Iyengar yoga, one of the world’s most widely practiced system, 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.
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 meditation.