A Brief Look At Iyengar Yoga And Its Founder
There are several different forms of yoga present in the world, and no matter who you are, or what you seek to achieve regarding personal growth, it is possible through yoga. However, yoga has become a worldwide trend only in recent years, whereas it used to be mostly practiced in India initially. It was the efforts of a group of yogis that brought the knowledge of yoga internationally, and one of them was Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, better known as B.K.S Iyengar.
One of the earliest students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, BKS Iyengar is considered one of the most popular contemporary yoga gurus. He was born on December 14, 1918, in Bellur, India, and studied and practised yoga for over 85 years, and taught for 75 of those years all over the world. His work on the yoga postures and philosophy is available in the books he penned, namely Light On Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light On Life.
BKS Iyengar is also one of the most decorated personalities of yoga, and the Indian government awarded him with the Padma Shri in 1991, Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Vibhushan in 2014. He also appeared in the “100 most influential people of the world” list by Time Magazine. All in all, he changed the landscape of the world of yoga, and has made a lasting impact in the world, and the form of yoga he popularized is now known as Iyengar Yoga.
Iyengar yoga is a purist form of yoga, that focuses on precision and alignment while performing the asanas. Iyengar yoga also introduced many props such as blocks and belts to help align the body correctly, and these are now used in almost every yoga studio. Light On Yoga still remains one of the primary sources to refer to while practicing yoga asanas.
What makes Iyengar Yoga special is the fact that it can be practiced by anyone, and is suited to the skill level of any practitioner. Iyengar yoga focuses on posture and alignment, which means that it is very therapeutic for structural problems, and is proven to be beneficial in people suffering from muscle pain, weakness, and poor posture. Iyengar yoga focuses on the quality of your postures, rather than the number of postures you’re going through, and is therefore great for relieving stress, and reduces the chances of injury greatly.
You will also notice that Iyengar Yoga classes in particular are filled with all sorts of props- blankets, blocks, straps, belts, ropes, chairs and bolsters. These are not meant to complicate the practice, rather, they’re meant to simplify it, and make the poses accessible for all levels of practitioners. These props can help you practice a particular asana, even if you have a chronic condition, are suffering from a mild injury, or if you’re simply feeling too stiff.
An experienced teacher will be able to guide you in whatever props are appropriate for you and the posture you’re trying to practice. Speaking of teachers, all the teachers around the world that teach Iyengar yoga will conduct the classes in much the same way – there will be a set of postures the teacher will select for practice, for specific reasons, and a particular posture will be the same in any class. For this reason, you can walk into an Iyengar yoga class anywhere in the world and still feel right at home.
If you’re a beginner wanting to get into yoga, your first few classes will consist of practicing basic standing postures. This is so that you can focus on learning about alignment and posture, and correct your asanas accordingly. These standing poses are the fundamentals of Iyengar yoga, and will help you build a good foundation so you can move onto more complex poses. All authentic Iyengar yoga teachers have a current Iyengar Yoga Certification Mark, so you can be sure that you’re working with a licenced and well trained professional.
If you’re looking to get into any sort of yoga, a yoga studio is the perfect place to start, and having a certified instructor’s help will be of great help. At Hith Yoga, we have several trained professionals who will work with your to choose the right yoga classes for you. Contact us to train with one of the best yoga studios in Delhi, and see what we have to offer to transform your life.