BKS Iyengar (1918-2014)
Internationally acknowledged as the modern master of yoga. He is honoured as a practitioner for his depth of understanding nurtured from his dedication to the eight limbs of astanga yoga as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. He is universally acclaimed for his teaching of the art, science and philosophy of yoga. During more than seventy years of teaching he developed an innovative and inspired the method of yoga which is taught under his name. He was affectionately known as Guruji. Guruji was also a pioneer of the therapeutic applications of yoga for the treatment of many medical conditions and physical problems. Medical professionals and researchers have recognized the efficacy of his method. Students of all abilities enjoy an enhanced sense of stamina, well being, relaxation and improved health. BKS Iyengar’s main teachings can be found in his books – Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Light on Life. Mr Iyengar’s daughter and son and grand daughter Abhijata continue to teach and refine this constantly evolving method of yoga at the Ramamani Yoga institute in Pune India. Teachers and practitioners from all over the world come regularly to develop their skills for their own development and to take back to their own communities. Geeta and Prashant also both hugely respected for their contribution to our understanding of this vast subject have written many books. ‘Yoga is for everyone. No one is too old or stiff, too fat or thin or tired’
Yoga builds strength and stamina, improves flexibility and calms the mind. Regular practice develops awareness and concentration and calms the mind. Iyengar yoga has a progressive approach which contributes to safe practice and prevention of injury. The emphasis on body alignment will bring greater stability and helps balance the mind and emotions as well as the body. Teachers devise sequences which build skill and understanding from posture to posture and class to class. Sequencing can bring huge therapeutic benefits. A sequence may be determined by purpose – weather time of day health injury the level of experience. With so many asanas there are many permutations and combinations. Geeta Iyengar has pioneered adapting yoga for every phase of a woman’s life these have been explained in many of her writings including Yoga A Gem for Women. Eventually as a practitioner the poses are held for a prolonged time. So it is essential to evolve the practice and develop strength and stamina.