Google Doodle is celebrating yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar, who popularized the ancient Indian practice in the western world, on what would have been his 97th birthday.
In an interactive doodle created by Kevin Laughlin, Iyengar changes poses within Google’s logo when clicked, showcasing his style of yoga called “Iyengar Yoga.” The style requires “tremendous control and discipline, which he exercised in ways not limited to confoundingly long headstands.”
As the 11th of 13 children born to a poor family in 1918, Iyengar was a sickly child, suffering from malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid, and malnutrition.
“My arms were thin, my legs were spindly, and my stomach protruded in an ungainly manner,” he wrote. “My head used to hang down, and I had to lift it with great effort.”
His brother-in-law Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who ran a school, introduced him to yoga in an effort to improve his health. Three years later he became a teacher himself.
Another brother-in-law, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, is often referred to as “the father of modern yoga.”
Among Iyengar’s famous students were author Aldous Huxley, actress Annette Bening, violinist Yehudi Menuhin, designer Donna Karan, former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.
Iyengar practiced and taught Iyengar Yoga well into his 80s and almost right until his death in 2014. Watch him in action below.