Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga


Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by
B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision
and alignment in the performance of posture and breath control. The development of strength,
mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.
B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama
ranging from the basic to advanced. This helps ensure that students progress gradually by
moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step.
Iyengar Yoga often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in
performing asanas. The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising
the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old.
Iyengar Yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali
in his Yoga Sutras. Focus
A form of Hatha Yoga, it focuses on the structural alignment of the physical body through the
development of asanas. Through the practice of a system of asanas, it aims to unite the
body, mind and spirit for health and well-being. This discipline is considered a powerful tool
to relieve the stresses of modern-day life which in turn can help promote total physical
and spiritual well-being. It can be said that Iyengar differs from the
other styles of yoga by three key elements: technique, sequence and timing.
Technique refers to the precision of the body alignment and the performance of pranayama.
Sequence means the sequences in which asanas and breathing exercises are practiced. Following
the specific sequence is important in achieving the desired result, because only the combination
of certain poses and breathing techniques can ensure the expected positive effect.
Timing is the third key element which defines the time spent in each pose or pranayama.
Iyengar Yoga is characterized by great attention to detail and precise focus on body alignment.
Iyengar pioneered the use of “props” such as cushions, benches, blocks, straps and sand
bags, which function as aids allowing beginners to experience asanas more easily and fully
than might otherwise be possible without several years of practice. Props also allow elderly,
injured, tired or ill students to enjoy the benefits of many asanas via fully “supported”
methods requiring less muscular effort. Unlike more experiential approaches where
students are encouraged to independently “find their way” to the asanas by imitating the
teacher, an Iyengar Yoga class is highly verbal and precise, with misalignments and errors
actively corrected. Iyengar teachers complete at least two years of rigorous training for
the introductory certificate. They may complete subsequent intermediate levels and senior
levels of certification, potentially entailing a decade or more of training.
Healing effects Iyengar also targeted various ailments, diseases,
and disorders with his practice. Chronic back pain, immunodeficiency, high blood pressure,
insomnia, depression and menopause have specific programs of yoga associated with them. Iyengar
worked with those who had myocardial infarctions. The asanas are designed to be adjusted based
on a person’s stage of recovery. See also B. K. S. Iyengar
References External links
B.K.S. Iyengar’s Official website BBC World Service article and programme by
Mark Tully Iyengar among TIME’s top 100 people
Interview with Iyengar on CNN Denver Post article
Interview with BKS Iyengar by IBNlive news channel
Interview with BKS iyengar by Noa Zweig, Pune 2012