Who was BKS Iyengar?

BKS Iyengar was born as Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar and often was referred to as Guru, Master or Guruji. He was born in Karnataka, southern India, in 1918. He was a sickly and weak boy in his early years. Throughout his childhood, he struggled with various illnesses and general malnutrition. It all changed when his brother in law, the yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya decided to help Iyengar’s health through practicing yoga asanas. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is often referred to as “the father of modern yoga”. Learning yoga under his brother in law was a turning point in Iyengar’s life. In 1937, Iyengar was sent to Pune to spread the teaching of yoga. He continued to teach in The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune until his death in August 2014.

What is Iyengar yoga?

Iyengar yoga is the most meticulous style of yoga, as it puts the emphasis on precision and alignment in a systematic approach with detailed instructions. The practice consists of learning breath control (pranayama) and posture (asana). In order to enable students to perform the asanas in a correct way, Iyengar yoga employs various props such as bolsters, blocks and straps. Therefore, it helps to build both strength and flexibility with a correct alignment of all ages and abilities.

What makes Iyengar yoga different?

Iyengar yoga is the world’s most widely practiced method of yoga. Iyengar yoga teachers undergo long and detailed training in teaching. They are well qualified and experience. They know how to make each pose accessible to any student at any ability with the great help of props. As every pose demands postural alignment, the practice requires concentration and awareness. Therefore, it helps to relieve stress and anxiety. The focus is more on the quality of the movement rather than the quantity. That’s why a practitioner may not be covered with sweat at the end of the session but will be full of energy with a quiet mind.

BKS Iyengar Yoga Studio SG

The founder, Sharon Ak, has embarked on yoga journey since 2005. It was influenced by the realization of a healthy work-life balance is crucial to maintain both personal and professional fulfillment. She started off as a simple student to grasp the great truths of yoga. In 2009, an hour class with senior Iyengar yoga teacher Rina P. Ortiz has totally changed her perspective on yoga practice. It also triggered her passion to enroll in the Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Course. This two-year course allows the traditional guru-disciple relationship to enrich her alignment-based yoga classes. Meantime, she also received regular training under Sandrine Laborde and assisted in her prenatal classes before her return to France in 2012. Despite the limited resources and unforeseen challenges, Sharon has kept her unprompted learning mainly with Jawahar Bangera, Rina P. Ortiz, and other senior Iyengar teachers, namely Stephanie Quirk, Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, etc.