Iyengar Yoga is a discipline that has not only been developed by the well-known B.K.S. Iyengar, but also named after him. This type of yoga highly emphasizes alignment, precision and detail in relation with breath control and posture performance. All in all, it aims at developing the practitioner’s strength, stability and mobility.
What is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga centers on the fundamental alignment of the human body through the improvement of its asanas. By practicing a certain asana system, this type of yoga means to unite the spirit, mind and body into a whole well-being. This very powerful discipline is highly different from other yoga styles, as it uses a whole new timing, technique and sequence.
In addition, this kind of yoga is described as paying a lot of attention to props, like sand bags, cushions, straps, benches and blocks. By allowing beginner practitioners to use them, people get to experience and understand asanas easier. Moreover, what is most important is that ill, elderly and even injured people can practice this kind of yoga with the help of the props that it offers.
Iyengar Yoga principles
Iyengar Yoga is mainly based on the principles of the Ashtanga Yoga. Therefore, it emphasizes the improvement of flexibility, concentration, balance and stamina. The first principle is named Yama. This concentrates on violence abstinence which in turn helps the body in resisting materialistic desires and other kinds of cravings. The second principle is Niyama which concentrates on the body and the mind’s cleansing. The third one helps the human body improve its flexibility and strength, while the fourth principle which is known under the name of Pranayama is meant to emphasize slow and deep breathing. The last two principles named Dhyana and Pratyahara emphasize a mind quieting that can lead to a unification with the divine.
Benefits of Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar Yoga has numerous health benefits for those practicing it. Various ailments, disorders and diseases can be treated through this kind of yoga, among which the best known are menopause, chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, immunodeficiency and high blood pressure.
It is a very well-known fact that Iyengar Yoga has also managed to help people who had suffered from myocardial infarctions. Nonetheless, regardless of the affections they suffer from, by practicing this discipline, people can recover quicker, especially since they can follow special programs designed for their individual needs.
Basic Iyengar Yoga poses
Iyengar Yoga teaches its practitioners seven main poses. These are represented by the Mountain, Triangle and Side-Angle poses, two Warrior poses, one Side Stretch pose and a Wide Legged Forward pose. All of these are meant to help practitioners develop whole control over the bodies, plus a physical and spiritual awareness.
Through these poses, students learn how to correctly move their legs and arms, their toes and their fingers, their head and their spine in order to correct any structural problems that their bodies might suffer from, and to also develop a better posture. In addition, these poses teach them how to contract, extend, rotate and expand their body parts in order for them to find their own balance which in turn can lead to the solving of other difficulties.