December 14, 1918–August 20, 2014
Born in Karnataka, India (originally known as the state of Mysore), BKS Iyengar, the founder of one of modern yoga’s most prominent schools, was destined to be the Guruji he became from day one. His father, Sri Krichnamachar (not to be confused with Sri T. Krishnamacharya, his guru), was a school teacher, who passed the gift of tutelage on to his son. Iyengar began studying yoga at the age of 16 with Krishnamacharya. At 18, his guru sent him to Pune to teach and preach yoga. He went on to instruct everyone from International heads of state to Hollywood actors. It was his encounter with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1952 that led to the spreading of his teachings to the West. His book, Light on Yoga, became a veritable bible for teachers and students and transformed yoga into the practice as we know it today.