Iyengar yoga is Hatha Yoga as taught by BKS Iyengar. Classes are sequenced to promote health and skill in the body, and stability in the mind. Doing yoga the Iyengar way means that emphasis is placed on precision, anatomical alignment and full awareness so the student can begin to experience the inner harmony that is yoga.
Certified Iyengar Yoga teachers know how to meet students of all ages and abilities wherever they are. Extensive training and direct personal experience of the yoga postures allow instructors to teach appropriately to the individuals in front of them.
From your first class, Iyengar Yoga develops strength, stamina, coordination, flexibility, and much more. We use a safe and systematic progression of poses to develop your abilities. This total approach ensures that students progress from posture to posture, class to class, and year to year.
Using physical alignment as a starting point, Iyengar Yoga classes encourage the spread of intelligence throughout the body, the growth of self awareness,and an experience of the asanas as a form of “meditation in action.”
Called the “Michelangelo of yoga” and named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, B.K.S. Iyengar is universally acknowledged as the world’s foremost yoga teacher. Yogacharya (yoga master) Iyengar brought yoga to the west with his pioneering teaching in the 60s and 70s, fueling the explosive growth in yoga today. His Light on Yoga, called “the bible of yoga,” has been the source book for generations of yoga students.
Mr. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga Asanas and 14 different types of Pranayamas from the simple to the incredibly difficult. These have been structured and categorized so as to allow a beginner to progress surely and safely from basic postures to the most advanced as they gain flexibility, strength and sensitivity in mind, body and spirit.
Now in his late-90s, Mr. Iyengar continues his daily yoga practice at the Ramamani Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India. There, too, his daughter Geeta S. Iyengar, his son Prashant S. Iyengar, and his granddaughter, Abhijata Iyengar, as well as a cadre of highly trained teachers carry on his work, teaching scores of local and international students.
Hallmarks of Iyengar Yoga
Instruction: Clear directions and demonstrations from teachers help students learn and improve poses. Accurate and specific instructions also help prevent injuries. Iyengar Yoga encourages weak parts of the body to strengthen and stiff areas to release, thus awakening and realigning the whole body.
Sequencing: Every Iyengar yoga class is different. Our teachers introduce a wide variety of poses depending on the theme of the class and the needs of the students. Basic principles are taught in a safe and systematic way within a class, and from class to class. Teachers understand which poses best prepare the body and mind for subsequent poses.
Individual Feedback and Adjustments: Iyengar teachers offer students individual feedback about how to improve poses. Teachers are also trained in how to adapt poses to address common physical problems. Certified teachers are trained to address problems with knees, lower back, neck and shoulders, headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, and more.
Props: Props such as belts and blocks can help students experience the benefits of a pose. Teachers may use props to deepen a pose, support students in resting poses, and give students the ability to do poses that might otherwise not be possible.
Philosophy: Philosophical concepts are integrated in asana classes and their relevance to daily life is highlighted. The Iyengar method focuses on developing inner awareness by using the body as a focal point for the attention, creating a conscious state of being in the moment.
Variety: Each time you come to class you will do a new sequence of poses. A class might focus on a category of poses (such as backbends or restoratives), or on an area of the body (such as the hips or hamstrings). With consistent study, students are exposed to all categories of poses and progressively develop strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and concentration.
Teaching Excellence: Iyengar teachers are among the most highly trained yoga instructors in the world. Certification in the Iyengar method requires dedicating many years to study and passing rigorous assessment tests.
Yoga Beyond Asana: Iyengar yoga cultivates all 8 disciplines of yoga and is far from gymnastics and deep breathing. With practice and understanding, asana and pranayama affects the individual on mental and spiritual levels as well as a physical level.