The world’s most widely practised method of yoga was created by Yogacharya Sri BKS Iyengar of Pune, India. Born on December 14, 1918, in Bellur, India, Yogacharya Sri BKS Iyengar studied and practised yoga continuously for over 85 years, bringing yoga to the west with his teaching, pioneering the birth of today’s explosive growth in yoga. His seminal manual Light on Yoga, called “the bible of yoga” and continuously in print since 1966, has been the source book for generations of yoga students. Other influential works he has written, and vital for the development of any yoga student include: Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras, The Tree of Yoga and Light on Life.
Mr. Iyengar’s thorough study, understanding and mastery of yoga are unrivaled in modern times. Having taught for over 75 years in all five continents, he won worldwide respect and recognition for his achievements and made yoga accessible and relevant to people everywhere. His invention of yoga props — now ubiquitous in yoga studios of all styles — revolutionised the art. Blankets, belts and other devices allow students of all skill levels to work safely in the classical yoga asanas (postures). Mr. Iyengar also revolutionised the therapeutic applications of yoga, gaining recognition for yoga as treatment for serious medical conditions.
Mr. Iyengar set up the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India, and continued his daily practice there until shortly before his death at the age of 95 on August 20, 2014. Working side by side to develop the practice and teaching was Mr. Iyengar’s daughter, Geeta S Iyengar, author of Yoga: A Gem for Women, and known for her pioneering work on yoga for every stage of a woman’s life. She died in December 2018. Now Mr Iyengar's son Sri Prashant Iyengar, also an author on the philosophy of yoga, and grand-daughter Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar are directors of RIMYI.
RIMYI is located in Pune, Maharashtra, India, established on January 19, 1975, dedicated to Smt. Ramamani Iyengar, the wife of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. The building is within the Iyengar family garden, it is a beautiful form built as an octagonal, each side representing the eight fold path of yoga.
Since the first institute in Pune was established, Iyengar yoga has spread to many countries across the world; now we are like branches and leaves, even saplings and trees, all flourishing and interconnected, supported by the deeply fertile soil created by the teaching and our roots at RIMYI.