Internationally acknowledged as the modern master of yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar is universally honored for the depth of his understanding and teaching of the art, science, and philosophy of yoga. He is the author of Light on Yoga, the most authoritative modern yoga text, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras, Tree of Yoga, Light on Life and other exceptional reference works.
During more than 75 years of teaching, he developed the innovative and inspired method of yoga, which is taught under his name. Iyengar Yoga is not only one of the world’s most practiced methods of yoga, its principles are now incorporated into the teaching of yoga under many other names as well as into many forms of exercise, therapy, and movement.
Mr. Iyengar was also a pioneer in the therapeutic applications of yoga for the treatment of many medical conditions and physical problems. Medical professionals and research in many disciplines in countries around the world have recognized the efficacy of his method. His revolutionary use of yoga props allows students of all ages and abilities to work to their fullest potential while overcoming limitations. It is perhaps his greatest achievement that B.K.S. Iyengar has made yoga accessible to and relevant for everyone.
Geeta was the principal teacher at RIMYI and the senior most Iyengar Yoga Teacher in the world, until she passed away in 2018. She had been doing yoga by her father’s side since she could remember. She wrote Yoga: A Gem for Women in 1990, as well as contributed to many other books and writings, taught numerous intensives, lead conventions worldwide, and continued teaching several daily classes every week in Pune. Her contributions to clarifying and codifying her father’s teachings were immeasurable.
Sri Prashant Iyengar in addition to teaching daily classes at RIMYI, has written extensively about yoga philosophy and the ancient texts and has made numerous audio recordings on the yoga sutras. He is the director of RIMYI.
Abhijata Iyengar started seriously studying yoga from the young age of 16 under the direct guidance of her maternal grandfather, B.K.S. Iyengar, her aunt, Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar and uncle Sri Prashant Iyengar. She is a senior teacher at RIMYI.
MARY DUNN, IYAGNY SENIOR TEACHER
Mary Dunn, one of yoga’s most gifted, experienced and beloved teachers, was the longtime Senior Teacher at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York.
She was a founding director of the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS) and was instrumental in the formation of three Iyengar Yoga Institutes in the United States: San Francisco, San Diego and New York, where she remained a tireless inspiration for the activities of the New York Association. Her efforts led to the opening of the Institute of New York.
Mary began studying with B.K.S. Iyengar in 1974; her mother, Mary Palmer, brought Mr. Iyengar to the United States for his first sustained teaching here. Certified as Advanced Junior, Mary said that Iyengar Yoga was the place where her life interests and life work came together. In her teaching, she drew on her education at the University of Wisconsin in English, history and philosophy and on her interests in communications, the arts and music.
As Senior Teacher in New York and a workshop teacher worldwide, Mary brought a unique teaching style—enthusiastic and motivating, grounded in thorough knowledge of the method, intelligent and humorous—to the training of generations of students and teachers. Mary maintained regular study with the Iyengar family throughout the years. After she was diagnosed with advanced peritoneal cancer, she maintained a blog (www.marydunn.blogspot.com) about her treatment and her thoughts.
Mary passed away in 2008. Her legacy and teachings are carried on by the Faculty at the Iyengar Yoga Institutes of New York and Brooklyn.
JAMES MURPHY, IYAGNY SENIOR TEACHER
James Murphy began practicing yoga in 1988 and has taught since 1990. He has made numerous extended trips to India to study with B.K.S. Iyengar and Prashant and Geeta Iyengar. James began his study of Iyengar Yoga with Mary Dunn and Kevin Gardiner after a ten-year career with the Alwin Nikolais Dance Theater.
Describing his experiences in classes in India, James says, “Besides gaining invaluable insights into the physical aspects of yoga, I observed how Mr. Iyengar works on a psychological level to challenge students to go beyond their limits.”
At the Institute, James teaches a full range of classes, including a class for those living with HIV/AIDS, the Teacher Training Program, and the Specific Needs Class. As Senior Teacher, James continues his leadership role in creating and evolving programming for Iyengar Yoga teachers and practitioners in the three-state area. He is also active in the IYNAUS Certification Committee, which assesses teachers.
In addition to his study of yoga, James is keenly interested in people and cultures around the world. Providing yoga study and experiences in people-to-people understanding, James leads groups to Cambodia, Bali and Turkey through Yoga Out There.
A yoga practitioner of unusual integration and ability, James is featured in the Yoga Journal book, Yoga, has appeared in the Yoga Journal calendar, and has been interviewed for numerous articles in national magazines.
Through rhythm and sequencing, James creates an experience of integration in his classes that is both challenging and sensitive to the subtler aspects of the practice.