B.K.S. Iyengar, (1918-2014) was one of the foremost yogis to popularize yoga in the West. His family in Pune, India, and thousands of Iyengar certified teachers across the globe continue to share his precise methods of practice and teaching. His methods are authentic to yoga’s long tradition and come from the depth of his 80 years of daily practice.
Hallmarks of Iyengar Yoga
Accessibility. Iyengar yoga has an entry point for nearly everyone regardless of age, gender or state of health. The postures are modified with props as necessary to allow students to work at their appropriate level. A certified Iyengar teacher can guide all students to an experience of yoga, which is safe, accessible and progressive.
Longer holds of the postures. This allows the necessary time for a practitioner to take his/her awareness inward to blocked, weak or rigid areas of the body. This allows time for full distribution of vital energy (prana), blood circulation and intelligence to the entire body.
Use of Props. Iyengar developed the once-rare use of props such as blocks, straps, chairs, etc. used to facilitate longer holds of postures and accurate alignment. Proper alignment reduces extraneous effort and excess muscular tension and prevents the development of hyper-flexibility which can damage joints.
Home practice. The Iyengar classroom is a learning environment that encourages students to take the new knowledge into their home practice. Without a personal practice, the study of yoga is incomplete. Class is not a “workout’ session. Iyengar students become self-sufficient, not teacher-dependent.
Pranayama practice is an elevated art.
Pranayama (yogic breathing) is done in a safe and subtle manner as a practice unto itself. There are no aggressive huffing and puffing practices that can cause breathing “highs,” damage sensitive nerves, and create excessive heat and nervous disorders.