Why Iyengar Yoga?
There are many different styles of yoga nowadays. Here are some points that make Iyengar yoga different from other types of Hatha yoga classes:
- props: we use blocks, belts, blankets, bolsters, ropes, chairs, walls or even other students to facilitate learning and to adjust asanas to individual needs. In this way we make asanas more accessible to every body, to challenge the student more, or to improve understanding.
- alignment: correct alignment in asanas will develop strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, as well as concentration and meditation. Accuracy in the performance of asanas is not a goal in itself, but a tool, aiming to unite the body, mind and spirit for health and well-being. Everybody tends to overstretch in their more flexible areas and rely on better-developed muscles for strength. This will reinforce existing habits, and make you end up exactly where you started. In Iyengar yoga we aim to strengthen weak parts and release stiff areas, and hope to awaken and align the entire body.
- timing: Iyengar yoga classes will give you generally more time in a pose to explore its effects and work on detailed alignment.
- sequencing: in Iyengar yoga there is not one set sequence, but poses can be practiced in various orders for different effects or benefits. A sequence is a safe and systematic progression of yoga postures to develop each students ability and skill, both within each class and from class to class. It can be used to develop strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration and body alignment.
- training of the teachers: there’s a well-regulated program one has to follow in order to be certified as an Iyengar yoga teacher. Instructors are evaluated on precise use of language, demonstration and teaching of specific points to develop understanding and intelligent action, and individual correction and adjustment of students when necessary.
- therapeutic use of asana: the Iyengars have done, and are still doing, groundbreaking work in this area.