Death of yoga guru hits home in the Tri-States

Jan Barrett with Redbud Yoga met B.K.S. Iyengar in the late 1990s.

The world has lost a well-respected yoga master.

B.K.S. Iyengar died earlier this week in India at the age of 95.

Iyengar learned yoga to treat his tuberculosis.

He then became instrumental in teaching it to others.

It just so happens Iyengar's great niece is a yoga instructor at

Cheryl Loatsch Studio

in Quincy.

Mekhala Desikachar's grandfather, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, also taught Iyengar.

KHQA spoke with Desikachar about her lineage and the impact Iyengar left behind.

"He was one of the first people who brought yoga to the west and exposed it," she said.

Desikachar teaches a different type of yoga style than Iyengar.

She teaches postures coordinated with breathing and breath regulation along with how to calm the mind to develop a healthy body.

Jan Barrett with Redbud Yoga teaches Iyengar yoga.

She met the yoga guru in the late 1990s and has studied with him to focus on the skill.

"I've probably taught by now, 800 people in this little area," she said. "The farthest would be from up in the Macomb area over to the middle of nowhere in Missouri. That's an impact from India to here, and these people's lives have changed. Their kidneys are healthier."

Iyengar yoga focuses on precision and proper alignment of the body.