B.K.S. Iyengar, an Indian yoga teacher whose students included cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Belgium’s Queen Mother, has died. He was 95.
The proponent of the eponymous “Iyengar Yoga” died in a hospital in Pune, near Mumbai, at 3:30 a.m. today, Panduranga Rao, secretary of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute said in a telephone interview today. He was admitted to hospital five days ago after complaining of breathing difficulties, Rao said.
Iyengar, who began praciticing yoga 80 years ago to combat asthma, is credited with integrating eight distinct practices of yoga including ashtanga and hatha into a single routine, and pioneered the use of props like belts and ropes to help practitioners get the poses right, Rao said.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on his Twitter Inc. account that he’s “deeply saddened” by his death. Generations will remember him “as a fine guru, scholar and a stalwart who brought yoga into the lives of many across the world,” he wrote.
In January, India’s government awarded Iyengar the Padma Vibhushan, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor. He is survived by five daughters and a son.