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Introduction to Iyengar Yoga

If you are going to liken yoga to academic institutions, Iyengar would be an Ivy League school. Iyengar yoga is a popular form of yoga that is known for its precise focus on structural alignment. It was created by B.K.S. Iyengar, who is a highly respected yoga master who first learned yoga in his country of India as a way to heal himself from tuberculosis.  iyengarIn the process of developing his own system of yoga, he was also the first yoga teacher to incorporate props, like belts, cushions, chairs, and blocks into his regular teachings. Iyengar still teaches his style of yoga today in his Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India with his son and daughter. Mr. Iyengar is also the author of one of the most widely-read and highly-esteemed yoga texts, Light on Yoga.

Benefits

Iyengar yoga has a multitude of benefits that are all intended to promote physical and spiritual well-being. One of the primary benefits of this style of yoga is to reduce the stresses of modern day life. In addition, Mr. Iyengar has developed specific practices for those who suffer from certain ailments and conditions like back pain, depression, high blood pressure and a compromised immune system. Also, both the teacher and practitioner develop a profound understanding of proper alignment thereby increasing their knowledge of how the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and fascia work collectively together.

What to Expect

Since the Iyengar method is so precise, contact an Iyengar teacher before you decide to test out a class. In addition, since Iyengar teachers must go through 2-5 years of serious study before being allowed to teach this method, there may be limited instructors in your area. But once you find a teacher who is certified, you can be sure that they possess the necessary qualifications to teach this very serious method of yoga.  When you take a class, expect a lot of verbal and physical adjustments from your teacher. In other words, if you prefer to be left alone as you down-dog, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone.

Iyengar yoga builds a tremendous amount of strength in the body, particularly in the leg muscles since much attention is made on standing postures. Improved balance, coordination and circulation are also consequences of this practice.

 iyengar yoga

Even though it is an advanced practice through its comprehensive study, it is a wonderful method for beginners or for anyone who is healing from an injury. In fact, many individuals who are injured are encouraged to learn the Iyengar method as part of their healing therapy plan.

Is it for You?

Iyengar yoga is most appealing for current yoga practitioners or students who seek to advance their own practice by learning more about the technical, meticulous and anatomical aspects of the human body. But this method holds appeal for anyone who is interested in gaining a very thorough understanding of how the subtle movements of the body impart their effects on the entire body.

To watch an Iyengar yoga class in action, watch this video.

October 5th, 2008

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3 Responses to “Introduction to Iyengar Yoga”


Deborah Rummelhart
Oct 6th, 2008
3:18 pm

The best antidotes to stress that I have found are laughter and Iyengar yoga, which I have practiced for over 10 years. I believe the great strengths of Iyengar Yoga are that the teachers are very highly trained and tested, and that BKS Iyengar devoted a lot of his time, expertise and genius to developing the therapeutic use of yoga for various physical and mental ailments. I have used Iyengar yoga for stress relief, and also to heal a bad back.
Deborah Rummelhart, author of Where Are My Ankles? How Iyengar Yoga Rescued Me From Stress, Fear and a Very Bad Back. Read sample chapters and get a coupon for a free yoga class honored at 45 yoga studios nationwide at http://www.funnypath.com .


Analu
Oct 17th, 2008
1:45 pm

I have also felt and still fell all great benefit that come from Iyengar practise and specially now…ater 8 years of practise it seems that finally the asanas are becoming asanas where I put less effort to get into the pose and my mind can actually really fell the benefit and transform its own way of behaving. Calmness and real peacefull feeling can get through all my body, mind , spirit. Om


Full of Energy
Nov 12th, 2008
5:01 pm

Thanks for the great information!