What is Iyengar Yoga?
The Iyengar Yoga is named after B.K.S. Iyengar of the 1960s and is a very meticulous yoga emphasizing detail, precision, alignment, timing, and props.
The yoga explains how you control your breath and pose and is known for building strength and agility and is great for all ages.
About Yogacharya Sri Iyengar:
Iyengar was born on December 14, 1918, in Bellur, India, he studied and practiced yoga for 85 years. B.K.S Iyengar’s guru is T. Krishnamacharya, also known as “The Father of Modern Yoga.”
B.K.S Iyengar has his book ‘Light on Yoga’ and has been the sourcebook for different generations of yoga students worldwide since the 70s. He taught yoga for over 75 years, making it an open-source for people everywhere. He invented the yoga props that we use today by exploring the benefits of yoga as a treatment for a range of serious medical conditions. The Yogamatters range of Iyengar Yoga Books explains the benefits of yoga.
Iyengar yoga focuses on postural alignment; therefore, you may find that it is particularly good for postural and structural problems. The yoga states that the style “emphasizes precision and alignment,” and prioritizes moving a small amount in the right direction then moving more in other directions. Postures in Iyengar yoga are maintained for a relatively long time compared to different yoga, making the muscles relax and lengthen and encourage awareness in the pose. Props, including belts, blocks, and blankets, are freely used to assist students in correct working in the asanas. When you give all of your attention and concentration to the details of each posture and the required effort and focus, it relieves stress and anxiety.
The Iyengar yoga moves at a slower pace than the other forms of yoga because it is methodical, and it ends by re-energizing your postures and leaves your mind and body with full energy.
Why are props used in an Iyengar yoga class?
An Iyengar studio stocks itself with a wide array of yoga props like blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, and bolsters – to help each student find the proper alignment in a pose. Accessories help students hold poses in alignment even when they’re new to them, have a chronic condition, are injured, or simply stiff.
Though props are always available in an Iyengar yoga class but not always necessary for each posture, the props simplify the practice rather than making it difficult and complicated by making it accessible to everyone. For a beginners’ class, it is always good to be guided by the teacher when it comes to props. An experienced teacher can advise each individual about how and when to use accessories.
What should you expect from an Iyengar yoga class?
In an Iyengar yoga class, postures are taught in the same process worldwide. Each teacher will select a series of positions for a specific category for a particular reason. You can fit in immediately in an Iyengar class as the pose will be the same wherever in the world you are nevertheless, whoever the teacher is.
In the beginning, Iyengar yoga class focuses on standing positions to learn the basics of how to adjust and align the body in the right way. You need to study the standing poses form the foundation before moving on to more advanced positions even if you’ve mastered the advanced postures.
All Iyengar teachers undergo extensive training to ensure that you get the expert instruction you need to continue. A current Iyengar Yoga Certification Mark means the teacher is a fully qualified Iyengar teacher. Thus, you can expect an Iyengar yoga class to include excellence of technique and sequencing, moving through a safe, orderly progression of yoga postures. The well-qualified teacher will provide a clear illustration and description and individual correction and adjustment when necessary.
Philosophy and Principles
Iyengar yoga denotes the sutras, which guide you towards peace of mind and, ultimately, bliss (Samadhi). Many people split yoga into four different types – Raja, Jnana, Bhakti, and Hatha.
Though Hatha Yoga and Iyengar yoga are different, Iyengar yoga is a derived form of Hata yoga.
The most popular form of yoga, Hata yoga, is practiced across the five continents. It involves asanas, pranayama, dhyana (includes kriyas, mudras, bandhas), and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Swatmarama is considered the first widespread text to have coded this. Popularly, the Hatha Yoga is a practice of yoga that involves exploring poses with a focus on staying in the poses and gently staying aware of your body and breathing.
The Benefits of Iyengar Yoga
The Iyengar yoga alleviates the structural problems in the body, releases emotional tension and calms you; increases your focus and attention; increases energy reconnects with your mind and soul, and develops intelligence and clarity.
Types of Iyengar Yoga
- Three variations of plank pose that target more than your core
- Releasing tension from your stiff tension
- Fuse elastic recoil play and other movement exercises with familiar poses like Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) and Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
- Chair Challenge
- Fun angles and elements of Iyengar Yoga
- Triangle pose three ways
- Countdown to stability in handstand
- Play with arm balancing in the tortoise pose-to-firefly transition with a chair, and many more.