“Some people say Iyengar yoga is the easiest [yoga style]. Some people say it is the hardest. But once you’ve done it, all of the other styles seem reckless.”
– Shape Magazine 1998
About Iyengar Yoga
B.K.S. Iyengar is credited as one of the foremost yogis to popularize yoga in the West. He continues, now in his 90’s, to practice, to teach and to write about yoga in Pune, India. His methods of teaching and practicing yoga are authentic to yoga’s long tradition and come from the depth of his own practice.
Currently there are just over 600 Iyengar certified yoga teachers in the United States. There are 16 in Pennsylvania and only 2 in Western Pennsylvania. Those two teachers teach at Yoga On Centre.
Hallmarks of Iyengar Yoga
Accessibility. Iyengar yoga has an entry point for everyone regardless of age, gender or ability. The postures are modified with props when necessary to allow everyone to work at their own level. A certified teacher can guide students of all types to an experience of yoga, which is safe, accessible and progressive.
Longer holds of the postures. This allows the necessary time for the practitioner to take his/her awareness inward and bring consciousness to dull, weak or rigid areas of the body. This allows for distribution of vital energy, prana, to the entire body.
Use of Props. Blocks, straps, chairs and a variety of yoga props are used to facilitate longer holding of postures and accurate alignment. Props help the practitioner to reduce excessive work and muscular tension and to reduce the development or hyper-flexibility.
Home practice. The Iyengar classroom is a learning environment that encourages and inspires students to take that 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 (yogic breathing) is done in a safe and subtle manner. There are no aggressive huffing and puffing practices that can cause breathing “highs,” damage sensitive nerves, and create excessive heat and nervous disorders.
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