“I consider myself fortunate to be in my father’s light, not his shadow”
Dr Geeta S. Iyengar, eldest daughter of Yogacharya B. K. S. Iyengar is considered by her students to be the world’s leading female yoga teacher. She studied yoga with her father from an early age and, after graduating from high school in 1961, she began substituting for her father when he was away on international teaching tours. Since her father’s retirement in 1984, she was co-director, with her brother Prashant S. Iyengar, of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) Pune, as well as undertaking her own international teaching tours. She visited the UK twice to teach at large conventions.
Geetaji adapted her father’s method of yoga to the specific requirements of women. Specific asanas, pranayama and sequences are given for different stages in a woman’s life including menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.
Perhaps Geetaji’s most remarkable quality was that she always taught to her absolute maximum. Whatever she may have been feeling, she taught with the same incredible dynamism. She could not allow anyone, even in a convention of hundreds of students, to hide away or not be helped when she saw their difficulties. She ‘saw’ everything and when she observed that someone was not understanding or misaligned or in pain she could not ignore it. She included everybody in her class and if the class did not understand what she was teaching, she would repeat and explain until she was satisfied that each and every one understood.
Geetaji died on 16 December 2018, aged 74, two days after her father’s birth centenary.