About Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar

In the vast realm of yoga, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar stands as a prominent figure who revolutionized the practice with his innovative approach and meticulous attention to detail. Through his life’s work, he not only popularized yoga globally but also created a unique style known as Iyengar Yoga. Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar is widely known for his pioneering work in the field of yoga, specifically for his development of Iyengar Yoga. He dedicated his life to refining and popularizing this unique style, which emphasizes precision, alignment and the integration of body, mind and breath. Iyengar Yoga is renowned for its therapeutic benefits and the extensive use of props to support practitioners of all levels.


Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar was awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan, some of India’s highest civilian honors, in recognition of his contributions to yoga.

Despite his humble beginnings, Iyengar taught numerous influential figures, including Queen Elizabeth of Belgium and violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin.

History of
Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar:

Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, born Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, came into the world on December 14, 1918, in Bellur, Karnataka, India. He grew up in a poor family and encountered numerous health issues during his childhood, including malaria, tuberculosis and typhoid fever. At the age of 16, he started his yoga journey under the tutelage of his brother-in-law, T. Krishnamacharya, who was a renowned yoga teacher at the time.

Use of

One of the distinctive aspects of Iyengar Yoga is the extensive use of props. Props such as blocks, straps, blankets, chairs and ropes are employed to support practitioners of all levels in achieving proper alignment and making the practice accessible to a wider audience. These props enable students to experience the benefits of the postures, regardless of their age, flexibility, or physical limitations. By utilizing props, Iyengar Yoga allows practitioners to experience the benefits of each pose safely and effectively.

Books by Yogacharya
B.K.S. Iyengar:

Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar authored several books that have become seminal works in the field of yoga. His most renowned book, “Light on Yoga,” published in 1966, is considered a definitive guide to yoga practice. It provides detailed instructions, illustrations and explanations of over 200 asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques). Other notable books by Iyengar include “Light on Pranayama,” “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” and “Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health.”


Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar is globally recognized for his significant contributions to the practice and teaching of yoga. He played a pivotal role in introducing yoga to the West and helped dispel misconceptions surrounding the discipline. His emphasis on alignment, precision and therapeutic benefits attracted practitioners from various backgrounds, including athletes, celebrities and people seeking physical and mental well-being. Iyengar Yoga is currently taught in over 70 countries, with thousands of certified teachers worldwide, ensuring his teachings continue to inspire and impact practitioners globally.

Yoga Style:

Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar developed a unique style of yoga, now known as Iyengar Yoga. This style emphasizes precision, alignment and the use of props to achieve correct postural alignment and optimize the therapeutic benefits of each pose. Iyengar Yoga places great importance on the integration of body, mind and breath, promoting self-awareness and deepening the practice.

In addition to asana (physical postures), Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar emphasized the practice of pranayama, or yogic breathing techniques. He believed that pranayama was instrumental in harnessing and channeling vital energy, or prana, within the body. Iyengar developed specific pranayama techniques that were integrated into his teachings, enabling practitioners to cultivate a deeper connection with their breath and unlock the transformative power of pranayama.


Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar’s journey from his humble beginnings to becoming a yoga luminary has left an indelible impact on the world of yoga. Through his development of Iyengar Yoga, emphasis on precision and alignment, innovative use of props and integration of pranayama, he revolutionized the way yoga is practiced and taught. His books, teachings and dedication to spreading the transformative power of yoga have inspired countless individuals worldwide.

After the passing of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar in 2014, his legacy and teachings continue to thrive through the dedicated efforts of his family, senior disciples and certified teachers around the world. The Iyengar Yoga community remains committed to preserving and advancing the principles and practices of Iyengar Yoga. The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) located in Pune, India, is the heart of Iyengar Yoga and remains a significant institution dedicated to the practice, teaching and research of Iyengar Yoga. Established by Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar himself, it continues to serve as a hub for learning, conducting teacher training programs and hosting workshops and events that carry forward his teachings.

Scroll to Top