teenager would fail.

Iyengar, however, persisted despite his challenges and succeeded.

He relocated to Pune at 18 to disseminate yoga teachings.

Teaching Profession

BKS Iyengar and violinist Yehudi Menuhin met in 1952. A turning point in Iyengar’s teaching career occurred at this time. He started as a relatively unknown yoga instructor who accompanied Mr. Menuhin on his travels and later developed into a global guru who established centers on all six continents.

Aldous Huxley, Annette Bening, Donna Karan, and several well-known Indian people, including cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor, were among his devotees.

Famously, Iyengar taught the 85-year-old Queen Elisabeth of Belgium how to stand on her head.

Many people credit BKS Iyengar with introducing yoga to the West.His debut book, Light on Yoga (1966), which was published, became a best-seller worldwide. In honor of his wife, Iyengar founded the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune in 1975.

Although he stopped teaching informally in 1984, he remained active, teaching special classes, giving speeches, and authoring books.Geeta, Prashant, and Abhijata Sridhar, the granddaughter of Iyengar, are well-known teachers worldwide.

International Acclaim

BKS Iyengar received the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan honors from the Indian government in 1991, 2002, and 2014, respectively. Iyengar was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004.

Yoga/teaching method

To help his students comprehend the deeper meanings of each asana, BKS Iyengar advised them to practice asanas in various methods.Iyengar taught individuals from all walks of life about the more profound spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga by engaging pupils in this way. His method first attracted students for the physical stamina and flexibility necessary.

Iyengar was well known for his therapeutic method of practicing yoga.He began investigating how the asanas affected his body to devise solutions for helping students who came to him with specific issues.The Iyengar yoga has helped many people recover from disease and injury, including athletes, dancers, and musicians.

Orientation and Support

The physical alignment of the body in the poses is given priority in Iyengar’s approach, which is a variety of hatha yoga. According to this method, every student will eventually be able to achieve perfect positions via persistent practice. Each pose has a proper way to perform it.

Use of props was one of Iyengar’s key inventions

Blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters in yoga studios are commonplace these days. These props have a relatively recent place in yoga history and are directly related to Iyengar. The props’ main function is to help pupils maintain the best alignment possible as their bodies expand. Iyengar believed that once a student’s body is balanced, their mind will soon follow suit.

The Iyengar Approach: No Flow

Yoga practitioners often refer to the smooth transition from one pose to the next while breathing or exhaling as vinyasa flow. Vinyasa flow is rarely used in Iyengar yoga. Instead, positions are held for extended periods as the alignment is improved.

Iyengar yoga is, therefore, less demanding on the cardiovascular system than a more fluid form like Ashtanga. Holding the poses, however, is difficult, develops strength, and is excellent for improving flexibility.

Another reason why the Iyengar approach makes yoga accessible to a wide audience is the lack of vinyasa flow. For those who are not physically capable of practicing in a flowing style, it’s a terrific place to start.Iyengar is, therefore, among the most widely practiced yoga techniques worldwide.

Writings of Iyengar

Iyengar’s writings ae regarded highly and have evolved into classic yoga literature, helping him refine and popularize his practice method.The most notable is “Light on Yoga,” which details and shows numerous breathing exercises and hundreds of yoga poses. It was initially published in 1966.His other notable works include “Light on Pranayama,” which concentrates on breathing exercises, and “Light on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” a translation and analysis of these historic Yoga Sutras, from which Iyengar derived the conceptual foundation for his approach to yoga. His most recent book, “Light on Life,” discusses yoga’s psychological and spiritual facets.

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