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Yogacharya Sri B.K.S. Iyengar

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (B.K.S.) Iyengar was born in 1918, the eleventh of thirteen children.  Despite chronic ill-health throughout his childhood and a limited education, he nonetheless grew to become the world’s foremost author, practitioner, and purveyor of the sacred art of yoga.  Since his passing at the age of 95 in 2014, Mr. Iyengar remains for us an example of how a person can rise from obscurity and poverty to create a lasting and positive legacy for the entire world.  We are profoundly grateful for his teachings and the continued teachings of his family.

What Is Iyengar Yoga?

There are many ways to answer this question; the simplest being that Iyengar Yoga is yoga that is taught in the manner described by B.K.S. Iyengar and his family.   The Iyengar system of yoga is methodical and progressive, emphasizing alignment, safety, physical and mental awareness.  Various props (chairs, bolsters, blocks, etc.) are employed to make difficult poses accessible to those with less mobility or age limitations.  The practice of yoga can be helpful for common ailments such as back/hip/knee/neck/shoulder pain, respiratory problems, fatigue, nervous tension, and menstrual issues.  Beyond the physical, the study of yoga includes philosophical works such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

What Does It Mean To Be A Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher?

  • Dedicate themselves to studying, teaching, disseminating, and promoting the art, science and philosophy of yoga according to the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, and to maintaining high standards of professional competence and integrity.

  • Study and stay current with the teaching and practice of yoga as taught by B.K.S. Iyengar and the Iyengar family. This can be done directly by study with the Iyengar family or indirectly by participation in IYNAUS activities and study with CIYTs of at least one higher level of certification.

  • Accurately represent their education, training, and experience.

  • Only teach in accord with their levels of certification and do not mix the techniques of Iyengar Yoga with any other systems of yoga, or with any other discipline.

  • Are not publicly critical of other Iyengar Yoga teachers' character or of other systems of yoga.

  • Undergo years of training so that they can in turn guide students towards refinement and self-sufficiency.

 

Resources & Links

Important books by the Iyengars:

  • Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar

  • Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B.K.S Iyengar

  • Light on Pranayama by B.K.S Iyengar

  • Yoga: A Gem for Women by Geeta Iyengar

  • Yoga in Action: Preliminary and Intermediate Courses by Geeta Iyengar

For a simplified approach to the subject, and a good starting point for developing a home practice:

  • How to Use Yoga by Mira Mehta

National and regional Iyengar Yoga associations: