Iyengar yoga is named after yoga master, B.K.S. Iyengar, born December 14th, 1918 in the village of Bellur in the State of Karnataka, India. Mr. Iyengar was practicing daily and offering guidance at his center, the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India well into his 90″s, leaving his body only recently on Aug 20th, 2014 at the age of 96. His daughter, Geeta and son, Prachant are now the acting directors at RIMYI. Known as Guruji to his devoted students around the world, B.K.S. Iyengar was the author of some of the most highly respected books on the subject of yoga. Among them are Light on Yoga, Light on the Yoga Sutras and Light on Pranayama, all of which have been translated into multiple languages. He received numerous honors and awards both in India and internationally for his achievements in yoga and his dedication to its promulgation as well as being voted one of the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ by Time Magazine. There are now Iyengar Yoga Schools in 76 countries on 5 continents and with millions of people practicing Iyengar Yoga, it is the largest yoga organization in the world.
“Iyengar Hatha Yoga is meditation in action”. It involves the practice of yoga postures and breathing exercises that work every muscle, bone, joint, and organ in the body with steadfast mindfulness to attain a more balanced state. Working through the concreteness of the body, yoga teaches one to first observe and then integrate body, breath and mind.
Iyengar yoga is noted for three important aspects:
*Attention to correct alignment is a cornerstone of the Iyengar system so that maximum benefit may be experienced in each pose while reducing the risk of injury.
*Skillful sequencing of poses with intentional “timings” (length of time spent in each pose) for specific effect.
*The use of yoga “props” when necessary, enables every student to perform each asana safely or more deeply than would be possible without the assist. Yoga props include blankets, blocks, straps, chairs, walls and original wooden structures that were designed by Mr. Iyengar.
While other systems of yoga have also adopted and now commonly use props, it should be noted that it was exclusively due to Mr. Iyengar’s keen observational skills and innovative spirit, joined with his desire for all people to be able to enjoy the benefits of yoga, that inspired him to develop the use of props for the teaching of Hatha Yoga.