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The Google doodle of the day marks the 97th birth anniversary of Yogi BKS Iyengar.He developed and promoted what came to be called ‘Iyengar Yoga’. BKS Iyengar – whose birth name was Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar – died last year after an eight-decade career popularising his version of “Iyengar yoga” in India and across the world.
Iyengar yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas. (Wikipedia)
He was born in 1918 into a poor family in southern India – one of 13 children, of whom only 10 survived.
He was sickly as a child – suffering from malaria and typhoid – and was introduced to yoga by a brother-in-law who ran a school in Mysore as part of an effort to restore his health.
His brother-in-law was Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is often referred to as “the father of modern yoga”.
In 1952, Yehudi Menuhin befriended BKS Iyengar. Menuhin believed doing yoga improved his playing and invited him to Switzerland with him in 1954.
After that visit, Iyengar travelled frequently to the west to demonstrate his special technique and hundreds of Iyengar yoga centres sprang up around the world.
He taught the 85-year-old Queen Elisabeth of Belgium how to do a headstand at the age of 80.
His eldest daughter Geeta and his son Prashant have become internationally renowned yoga practitioners and now run the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute – which BKS Iyengar founded in 1975 in honour of his late wife.
He also trained his granddaughter, Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar as a yoga teacher for many years and she now teaches at the institute and abroad