B.K.S. Iyengar

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does B.K.S. Iyengar Mean?

B.K.S. (Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja) Iyengar (1918-2014) was the founder of Iyengar yoga, a style of Hatha yoga most notable for it’s exacting attention to proper alignment as well as the use of props to assist asanas. Iyengar was pivotal in spreading and popularizing Hatha yoga in the West. He was considered one of the most reputable yoga teachers worldwide, teaching thousands of devoted students. He authored many books on the philosophy and practice of yoga, most famously “Light on Yoga,” which became an international best-seller and is still considered a foundational book in yoga asana practice.


Yogapedia Explains B.K.S. Iyengar

After a difficult and sickly childhood, B.K.S. Iyengar was inspired by his brother-in-law, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, to begin learning and practicing yoga for his own health. After having completed his studies with his guru, Krishnamacharya, Iyengar was instructed to begin teaching yoga. He was only 18 years old.

Iyengar became influential in the West after teaching the violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, who invited him to Switzerland in 1954. After this initial visit, Iyengar began visiting Western countries regularly to teach yoga.

In 1975, after the passing of his beloved wife, Iyengar established Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India. In 1978, students of Iyengar established the Light on Yoga Research Trust (LOYRT) with it’s headquarters in Mumbai, India.

B.K.S. Iyengar was named one of “Time Magazine’s” most influential people in 2004. He had many children, several of which continue to teach yoga out of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute. They are Geeta S. Iyengar and Prashant S. Iyengar.

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