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On August 20, B.K.S. Iyengar, who was known for popularizing yoga throughout the world, died after being hospitalized with a kidney ailment.
When he was younger Iyengar had numerous medical issues, suffering from ailments such as tuberculosis, as reported by the Associated Press.
However, when he was 15, a family member turned Iyengar onto yoga, hoping it would help with his disease resistance and unknowingly triggered a life-long passion.
Iyengar eventually moved up from the Indian state of Karnataka to the western city of Pune, where he practiced and taught yoga to others. Iyengar created his own type of yoga known as “Iyengar yoga,” which according to The New York Times, can require props such as chairs and ropes and places an emphasis on technique.
Eventually, “Iyengar yoga” began to spread west into Europe, where the guru’s popularity was increased by connections to violinist Yehudi Menuhin and Aldous Huxley. Now there are studios teaching “Iyengar yoga” in 72 countries around the world, and one of Iyengar’s books about yoga, known as Light on Yoga, has been translated into 17 languages.
Speaking of Iyengar’s death, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee stated, “The nation has lost a personality who devoted his entire life to the teaching and dissemination of India’s ancient knowledge and wisdom to millions all around the world.”