Happy 93rd Birthday to Yogacharya B. K. S. Iyengar!
Also known as the ‘Lion of Pune’ and the man with the snazziestly bushy eyebrows this side of the rope wall.
Born in 1918, the 11th of 13 children, Iyengar grew up battling multiple diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and general malnutrition. At 15 years old he moved to Mysore to live and study yoga asana with his brother-in-law Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, where he was able to overcome many of his childhood maladies. In 1937 he moved to Pune to start teaching yoga on his own, and to continue molding what we know today as Iyengar Yoga and what has become the basis for his book Light on Yoga (1966), also referred to as the “bible of yoga.”
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” B.K.S. Iyengar
Today we honor B.K.S. Iyengar and his many years of inspiration, paving the way for modern yoga. And we (shoulder)stand tall on 5 blankets and salute Guruji by giving away a copy of his enlightening book Light on Life. A wonderfully wise and thought-provoking read for every yogi.
TO ENTER: Tell us in the comments your favorite thing about Iyengar Yoga. Poses, props, tiny shorts. Or if you’ve never practiced it before, perhaps you just love that drunken yoga (Iyengar-inspired!). A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, December 16. Good luck!
UPDATE: The winner is…Leo!!! Thanks all for commenting. Wishing you continued precision, alignment and lifted armpit chests!
Check out some of this cool footage of B.K.S. Iyengar in the day.
Classic footage of BKS Iyengar in his early 20’s from a 1938 newsreel, and just about 45 years later in a 1987 master class:
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