BKS Iyengar birthday special: 7 Facts to know about the greatest yoga teacher!

By Ritu Singh | Last Updated: Dec 14, 2015, 23:56 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh

“Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.” 

― B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life

New Delhi: Today Google has honoured world renowned yoga guru BKS Iyengar with a creative doodle marking his 97th birthday.

The famous guru is responsible with bringing yoga to the West and popularising it all over. Iyengar is also credited with gifting the popular Iyengar Yoga to the world. It is a form of Hatha Yoga which lays emphasis on physical alignment of the body while one is performing different asanas.

Here are some facts worth knowing about this legendary personality:

  • As a child he constantly struggled with malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and general malnutrition. 
  • He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004.
  • His brother-in-law Krishnamacharya was known as the “father of modern yoga” as he was one of the key figures behind the revival of “hatha yoga” - from which Iyengar yoga developed
  • BKS Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama ranging from the basic to advanced.
  • Several notable personalities were his students including- Jiddu Krishnamurti, Jayaprakash Narayan, Yehudi Menuhin, Elisabeth, Queen of Belgium, Aldous Huxley, as well as prominent Indian figures like Sachin Tendulkar and actress Kareena Kapoor. Interestingly, he taught an 85 year old Queen Elizabeth to stand on her head.
  • He practiced Yoga until he died. At the age of 90 he used to practice asanas for 3 hours and pranayamas for an hour daily.
  • Iyengar wrote 14 books on the subject of yoga,  its practices and various techniques.