His most popular books include Light on Yoga, which has been published in 18 languages, Light on Pranayama and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
In 2004 Time Magazine named B.K.S. Iyengar as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He currently teaches with his daughter Geeta and his son Prashant at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India.
Early Life Sri B.K.S. Iyengar was born into a large and poverty-stricken family on December 14th ,1918 in the Belur district of Karnataka. As an infant he was affected by an influenza epidemic that left him frail and unhealthy. Throughout his childhood, B.K.S. Iyengar experienced much illness, including malaria, tuberculosis and typhoid, as well as chronic malnutrition.When he turned sixteen, he was sent to Mysore to stay with his eldest sister and her husband, scholar and yogi Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya taught yoga in the Palace of the Raja of Mysore. It was in this school that Mr. Iyengar learned the basic asanas of Yoga, which led to a noticeable improvement in his health. In 1937, Krishnamacharya asked him to go to Pune and teach yoga there. There, B.K.S. Iyengar faced great difficulty because of his limited knowledge of the English language and his lack of formal education. Although he was still developing his fundamental knowledge in the field of yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar applied a forceful dedication to learning by trial and error. Slowly he mastered the difficult postures and his health improved considerably. He developed the use of what are now known as “props” in yoga and he created innovative new techniques to guide students towards the mastery of difficult postures as he himself had done. With time, the number of students attending his yoga classes began to increase, although the monetary compensation remained small. In 1943, B.K.S. Iyengar was married to his wife Ramamani. Together they had 6 children. She supported him in his studies along with her family of five daughters namely Geeta, Vinita, Suchita, Sunita and Savitha and one son Prashant.
International Recognition Slowly and gradually, B.K.S. Iyengar gained recognition as a yoga teacher in the Indian subcontinent. In 1952 he met the famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin. They soon became friends and Menuhin arranged for B.K.S. Iyengar to teach abroad.
The fame of B.K.S. Iyengar expanded, and soon he began writing books on yoga. His first book ‘Light on Yoga’ was published in the year 1966 and went on to become an international bestsellers which is still published in 18 languages. B.K.S. Iyengar opened his own institute in Pune, by the name of ‘Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute’, in the memory of his wife. He still resides and teaches at the institute.
Presently B.K.S. Iyengar continues to teach and advise affairs at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute. In 2004 Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2011 he visited China where his presence was honored by thousands of students, dignitaries, and even a series of postage stamps commemorating his visit. He continues to be actively involved in the promotion of yoga throughout the world. Today, classes at Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute are being conducted today by his daughter Geeta, his son Prashant and other senior teachers.