Iyengar yoga is form of Hatha yoga developed in the 1970s by B.K.S Iyengar. The poses and breathing exercises have been carefully developed over a decade using the principles obtained from the teachings of the Yoga Sutras of an Indian philosopher called Patanjali, who lived 1700 years ago. His teachings state that the ultimate aim of yoga is to reach a stage of freedom of the mind, body and soul, which culminates in a peaceful existence exempt from mundane ties to this world B.K.S Iyengar systematically classified and amplified over 200 classical yoga poses from beginner to extremely challenging. Although he passed away at the age of 95, his son Prashant and daughter Geeta carry on the family tradition as accomplished Iyengar Yoga Instructors.
Iyengar Yoga is based mainly on three important principles.
• The body movement and alignments must be accurately performed along with pranayama or breath control
This refers to the order in which the Asanas are performed. This in correlation with the related breath control ensures maximum effectiveness.
This deals with two issues, the amount of time spent on each alignment during a specific pose as well as the amount of time spentpracticing said pose.
These key points help to get the body and mind to move and work in perfect harmony creating a heightened sense of clarity and calmness.
What can You expect During an Iyengar Yoga Class?
An Iyengar Yoga class generally consists of breathing exercises, and the practice and subsequent perfection of simple asanas before attempting any complicated postures. Unlike other forms of yoga Iyengar Yoga implements the use of props to facilitate accurate alignment of the body.Typical postures practiced during a class include: back bends, upright poses, forward lunges, inverted postures, and restorative poses. Students gradually increase the difficulty of the poses as they become more physically able and spiritually enlightened. The asanas performed are safe and have a minimal impact on joints making it perfect for young and old alike
Many students swear that despite the gruelling workout, they leave their classes feeling energised and uplifted on every level imaginable.
Who Can Teach Iyengar Yoga?
Classes can only be taught by Iyengar certified Yoga instructors, a title which can only be acquired through years of intense and rigorous training as well as many years of experience. They must also pass an internationally recognized global assessment. So great is their ability that they are able to identify minute errors in body alignment and make adjustments based on each individual students’ progress.
Iyengar yoga is beneficial for the following main reasons:
It improves the general well being of an individual on every level, i.e. physical, emotional and spiritual.
It greatly improves the functioning of the mind.
There is a pronounced decrease in ailments especially those that are either stress or hormone related.
The poses help to correct any postural deformities.
A significant improvement has been noticed amongst people who suffer from mental ailments such as depression and anxiety.