Iyengar Yoga – What is it?
Iyengar yoga is a powerful and sophisticated combination of different asanas or poses that are achieved using various props. Developed by B.K.S Iyengar, Iyengar yoga is a suitable choice for beginners as yoga props make it easy for them to stretch their muscles fully. It is a fluid type of practice, where you transition gently from one yoga pose to the next, which helps you be fully aware of your body and positioning. Additionally, pranayama, or deep and focused breathing, is also an integral part of this yoga. Focusing on your breathing enables you to get rid of unwanted thoughts and puts you in a meditative and relaxed state of mind.
Props and Devices Used During Iyengar Class
Following are the common props that can be used during an Iyengar class:
Using props during this yoga technique is an innovative practice invented by B.K.S Iyengar. The aim of using props was to make it easy to hold perfect alignments, which makes it suitable for people of all ages.
What are the benefits of Iyengar Yoga?
Regularly practicing Iyengar yoga can bring various physical and psychological benefits, as it can:
Improve body alignment
Adjust spinal vertebrae
Relieve back and neck pain
Help promote holistic healing
Bring calmness to the mind
Perfect the posture
Optimize the breathing
Enhance the proprioception
Better overall health and well-being
What should I expect from an Iyengar Yoga Session?
The aim of an Iyengar class is to teach students the perfect alignment, which is thought to bring a deeper spiritual awareness. Your instructor will closely monitor you while you assume a certain posture and correct your positioning where needed. Using props during this yoga session is a way of ensuring that your posture is on-point. You will be asked to hold each pose for a while to get a better sense of your body in space. Additionally, your instructor will guide you to take deep breaths while changing postures. A typical Iyengar class can last for 90 to 120 minutes.
How to Prepare?
You should wear comfortable, loose clothes so you can move easily during your session. It is advised to avoid using strong perfumes or other fragrant products like aftershave. Remove all the jewelry before starting the yoga session.
It is recommended to perform Iyengar yoga on an empty stomach. Still, if you have already eaten, you must wait three hours after a heavy meal to participate in yoga.
Levels of Instructions
Various levels of Iyengar yoga are being offered depending on the level of expertise of students. You can choose one of the following levels to begin your yoga training:
○ Level I is for beginners. The aim of this level is to teach students a few basic standing asanas.
○ Level II aims at teaching students to make their basic postures perfect. They are also introduced to a few advanced poses like shoulder stands and headstands. Additionally, deep breathing is brought into play at this level.
○ Level III is for those students who have mastered assuming the headstand posture for five minutes. During this level, students are taught postures that fall in intermediate difficulty.
○ Level IV offers advanced-level asanas and breathing exercises. It is for students who can keep the headstand position for ten minutes without assistance.
Iyengar yoga is an immensely popular type of yoga that was introduced in the West in the 1950s. One reason for its popularity is the ease of its performance. Therefore, people of all ages can participate in this yoga for physical and psychological benefits.
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