One of the great fathers of modern-day yoga is about to have a birthday. And not just any birthday. BKS Iyengar, the man who founded Iyengar Yoga and influenced much of yoga in the West, turns 95 Dec. 14.
Iyengar was, and still is, a driving force in the modern-day yoga movement. Introduced to yoga as a child by hatha yoga master Sri T. Krishnamacharya, Iyengar went on to create a detailed system of yoga that involves detailed alignment principles, sequencing, as well as the use of props—all of which has had a tremendous influence of the way we practice today.
Iyengar’s teachings have also influenced numerous modern yoga styles, like Anusara and alignment-based Vinyasa. Iyengar's Light on Yoga was published in 1966 and remains is one of the influential texts on yoga and he has written 13 other books. In 2004 TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. And, at 95, the guru is still practicing, teaching, and advising at his center, the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. He’s living proof that yoga can bring longevity!
Of the Indian teachers who first brought yoga to the US, there are very few still among us—which makes this occasion ripe for celebration. There’s bound to be an event honoring Iyengar’s birthday somewhere in your neck of the woods, but here are a few to put on your radar—even if you can’t make it to San Francisco or Istanbul. (Look below for studio celebrations near you!)
In honor and in gratitude for all he's brought to us, enjoy this awesome video montage of BKS Iyengar's practice throughout the years :
The Iyengar Institute of San Francisco is holding an all-day event on Dec. 14 to celebrate the guru’s birthday and also to raise money for its new digs. The event will include a tour of the new Iyengar Institute, an Iyengar class (taught at the Yoga Loft by Iyengar instructor Ana-Mari Hamada) that includes 108 Sun Salutations, and a social hour.
The yoga studio in Kuzguncuk, Istanbul, will mark this special day with an afternoon gathering at 3pm on Dec. 14. Join the community in the celebration and watch a film about the origin of modern yoga.
Yogaville—a premiere Iyengar school in Preston, Australia—is celebrating Guruji’s birthday with a sunrise class at 6am on Dec. 14. All levels are invited, and donated proceeds will benefit his foundation in Bellur.
Portland Yoga Studio will be celebrating Iyengar’s birthday by holding an event, on Dec. 15, that showcases the guru’s style of yoga. The class will be led by Kim Peralta, who has taught the Iyengar method for 24 years and who is also Maine's highest level Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.
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