Our Guru ji
Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar was born on December 14, 1918. His father Sri Krishnamachar was a school teacher and therefore Guruji (as his students call him) had all his father's qualities even at this age. Guruji was a victim of malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis in his childhood .
At the age of 16, he was introduced to yoga by his Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya. At the age of 18, he was sent to Pune, Maharashtra by his guru to teach yoga as he knew a little English. As a result of this, he missed his opportunity to learn a lot about yoga directly from his guru.
Guruji was a sincere and committed practitioner. His own practice helped him to explore and achieve perfection in yoga asanas. This is reflected in his teachings over the years.
In 1943, Guruji married Ramamani. She supported Guruji along with her family of five daughters namely Geeta, Vinita, Suchita, Sunita and Savitha and one son Prashant.
A fortuitous meeting with the violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin in 1952 was instrumental in introducing the Western world to Guruji. Menuhin was responsible in introducing several luminaries to BKS Iyengar. One of them being the Queen Mother of Belgium.
On 26th January 1973, Guruji laid the foundation of Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, named after his wife Smt. Ramamani Iyengar. The institute was inaugurated on January 19, 1975.
By this time, Guruji’s eldest daughter Geeta and son Prashant were also involved in teaching yoga. They also started teaching at the Institute with Guruji.
Guruji's teachings were first published in 1966 as Light on Yoga . This book has been translated into 18 languages. Today, he is the author of 14 books.
Guruji was the first person to teach large groups of students. He laid great emphasis on precision and alignment which is followed by his students. He got students to perform and break barriers. He brought about an automatic transformation in the mind and habits of people.
Sadly, our beloved Guruji died in August 2014, aged 95. His daughter Geetaji, died in December 2018, but his teaching is being taken forward by some of his children, grandchildren and students. His son Prashant and grand-daughter Abhijata now manage the running of RIMYI and co-ordinate Iyengar Yoga practitioners around the world.