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Legendary Yoga Master, B.K.S. Lyengar Dead at age 95
- Updated: August 21, 2014
Today, millions of Americans practice yoga as a form of meditation and relaxation. Using special techniques such as breathing control, body postures, and meditation, this Hindu ascetic and spiritual discipline has become one of the preferred methods used, not only in the United States but around the world.
B.K.S, Lyengar, who developed a very special yoga discipline but also played a key role in introducing it to the Western world, has died at age 95. According to the late Lyengar, yoga literally saved his life. After surviving childhood malaria, tuberculosis, and typhoid, he used the various body positions to heal but also stay healthy.
Telling others about yoga, he soon had numerous followers to include Annette Bening, Donna Karan, Aldous Husley, and Sachin Tendulkar. He even taught Belgium’s Queen Elisabeth to stand on her head at age 85. Sharing the dramatic changes seen in his life as well as others, Lyengar wrote the book, “Light on Life” in 2005, which has since become a top seller.
Lyengar shared that even in his own country of India, yoga was initially rejected, condemned, and ridiculed but over time people throughout the world began to experience the many benefits for themselves. For over 70 years, Lyengar was dedicated to practicing but also teaching the world about yoga.
Currently, there are 20 different forms of yoga practiced to include Ananda, Bikram, Hatha, Jivamuktl, Kripalu, Sivananda, and Vinlyoga, among others. However, the most famous and popular is Lyengar. Developed by the master himself, this yoga discipline promotes flexibility, endurance, strength, and balance using specific poses and coordinated breathing. While it benefits anyone who practices, it is now a favorite discipline for top athletes.
With Lyengar yoga, the body is moved slowly into poses typically held longer than with other yoga disciplines. Another difference between Lyengar yoga and other forms is the use of blocks, blankets, cushions, and straps that promote better flexibility. Because of this, people with disabilities and the elderly benefit compared to other yoga practices that present certain limitations.
Although after learning of his death people throughout the world mourned, Lyengar yoga will continue to be one of the best and most popular yoga disciplines ever created.