Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga pioneered by the legendary BKS Iyengar who passed away this year. Until recently, I wasn’t familiar with the style at all. Now, my new yoga teacher is trained in the Iyengar style and I practice it in class twice weekly. Rather than having an emphasis on flowing sequences seen in vinyasa classes, Iyengar heavily focuses on the detail and alignment of postures. As a result, it is a really good style of yoga to practice alone, or to compliment other styles in making sure that your asana is accurate.
Iyengar classes are very inclusive; props are used so that students of all abilities can safely and effectively try the postures. The teachers often demonstrate new poses, and students are actively engaged; encouraged to ask questions and have one-on-one corrections to postures made. In my particular class, we spend a good five minutes focusing on every little detail of Mountain Pose to increase awareness of detail in any pose, and to build a strong foundation.
There is a focus on five standing poses -triangle pose, extended side angle pose, Warrior I and II, and intense side stretch. However, a large range of poses are used in Iyengar yoga. The poses are often hold for longer than in other classes, often 20-30 seconds. This allows for greater mental alertness. In many cases, the classes progress with the students, and over weeks new, more challenging poses are added, with many modifications offered to suit a range of abilities.
Through one man, Iyengar yoga has become exceptionally widespread, teaching millions worldwide to practice yoga to their fullest since the 1960’s. In bringing yoga to the west, BKS Iyengar has been named the “father of modern yoga”. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in his books, teachings and classes.
If you’ve tried Iyengar yoga, leave me a comment! Have you been reading Om Yoga this month? If you’d like to try, follow the photo link below to download the latest issue for less than the cost at the newsagent, or a free sample issue.
Disclaimer: I am an Affiliated Blogger with Om Yoga Magazine. Each issue I will write a post on an article from the magazine and share it with you. Have a look here to find about the other lovely affiliated bloggers.