What is Iyengar Yoga?
Most people have heard about Yoga and have a perception of what it is…
…but what is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga was created by B.K.S. Iyengar and evolved from his interest in the teachings of Patanjali and his particular yoga poses. It is based on what is called the “Eight limbs of Yoga”.
What makes it specifically different from all other styles of Yoga is it’s focus on precision. Iyengar Yoga emphasizes concentration, strength, stamina, balance, flexibility and meditation. Standing poses, referred to as Asanas are one of the key focus areas for this type of Yoga.
The other key differentiation comes through the use of equipment, referred to as Props. Props include belts, blocks, bricks, blankets and chairs. In a good Iyengar Yoga studio you will also learn about the use of ropes. Ropes are fixed to the wall and are used to support specific Asanas. Granted it can look a bit weird if you’re not used to it, but you can create some exceptional postures that would otherwise be impossible. This is why this style of yoga is beneficial for all, including the older or stiffer student.
This overall focus on precision demands that…
… Iyengar Yoga teachers are highly trained.
Iyengar Yoga teachers have to complete a stringent training programme that covers many years. Even before an Iyengar Yoga teacher can begin teacher training, they have to be practicing Iyengar Yoga with an approved Iyengar Yoga teacher for a minimum of 3 years.
To reach just the first level of Iyengar teacher qualification, you have to study for 2 years. The foundation level includes teaching in anatomy, yoga philosophy, class planning, pranyama and first aid.
It’s this intensive training that enables Iyengar Yoga teachers to provide so much value to their students and also protects the Iyengar method.
An Iyengar Yoga teacher will actively focus their students attention on the correctness of their posture, helping them correct errors in their posture to achieve optimum alignment. This perfection in posture ensures the participant achieves the maximum health benefits that comes from the practice of Yoga.
Many studies and research provide lots of proof that support the fact that participating in yoga can result in a stronger mind and body. This is why Iyengar Yoga teachers believe that if you are going to practice yoga to achieve these benefits, then…
…practice Iyengar Yoga to achieve the optimum benefits that come through it’s attention to detail.
Additional studies also show that Iyengar yoga is especially successful for the treatment of injuries, mental depression and many other ailments. Many sports people also practice Iyengar yoga to improve flexibility and stamina to assist their core sport.
Hopefully I’ve given you some reasons that will help you understand why Iyengar Yoga. Yes I might be prejudiced as an Iyengar Yoga teacher, but these are some of the reasons I chose this style of Yoga.
But don’t think that this the only style of yoga I’ve studied. I also have experience under the British Wheel of yoga. This qualification took 9 months to achieve and I have been practicing Yoga for over 15 years, so I do come from a place of experience. Whichever style of yoga you choose, the key is to practice, practice and then do more practice. Only then can you truly feel the benefits that yoga has to offer.