Iyengar yoga, one of the world’s most widely practiced forms, emphasizes correct alignment of all parts of the body within each pose. This precision builds strength and stamina, balance and flexibility, and a new sense of well-being. Achieving meditation in action, students learn to exist fully and vibrantly in the present moment.
An Iyengar Yoga teacher clearly demonstrates the postures and brings the students’ attention to specific teaching points to better understand and perform each pose.
Smaller class sizes and individual attention are a great advantage for students of this method. Iyengar teachers are trained to observe all students in a class and ensure that all students are participating in a safe and beneficial way. At Iyengar Yoga of Bend, our classes average between 5 -15 students in a spacious, light-filled room with the Cascade mountains as our backdrop.
Under the teacher’s well-trained eye, students receive feedback and adjustments to their poses, assuring safe practice. Intelligent and purposeful sequences of poses are taught which build skill and understanding as students progress from posture to posture, class to class, year to year unique to each level. Students begin with standing poses. In time, other postures are added, including forward bends and back bends, twists, inversions and restorative poses.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Balance) is introduced as soon as students are ready and with specific set-ups, because of its many therapeutic benefits. Each class ends with Savasana, corpse pose. Students learn to rest and relax profoundly, completely releasing the body while drawing the mind towards the peace within.
Yoga is union–the union of mind, body and spirit. In Iyengar Yoga, this search for union begins with ongoing practice of the yoga postures. In time students learn to penetrate beyond the outer, physical layers (kosas) to the inner layers of mind, energy and spirit. In B.K.S. Iyengar’s unique perspective, the yoga Asana-s (postures) and Pranayama (the control of the breath) allow us to explore the higher limbs of yoga, including true meditation and even Samadhi, the complete freedom that is the end of the yogic journey.
Testimonials from Local Students at Iyengar Yoga of Bend
About 10 years ago, I had an MRI diagnosis that revealed some degeneration between vertebrae C5-6 and C6-7. I had been able to live in relative comfort since that time until this summer when I experienced significant muscle pain around one shoulder blade, which progressed to my upper shoulder muscles and nerve pain in my right arm. After treating my back with ibuprofen, chiropractic adjustments, ice therapy, heat therapy, Tens therapy, physical therapy, massage therapy, soaking in our hot tub, and daily doses of turmeric over the course of three months over the summer with temporary success in each case, I came to a chiropractor that had successfully treated my daughter. After a few treatments, we didn’t see any measurable success for my issues, but we were able to evaluate my case through X-Rays and an MRI that established continued degeneration between C5-6 and C6-7 that has continued to progress over the past 10 years. I discussed with that chiropractor that I wanted to try yoga which I had recalled had worked for me 10 years earlier.
I went to Iyengar Yoga Of Bend located in the Safeway shopping center on 3rd Street. After one beginner level class, I experienced some very nice relief. After the 2nd class three days later, discomfort and pain issues were virtually gone. I could still find sources of discomfort, but only by looking for them, and they were minor. After the 3rd class a few days later, pain and discomfort were completely gone. The cost of the classes were in the range of $12-$16 per 1.5 hour class, far less than the $105 per visit to the last chiropractor. I have continued to attend classes 2-3 times per week and I have not felt as good in a long time.
I believe that Iyengar yoga strengthens the muscles supporting the spine that is important to good spinal health. Additionally, I believe that the practice helps elongate the spine in areas where degeneration is reducing openings between the vertebrae. From what I am learning in classes, this is only one area that Iyengar yoga offers personal benefits. It is my plan to continue to make Iyengar yoga a part of my lifestyle for continued personal health.
re-started Iyengar Yoga Sept., 2018
My expectations for my body’s performance were on the downward swing, I was becoming more “round”, round-shouldered, no stamina and was less able to do what I easily did just a few years ago. I had just moved to Bend and I finally lived in central Oregon, a dream of mine for 30 years. I intended now to enjoy it as I would have, 30 years younger. Hiking, backpacking, kayaking, skiing, cycling were all on my agenda and I wasn’t going to let being at “that age” stop me. Plus I still had to work to earn a living. What to do?
As I talked to friends and polled those whose energy and vitality seemed ageless, “yoga” kept being the answer. It was by luck that I walked into my first-ever yoga class and it was Iyengar Yoga. I only knew I wanted to learn yoga, I hadn’t a clue there were so many varieties of yoga. Iyengar Yoga fit me perfectly. It was paced so I could really think about what I was doing. Each class had different variations in poses (asanas) to keep me challenged and interested. Every time I got smug and thought I had things figured out, Nadine would come up with a new pose that pushed me even further. I had shoulder surgery to fix an old injury and with Nadine’s careful instruction and the Iyengar props my shoulder is better than it ever was in strength & flexibility. I now have the stamina and strength, plus increased flexibility that I had years ago. Thanks to Nadine and Iyengar Yoga, I’m my old-young self again.
Carla F, Artist
started Iyengar Yoga Sept, 2005
Iyengar yoga has made such a positive impact on my experience in stretching and strengthening my body. I have been involved in athletics most of my life. I have also studied the field of exercise and appreciate the importance of the mind, body connection and all aspects of fitness. Stretching has been an uncomfortable, if not painful experience, for as long as I can remember. I wrongfully accepted I have tight hamstrings, hips, calves, and shoulders. Then I received advice from a physical therapist to try Iyengar yoga to address sudden pain issues I was experiencing.
After months of practice, at home and in classes with Nadine, stretching is no longer a painful experience. I am excited to say I look forward to my morning or evening yoga routine. My body feels so amazing after each yoga session. It is a wonderful complement to how I feel after taking or teaching a difficult spin class, going for a long trail run, or other high-intensity activities I routinely engage in. Iyengar yoga’s focus on detailed actions in each pose and correct body position has allowed me to improve my flexibility beyond what I ever thought I was capable of achieving. My pain has significantly lessened, and in some areas is completely gone. It has also taught me how to be relaxed and breathe effectively while working extremely hard. I am convinced Iyengar yoga is exercise everyone could benefit from at all levels of fitness and at any age.
Eris Craven, MS, RD, LD
started Iyengar Yoga Sept, 2010
“Participation in classes at Iyengar Yoga of Bend has brought me a wonderful awareness of my mind and body to achieve the well-being of both. I have found strength, vigor, balance , flexibility, calm and contentment in the practice of this ancient discipline where neither age nor physical limitations prevent one’s attaining harmony.”
Marguerite B. 68 years young
started Iyengar Yoga Dec, 2008
“Though I have practiced several types of Yoga in the past, discovering Nadine Sims and Iyengar Yoga of Bend has been a treasured gift to my mental and physical well-being. Nadine’s precise, consistent and gentle style of teaching has enabled me to make great strides in my ability to not only execute, but to understand my Yoga poses; I never leave a class without feeling that both my mind and my body have learned something new! Iyengar Yoga has deepened my respect for the benefits of the practice helping me to understand how Yoga truly does impact all aspects of my everyday life. It has brought me strength, flexibility, better alignment, posture, and balance in all that I do.”
Carol W., Retired Middle School Educator
started Iyengar Yoga Oct, 2007