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BKS Iyengar - 12.14.1918 - 8.20.2014







B.K.S. Iyengar Dead At 95


Yoga legend B.K.S. Iyengar passed away today at age 95.

In remembrance, here are 10 of our favorite quotes from the man who inspired so many yogis around the world:

1. "Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open."

2. "Penetration of our mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat."

3. "The highest point of yesterday should be the lowest point of today."

4. "Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."

5. "Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions."

6. "When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world."

7. "Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame."

8. "Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the Inward Journey to discover it."

9. "Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they're meant to be."

10. "I always tell people, live happily and die majestically."


B.K.S. Iyengar who took yoga to world is dead

Pune (Maharashtra), Aug 20 (IANS) World renowned Yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar, who founded the 'Iyengar Yoga' died at a private hospital here early Wednesday, an aide said. He was 96.

A widower, he was suffering from age-related ailments and breathed his last around 3.15 am.

The funeral will be held here later Wednesday.

Author of several books on Yoga, its practice and techniques, Iyengar was conferred the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and Padma Vibhushan in 2014 and was in 2004 named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential personalities, among his many other national and international honours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Iyengar's death and said he will be remembered as a fine guru and scholar.

"I am deeply saddened to know about yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar's demise and offer my condolences to his followers all over the world," Modi tweeted.

"Generations will remember B.K.S. Iyengar as a fine guru, scholar and a stalwart who brought yoga into the lives of many across the world," he added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan expressed grief over Iyengar's death, saying he would be remembered for his dedication to yoga.

"We have lost a versatile personality who popularized yoga," Chavan said in a tweet.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said Iyengar's spread Indian culture to the whole world through the medium of yoga.

Born Dec 14, 1918 in a poor Brahmin family of Bellur in Karnataka as Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, he was a sickly child, having fallen victim to malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis in his early childhood.

In 1934, when he was 16, the young Iyengar was introduced to yoga by his teacher T. Krishnamacharya as a cure for all his childhood illnesses, and after two years sent to Pune to propagate yoga as he understood some English.

Gradually, he developed the 'Iyengar Yoga', exploring the meaning of yoga sutras by his practical search and practice of Yoga, integrating the body, mind and emotions. This 'astanga style' is now recognized and followed by certified yoga teachers globally.

In 1943, he married 16-year old Ramamani and the couple had six children - daughters Geeta, Vinita, Suchita, Sunita, Savitha and son Prashant. Geeta and Prashant worked with Iyengar in teaching and propagating yoga till his end.

Over the years in his yoga practice, several eminent personalities became his disciples, including J. Krishnamurti, Jaiprakash Narayan, and Achyut Patwardhan.

In 1952, he had a chance meeting with the legendary violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin who introduced him to the western world and helped conduct a series of yoga lectures and demonstrations in Europe, US and other countries.

Among his prominent international students was Queen Mother Elisabeth of Belgium, whom he taught 'sirshasana' (head stand yoga posture) at her age of 80.

China's Beijing Post issued a commemorative stamp in his honour in 2011, while Oct 3, 2005 was celebrated as B.K.S. Iyengar Day by San Francisco.

In 1975, Iyengar started the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune in memory of his wife who died in 1973.

Among the books he penned were "Light On Yoga", "Light On Pranayama" and "Light on the Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali", all of them bestsellers.



India yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies

BKS Iyengar
Mr Iyengar's yoga is now taught in more than 72 countries
Indian yoga guru BKS Iyengar has died in the western city of Pune, aged 95.

Mr Iyengar was admitted to hospital last week and died early on Wednesday following kidney problems, doctors treating him said.

Mr Iyengar was credited with his own brand of yoga, and taught author Aldous Huxley and violinist Yehudi Menuhin, among other celebrities.

Iyengar yoga is now taught in more than 70 countries and the guru's books have been translated into 13 languages.

One of yoga's finest teachers, Mr Iyengar practised what he called an "art and science" for more than eight decades and ran one of India's top yoga schools in Pune.

He continued to practice - "practice is my feast", he once told a correspondent - in his old age and could still do the sirsasana - or the headstand - for half an hour until last year.

He used around 50 props, including ropes and mats, to align and stretch the body.

"When I stretch, I stretch in such a way that my awareness moves, and a gate of awareness finally opens," Mr Iyengar told the Mint newspaper last year.

"When I still find some parts of my body that I have not found before, I tell myself, yes I am progressing scientifically... I don't stretch my body as if it is an object. I do yoga from the self towards the body, not the other way around."

When he first met Yehudi Menuhin, the violinist complained that he never had time to relax and never got a good night's sleep.

"Within one minute Iyengar had him snoring happily away. But Guruji did warn me: 'Relaxation doesn't mean yoga is a soft option. It's a disciplined subject - a casual attempt only gains casual results'," Mark Tully, former BBC correspondent in India, wrote after meeting Mr Iyengar in 2001.



BKS Iyengar


According to Iyengar’s website, BKS Iyengar passed away on August 20, 2014. The message on his website read: ‘I always tell people, live happily and die majestically.’ He had been admitted to the hospital after he faced difficulty breathing and was put on dialysis for renal insufficiency. Known for popularising Yoga in the West, he was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014. 

 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar’s condition had became more critical on Tuesday and doctors had to insert a nasogastric tube to provide him with liquid sustenance. The famous yoga guru was put on dialysis on Sunday due to renal failure.‘Compared to Monday when he had become little drowsy for the first time after hospitalisation, Iyengar’s condition has become more critical on Tuesday (August 19). He has become drowsier, hence we had to put a tube to ensure he remains hydrated and nourished’, a doctor treating him told TOI.

Iyengar had been under the weather for the last three weeks. ‘He was ill for three weeks and had steadfastly refused to get himself admitted and was treated at home by his family physician. He was even put on intravenous fluid at home. His family members could finally persuade him to get admitted after his condition worsened. He was admitted to the hospital on August 12. He was put on non-invasive ventilator for a day but he refused to undergo aggressive treatment and hence, he was put off the artificial respiration,’ the doctor said.

Iyengar was also suffering from heart trouble. ‘His heart’s current ejection fraction (capability of the heart to pump blood) is 20% now. It was 25 per cent when he was admitted. He has been put on medication to improve the heart function, but it has not shown much result,’ the doctor said.

‘The ejection rate of human heart should be in the range of 45 to 55% for proper blood circulation in the body. But low ejection rate of his heart has led to decreased blood supply to all the vital organs including brain, kidney and intestines. This has also led to kidney failure,’ the doctor said. ‘We have put him on intermittent dialysis from Sunday. He has undergone three cycles of dialysis so far but his kidneys didn’t respond to the treatment,’ the doctor added.

BKS Iyengar was considered to be one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and is the founder of Iyengar Yoga. He has written many books on yoga practice and philosophy and is sometimes referred to as the father of modern yoga. He learned yoga from his brother-in-law Sri Tirumalai Krisnamacharya who asked him to come to Mysore. The main reason for this was to improve his health. He was then sent to places by Krishnamacharya to spread his teachings. Iyengar would go on to teach yoga in London, Switzerland, Paris and other places and the popularity of yoga in the West is considered to be his doing.