Iyengar Yoga History

Written By Emma White

An experienced yoga enthusiast who has been practicing yoga for 8 years. In addition to her passion for yoga, she is also an avid traveler, having explored various parts of the world.

Reviewed By: Alan Thompson
Edited By: Reuben Lane

The History of


Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga that was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar in the 20th century. It is a style of yoga that emphasizes precision and alignment in the practice of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). In this , we will explore the history of Iyengar Yoga, including its origins, development, and impact on the modern yoga world.

Origins of Iyengar Yoga

B.K.S. Iyengar was born in 1918 in Bellur, India. He was introduced to yoga at a young age by his brother-in-law, the famous yogi Krishnamacharya. Iyengar initially struggled with his practice due to poor health, but he persevered and eventually became one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century.

Development of Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar developed his own style of yoga based on his personal experiences and observations. He emphasized the use of props such as blocks, straps, and blankets to help students achieve proper alignment and avoid injury. He also placed a strong emphasis on the use of breath control in the practice of yoga.

Impact on the Modern Yoga World

Iyengar Yoga has had a significant impact on the modern yoga world. It is now one of the most widely practiced styles of yoga, with millions of students around the world. Iyengar's emphasis on alignment and precision has influenced many other styles of yoga, and his use of props has become a standard practice in many yoga studios.

The Iyengar Yoga Certification Process

The Iyengar Yoga certification process is rigorous and demanding. Teachers must complete a minimum of three years of study and practice before they can even apply for certification. Once they have applied, they must pass a series of exams that test their knowledge of yoga philosophy, anatomy, and teaching skills.

The Iyengar Yoga Association

The Iyengar Yoga Association was founded in 1984 to promote and support the practice of Iyengar Yoga. It is an international organization with branches in many countries around the world. The association provides training and certification for teachers, as well as resources and support for students.

Iyengar's Legacy

B.K.S. Iyengar passed away in 2014 at the age of 95. His legacy lives on through his teachings and the millions of students and teachers who continue to practice and teach Iyengar Yoga. His emphasis on precision, alignment, and breath control has had a profound impact on the modern yoga world, and his influence will continue to be felt for many years to come.


The history of Iyengar Yoga is a fascinating story of one man's journey to develop a style of yoga that emphasizes precision, alignment, and breath control. B.K.S. Iyengar's legacy lives on through the millions of students and teachers who continue to practice and teach Iyengar Yoga around the world.

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