BKS Iyengar's 97th birthday: Google posts a series of animated yoga doodles on home pages around the world


Three animated Google doodles showing yoga guru BKS Iyengar performing different asanas appear on Google home pages in many countries of the world. Today is Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar 97th birth anniversary.

Iyengar had helped popularise yoga around the world and wrote 14 books on the subject. He was born on December 14, 1918. He died on August 20, 2014 in Pune.

Born in a poor family in Bellur, Iyengar was a sickly child who suffered multiple illnesses including typhoid and tuberculosis.

When he was 15, a relative introduced him to yoga in an attempt to build his resistance to disease. By the time he was 18, he moved to Pune to practice yoga and to teach its techniques to others.

Iyengar created his own brand of yoga, called "Iyengar yoga," and established studios in 72 countries where yoga practitioners are taught ways to improve breathing, concentration and meditation.

By the mid-1950's word of Iyengar yoga spread in Europe, where he began teaching many new converts, including violinist Yehudi Menuhin and author Aldous Huxley.

The popularity of Iyengar yoga spurred him to write a book called Light on Yoga, explaining the 216 yoga postures that formed what he called the science and art of yoga. The book became a global best seller with more than 3 million copies sold and has since been translated into 17 languages.

Iyengar, easily recognizable by his bushy eyebrows and silvery locks of shoulder-length hair, practiced yoga until two months before he died and even did headstands in his 90s.

Iyengar yoga's physically challenging poses and breathing techniques have been adopted by mainstream medical practitioners to help patients suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic back pain.

In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He was also awarded with three of India's highest civilian awards - Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014.

Reach of the BKS Iyengar Google doodle

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