Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Famed yoga teacher BKS Iyengar dies at 95

Yogis Seven, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly; BKSIyengar.com; BBC.com
If it were up to Iyengar, Lululemons would not be so tight or transparent.
Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar died today. He was a living legend who taught a modified form of yoga making the poses (asanas) more accessible and attainable to people in in the West and those with limitations. He himself, due to injuries, was limited. But he showed his teacher, Krishnamacharya, and fellow students that he could make something of this ancient science, something everyone could benefit from not just slender youthful ascetic males.
The Vedas teach yoga and health (Ayur-veda), how to live and eat well.

Iyengar as a young man
The Iyengar style of yoga, because of its attention to detail and safety, became popular around the world. It is Hatha, bring together Sun and Moon principles together, with a gentle twist -- softened bends and rigor. It is gentle yoga of great precision. He found meaning in the yoga sutras, which are more aphorisms than discourses, by his practical search and regular practice. Therefore, he helped all to experience their wisdom. His certification of specialized teachers across the world was apparently lucrative enough to sustain him and this style making it quite respectable and the most common form of yoga found on college campuses.

We love Iyengar Yoga! It's so easy to do but so nitpicky. We just wanna have fun!
(BBC.com) Indian yoga guru BKS Iyengar has died in the western city of Pune, India, aged 95.

Mr. Iyengar was admitted to hospital last week and died early on Wednesday [Aug. 19, 2014] following kidney problems, doctors treating him said.

He 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 practiced 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.

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