Iyengar Yoga is based on the teachings of the yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, author of the classic yoga treatise Light on Yoga. The Iyengar family’s teachings are deeply grounded in the yoga sutras of Patanjali, an ancient summation of the path of yoga considered to be at least 2,500 years old.
This method of yoga is recognized for its thorough exploration of poses as they relate to the physical, emotional, spiritual, physiological and psychological aspects of each individual student.
" The aim of yoga is to calm the chaos of conflicting emotions" BKS Iyengar
It is a method that is appropriate for anyone - regardless of age, degree of health or other perceived limitations. The Iyengar method teaches students how to develop strength and flexibility; it gives them an increased ability to focus, observe, and relax; and it encourages understanding and compassion toward oneself and others.
Asanas and Iyengar
Iyengar Yoga focuses particularly on alignment, timing, sequencing and philosophy.
What Is Unique to Iyengar yoga?
• A safe and systematic progression of yoga postures to develop each student’s ability and skill, both within each class and from class to class
• Sequencing that develops strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration, and body alignment
• emphasizes precise bodily alignment and holding poses longer than in other styles of yoga. In Iyengar, you slowly move into a pose, hold it for a minute or so, and then rest for a few breaths before stretching into another.
• Individual correction and knowledge of how to adjust postures for common physical problems
• Precise use of language
• Demonstration and teaching of specific points to develop understanding and intelligent action
• Individual correction and adjustment of students, when necessary
• Integration of the yoga philosophy with the practice of asana
• Incorporation and relevance of practice into daily life
• Ways to use yoga to ease various ailments and stress
• Use of props, such as blankets, blocks, and straps, to facilitate learning and adjust yoga postures to individual needs
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”
— Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India addressing the UN General Assembly”
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Yoga in the Iyengar tradition emphasizes integration of body, mind and spirit. The student begins with an introduction to the physical postures where the foundation is laid to allow them to work safely and progressively though various levels. Postures (asana) include standing poses, inversions, forward bends, backbends, and twists, as well as restorative postures providing relaxation and the study of breathing (pranayama). The postures are done energetically, emphasizing precise alignment and focus on the development of strength, flexibility, balance, and stamina.
As practice continues, a students ability to concentrate improves, inner awareness is enhanced and the asanas become 'meditation in action'. Body, mind and breath are integrated, peace of mind is enhanced and the major systems of the body move towards balance and harmony. Equipment such as belts, blocks, blankets, bolster, chairs and ropes are used to create awareness in the posture and to meet individual needs.
Sunrise Sunset Yoga focuses practice using a 4-week cycle of standing poses, forward bends/twists, backbends, and restorative and pranayama
An introduction to the foundation asanas (postures) for all students with no experience of Iyengar Yoga. The first inversion is briefly introduced to allow the student to progress to the next level. One session in Introductory is all that is needed before proceeding to the next level.
The Student continues the practice of basic postures and the first inversion is explored more thoroughly. Understanding of breath awareness is introduced which is the foundation of Pranayama. Length of time in Level 1 varies and can be more or less than a year
Students continue to progress with new postures and the first introduction to headstand/other inversions are explored. Students gain more confidence in headstand and the subtleties of more advanced postures are integrated. The study of Pranayama develops here.
A one hour slower paced class to develop ease with flexibility, balance and strength, and learn to optimize and manage the challenges that come with the aches and pains of aging