What is Iyengar Yoga? Iyengar Yoga, based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014), is the most widely practiced method in the world. The Iyengar yoga technique emphasises precision and alignment. Quality of movement is prioritised over quantity. You learn to move with ease in your body while working within your limitations, thus making the poses safe to perform. Yoga poses are held for longer than in some other styles, allowing tight muscles to lengthen and relax, and helping to focus awareness. Props such as blankets, blocks and belts may be used to improve your understanding of poses or to help if you have difficulties. The practice is progressive, building a stable foundation before attempting more demanding work. Beginners start with standing yoga poses and are gradually introduced to a fuller range of sitting and reclining yoga postures, forward extensions, inversions, twists, backbends and arm balances. Each group of yoga postures develops the body in different yet reciprocal ways and has different qualities: grounding, energising, strengthening, stimulating, calming. Yoga classes at all levels devote time to relaxation.
Who can practice Iyengar yoga? Iyengar yoga is for everyone. A Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher can guide students of all ages and physical conditions to an experience of yoga which is safe, accessible and rewarding. Regular practice increases suppleness, strength and stamina, improves posture and concentration, and quiets the mind to promote health, happiness and well-being.
Who teaches Iyengar yoga? Certified Iyengar Yoga teachers undergo rigorous training. Our teachers have also travelled to India to train at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, the home of Iyengar Yoga. Iyengar Yoga teachers use their deep-seated knowledge of the yoga poses to individualise corrections for each student and modify the classic poses using props, thereby enabling students to hold the poses for a longer duration.
What can I expect when I begin Iyengar Yoga? Students begin with basic standing poses. In time, other poses are added including forward bends and back bends, twists, inversions and restorative poses. Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) is introduced as soon as students are ready because of its many therapeutic benefits. Each class ends with Savasana (corpse pose) or poses of deep relaxation. Students learn to rest and release their body while drawing the mind towards the peace within.
Teachers devise sequences of poses which build skill and understanding from posture to posture, and from class to class. No two classes are the same. Students are encouraged to develop their own home practice.
Preparing for class Wear loose, comfortable clothing e.g. shorts, t-shirt, tracksuit pants. Eat at least 2 or 3 hours before class. Advise the teacher before class if you are menstruating, or if you have any significant health problems or injuries.