bks iyengar wrenches bbc newscaster into headstand in vintage video

The BBC newscaster looks in awe at BKS Iyengar in a fancy headstand variation (screengrab via bbc.co.uk)

The BBC newscaster watches BKS Iyengar in a fancy headstand variation (screengrab via bbc.co.uk)

In this classic video from the BBC archives, BKS Iyengar introduces Brits to the marvels of yoga and successfully wrenches the newscaster into her first headstand. The clip is titled BBC news item from 1966 – BKS Iyengar demonstrates yoga, and this demonstration does indeed happen, paired with a charming woodwind soundtrack. But at the three-minute mark, another vintage clip is spliced in and the newscaster’s pastel sweatsuit and Adidas trainers indicate that we’re no longer in the 60s, baby.

A little digging around the BBC website reveals that the latter clip was from a 1981 BBC evening magazine program. Filmmaker Adam Curtis included the clip in an essay about physical culture and nation-building, in which he almost managed to draw parallels between politics in Iraq and modern yoga (with a couple of edits and a decent conclusion the reader might be able to understand what they have in common – as it stands, it’s not entirely clear, but still interesting).

The video is not embeddable, but you can watch the whole thing here. It’ll be the best six minutes of your day, really. 






  1. Gotta love that the interview begins while he’s in headstand! “Wrenches” is the word for it, by the way! Ow!

  2. Okay, that was great. “I’ve killed men for less than that!” Hahaha.

  3. “oooh… this is rather uplifting” 😀 thanks for sharing!