Iyengar Yoga

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Iyengar Yoga in Practice

The cornerstones of Iyengar practice are:

  • Correct, precise body alignment
  • Correct Sequencing: Iyengar yoga features a specific sequencing of over 200 asanas and 14 types of pranayama, based on the premise that how postures are performed and in what order determines their effectiveness; students progress from basic to more advanced poses, gradually gaining in physical, emotional, and mental strength
  • Timing: The longer poses are held with a sustained awareness of the breath, the body, and the mind, the greater the benefits
  • Props: Props such as chairs, blankets, belts, and blocks are utilized to help prevent injury and to help students achieve proper alignment while holding poses
  • Hierarchy of Practice: Hierarchy is a fundamental aspect of Iyengar Yoga, wherein students progress at their own pace, progressing from performing purely physical poses to the same poses performed in deeper states of meditation

Iyengar Yoga Classes

As opposed to other types of yoga, an Iyengar class does not proceed from one pose to the next in conjunction with an inhale or exhale. Rather, poses are held for longer with the goal of perfecting alignment and building strength and flexibility. Similarly, classes do not provide an intense cardiovascular workout, making them more accessible to beginners and others who may not be physically fit.

Iyengar Yoga and Meditation

Iyengar yoga has been described as “meditation in action” or the practice of bringing awareness to the moment. As one meditates on the pose, body awareness is refined, gradually penetrating deeper into the body to achieve a meditative state of being.

Iyengar Yoga Benefits

The Iyengar Yoga National Association cites the following health benefits of Iyengar Yoga:

  • Improves circulation
  • Strengthens and tones muscles
  • Increases flexibility and coordination
  • Increases endurance
  • Improves posture
  • Relieves back and neck pain
  • Improve concentration
  • Enhances mental clarity
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Provides relaxation
  • Provides an overall sense of well-being

Iyengar has also been proven to effective in the treatment of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Low back pain
  • Breast cancer recovery

If you are looking for a form of yoga that features a balance of dynamic, strengthening postures combined with breathing and relaxation exercises, this is the yoga for you.