What is Iyengar Yoga?

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B.K.S. Iyengar

Yoga master, B.K.S. Iyengar says that yoga is for everyone!

Yoga is a holistic experience that benefits the body, mind and spirit.

Mr.Iyengar took the ancient practice and philosophy of yoga and explained it so that it can be applied to modern living.

Yogacharya Iyengar practiced and taught for over 75 years. After being very sick as a child he began yoga in his teens as a direct disciple under his brother-in-law T. Krishnamacharya.

He lived in Pune, India and is the author of many books and has won numerous awards.

Through this dedicated practice of over 75 years he has developed props to help make yoga accessible to all. 

 His son and daughter, Prashant and Geeta are also accomplished teachers and authors of many books.

If you are interested in learning more about B.K.S. Iyengar check out http://www.bksiyengar.com/.



What is Iyengar Yoga and F.A.Q.'s

When I am asked What is Iyengar Yoga?  I find it hard to explain in only a few words. It really needs to be experineced :)! 


The Iyengar approach to yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga expounded by Patanjali in his classic treatise, The Yoga Sutras, written over 2,500 years go. It is a disciplined and deeply researched system developed over 75 years by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar who practiced daily for many hours at a time during his 96 years – exploring, studying, writing and teaching about yoga.


"Yoga means union. The union of the individual soul with the Universal Spirit is yoga. But this is too abstract a notion to be easily understood, so for our level of understanding I say that yoga is the union of body with the mind and of mind with the soul”. 

– BKS Iyengar, Tree of Yoga.


What is unique about Iyengar Yoga is that it is characterized in the practice of asana (poses) and pranayama (breathwork) with the innovative approach emphasizing precision and alignment, planned sequencing, timing and the use of props. 

This approach has allowed people of varying ages, levels of health and fitness to enjoy the benefits which a sustained practice can bring – the ability to face the physical, mental and emotional challenges contemporary life with strength, vitality, mobility, thoughtfulness and equanimity.


The term “Iyengar Yoga” was coined by students of Mr. Iyengar to distinguish Guruji’s approach from other styles of yoga. 

He, however, described his yoga as “Patanjali Yoga” and said:

“I have no right to brand my practices or teachings as Iyengar Yoga. My pupils, who follow me, call it Iyengar Yoga. The only thing I am doing is to bring out the in-depth, the hidden qualities of Yoga to the awareness of you all. What I do is pure, authentic traditional Yoga. It is wrong to differentiate traditional yoga Iyengar Yoga, as it is also not fair to brand Yoga, as Raja-yoga, Hatha-yoga, Laya-yoga, Kundalini-yoga, Taraka-yoga and so forth. There is no distinction between one Yoga and another. Yoga, is one.”


What to expect from this method of yoga?

· Qualified and rigorously trained instructors committed to excellence in teaching.

· A safe and systematic progression of yoga postures to develop each student’s ability and skill, both within each class and from class to class.

· Sequencing that develops strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration, and body alignment.

· Individual correction and knowledge of how to adjust postures for common physical problems.

· Precise use of language.

· Demonstration and teaching of specific points to develop understanding and intelligent action.

· Integration of the yoga philosophy with the practice of asana.

· Incorporation and relevance of practice into daily life.

· Ways to use yoga to ease various ailments and stress.

· Classes may use props, such as blankets, blocks, and straps, to facilitate learning and adjust yoga postures to individual needs.


What are props and why are they used?

B.K.S. Iyengar refined the use of props in the practice of yoga to allow all practitioners access to the benefits of the postures regardless of physical condition, age, or length of study. Props can be used to:

· Create optimal body alignment.

· Make specific actions or poses accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to perform the posture due to physical limitations.

· Help adjust or support the practitioner to work in a range of motion that is safe and effective.

· Instruct, or highlight a particular quality, action, or aspect of a yoga posture to enhance personal understanding of a posture and its effects.

· Help all practitioners (including the most advanced) gain sensitivity to the balance of effort and relaxation in the postures.

· Provide support so that the practitioner can receive the deep benefits of holding a posture for significant time periods.

· Enhance the restorative or therapeutic qualities of a posture.


Props that may be used include sticky mats, blankets, belts, blocks, chairs, benches, wall ropes, sandbags, and other objects that help students experience the various yoga poses more profoundly.


Interested in classes? I teach group and private classes. Please contact me for more details.


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