Guru who sparked global yoga craze dies aged 95
BKS Iyengar, the Indian yoga guru credited with helping to fuel a global explosion in the popularity of the ancient spiritual practice, died on Wednesday aged 95, his website said.
Iyengar started his yoga school in 1973 in the western city of Pune, developing a unique form of the practice that he said anyone could follow.
He trained hundreds of teachers to disseminate his approach, which uses props such as belts and ropes to help novice practitioners achieve the poses.
He wrote many books on yoga, which has been practised in Asia for more than 2,000 years, and has in recent decades become hugely popular around the world.
His insistence on perfecting the poses – or asanas – won him a huge following, among them celebrity fans ranging from the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to the writer Aldous Huxley.
It was an encounter with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who came across Iyengar during a trip to Mumbai in the 1950s, that prompted his move to take his practice global.
“Perhaps no one has done more than Mr. Iyengar to bring yoga to the West,” said the New York Times in a 2002 profile of the guru.