B.K.S. Iyengar, 1918-2014

BKS-iyengar-NEWS-smThe man credited with bringing yoga to the West, Indian guru B.K.S. Iyengar, died in India this week. He was 95. Iyengar stressed the spiritual components of yoga and inspired a devoted following across the U.S. In 2004, Time magazine included him on its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2006, Kim Lawton spoke with Iyengar and looked at his impact:

Kim Lawton, correspondent: Fifty years ago, yoga was little known in the U.S. Then Americans started hearing about a guru in India who could fold his body in amazing ways. He said the benefits were spiritual as well as physical.

B.K.S. Iyengar: Yoga is a union of the body with the mind, mind with the soul. The still state of mind, one—that is what yoga gives us.

Eddy Marks, Iyengar archivist: What he did for yoga was revolutionize it by making the mysterious aspects of yoga understandable—making them concrete, giving people concrete things to do with the physical body that started at the physical body, but then gradually brought their consciousness inwards.