What is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar yoga is a practical, progressive, effective and broad yoga system that makes yoga accessible to all. It includes motion, alignment, stress relief, rejuvenation, props, breathing, concentration, philosophy and more so that practitioners will find it helpful through all stages of life both on and off the mat.
Who is BKS Iyengar?
Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of this century, BKS Iyengar is largely responsible for bringing yoga to the West through more than 10,000 international demonstrations and through his seminal work, Light on Yoga.
What is an Iyengar Yoga class like?
You will be guided through a sequence of poses designed to increase freedom, strength, flexibility and relaxation. The practice is progressive, aimed to yoke the body, mind and spirit together calming the mind and giving the experience of intense relaxation and well-being.
What makes Iyengar Yoga different?
Training of Iyengar yoga teachers is measured in years, not hours. Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYTs) have practiced Iyengar yoga for a minimum of seven years before they are even eligible to take the test for the very first level of teaching certification. Iyengar Yoga is further differentiated by a world-wide, standardized system of teacher training and certification. Each of the 12 levels of certification require rigorous training, mentorship and study; national, impartial testing is conducted by a panel of expert assessors to earn each level.
Iyengar yoga delivers personalized, precise and helpful instruction for maximum benefit. The teacher responds to the needs of the students making each class dynamic and unique. There are no set sequences.
Use of Props
BKS Iyengar innovated the use of props in yoga, making yoga accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities. Props such as belts, blocks, rope walls, blankets and bolsters are used as both aids and guides in practicing asana. Props help the student experience the benefits of each pose regardless of physical condition, age or length of study, while also minimizing the risk of injury or strain. They allow a student to stay longer in recuperative poses, thus delivering maximum calming and soothing for minimum effort. Props also allow the student to develop a sense of direction and intelligence in areas of the body which are dull, heavy, injured or just plain tired.
Each Iyengar yoga class is skillfully sequenced to guide students through a safe systematic and effective progression. As a result, students learn to penetrate beyond the physical body to the inner layers of mind, energy and spirit, gaining vitality, clarity and calmness through the practice.
BKS Iyengar was the first to use and define “alignment” in yoga. It is no exaggeration to say that alignment was born in Iyengar yoga. Other, later styles of “alignment based” yogas owe a great debt of gratitude to the progenitor of this concept: BKS Iyengar.
Alignment is the very first principle in Iyengar yoga - the first step on the path of yoga. Precise alignment of the muscles creates a symmetry in the body leading directly to the experience of inner balance, harmony, clarity, insight, knowledge and eventually wisdom.