Indian yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar dies at 95

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Indian yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar dies at 95
ESTES PARK, COLORADO-SEPT. 28, 2005-Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, recognized world-wide as a yoga master, taught an Iyengar Intennsive class to 800 students at The 10th Annual Yoga Journal Colorado Conference in Estes Park. Mr. Iyengar is the world's foremost living yogi and lives in India. He is 86 years-old and says that this is his last American trip to teach his pratice. Mr.Iyengar sits in a chair at the stage and greets the students at the beginning of the last day of the Iyengar Intensive class on Wednesday. (LYN ALWEIS/THE DENVER POST) (Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 21: (CHINA OUT) Indian yoga master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar talks to the media at a press conference at Ruiji Hotel on June 21, 2011 in Beijing, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
PUNE, INDIA � NOVEMBER 19: Yogacharya BKS Iyengar performing Yoga at his Yoga Institute in Pune, Maharashtra.(Photo by Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: Wrapped in mist lies the sleepy town of Dharamshala at an altitude of 1,800 meters, in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. Dharamshala has an energy that prompted the Dalai Lama to set up his headquarters here. From around the world yoga practitioners come to take their minds and bodies to a new level at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PUNE, INDIA � NOVEMBER 19: Yogacharya BKS Iyengar performing Yoga at his Yoga Institute in Pune, Maharashtra.(Photo by Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 21: (CHINA OUT) A student of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar performs yoga at a press conference at Ruiji Hotel on June 21, 2011 in Beijing, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: A participant in a pose at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: Dharmshala at night where the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre can be found. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: The participants get ready for the yoga class that lasts three hours at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: Sharat Arora, yoga guru at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: A participant in a pose at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: A participant in a pose at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: A participant in a pose on the floor at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: Sharat Arora adjusts the props for a participant at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: A participant in a pose at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: Sharat Arora poses in his yoga class at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: Sharat Arora leads a yoga class at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PUNE, INDIA � NOVEMBER 19: Yogacharya BKS Iyengar performing Yoga at his Yoga Institute in Pune, Maharashtra.(Photo by Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images)
INDIA - 2009/09/26: The garden at Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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By NIRMALA GEORGE

NEW DELHI (AP) - Indian yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar, who helped popularize yoga around the world and wrote 14 books on the subject, died Wednesday at age 95.

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar's death was reported on his website as well as by major Indian TV stations, which said he had been hospitalized with a kidney ailment over the past week in the western city of Pune.

Born in a poor family in Bellur village in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, 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 ago 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.

In a condolence message, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Iyengar as "a fine guru, scholar and a stalwart who brought yoga into the lives of many across the world."

President Pranab Mukherjee said, "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."

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