We are awaiting official reports, but it has been confirmed by sources close to the Iyengar family: It is with heavy hearts we report that world-renowned yoga guru BKS Iyengar has passed from his earthly body. He was 96*. Iyengar was admitted to the hospital a week ago and was treated for breathlessness and low blood pressure. Reports of kidney failure and that he was in critical condition were released earlier today (Tuesday). It is assumed he was unable to recover and it was his time to let go.
We are saddened by this profound loss, but we are lifted up by all the lessons and teachings he has bestowed upon us throughout his long life that will live on forever. He leaves behind a legacy of helping to spread the benefits of yoga to his home country of India and popularizing it all over the world, incorporating a multitude of props and a therapeutic approach thereby making the practice more accessible to anyone and everyone. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to his life’s work.
UPDATE #1: BKS Iyengar’s official website has been updated with this simple and elegant image and message:
UPDATE #2: The India Times has confirmed the passing of BKS Iyengar.
“Iyengar died at 3.15 am on Wednesday,” said a treating doctor.
Iyengar was ill for three weeks prior to hospitalization but 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. But by then, his condition had deteriorated a lot. He was put on non-invasive ventilator for a day but he refused to undergo aggressive treatment and hence, he was put off artificial respiration.
BKS Iyengar’s impact on modern yoga is undeniably vast. We will be sharing more about his life and invaluable contributions to the world over the coming days. We invite you to share your thoughts, stories, and memories to honor his life and legacy.
Please enjoy these videos below, the first, a short montage of BKS Iyengar’s inspiring practice, and the second, his 1976 film “The Ultimate Freedom Yoga” which is a must watch.
Namaste. Rest in peace, Guruji.
*Indian press is reporting he was 96, though Iyengar’s actual birthdate is December 14, 1918, which would make him 95. We assume (thought we could be wrong) that they may be going by Guru Purnima, an annual Hindu festival held in July dedicated to honoring spiritual and academic teachers, and celebrating the birthday of Adi Guru, or the first Guru.
“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.” – BKS Iyengar
photo credit Coni Hörler