About Iyengar Yoga

Why do yoga?

The most well-known benefits are improved physical strength and flexibility, but studies show that yoga improves a very wide range of physical and mental ailments. Click here for an article that describes 21 evidence-based benefits of practicing yoga.

How is Iyengar yoga unique?

INSTRUCTION METHOD

1. Clear directives
You will know what to do—no confusion!
When teaching a new pose (or a new refinement of the pose) the teacher will demonstrate it. It is often easier when you can see what to do, not just hear it.

2. Timing
We do not rush. You will have enough time to get into the pose and hold it while practicing a steady, smooth breath. This method is safe, steady, and helps build a habit of mindful movement.

3. Sequencing of poses 
Safely ease into the practice, build up, then cool down.
Careful sequencing is also used to emphasize a specific concept or to prepare the class for a challenging pose.

4. Use of Props  (blocks, blankets, chairs, rope wall, etc)
Props offer support to help beginners find correct alignment and stability.
They help seasoned practitioners discover a deeper understanding of themselves and the pose.

EMPHASIS OF TEACHING

1. Alignment
Alignment–>Awareness–>Self-mastery
There is a great emphasis on alignment.
Initially, there are areas of the body we cannot even feel, much less control. Through a focus on alignment, we develop more awareness and “connect body and mind” in a way that you can directly experience.

2. Breath and Philosophy
Other styles of yoga have come to draw on Iyengar’s revolutionary focus on alignment, but there are a depth and precision regarding alignment that remains unique to the Iyengar method of teaching. Like other styles, we teach Pranayama (techniques of breath and energy control) and incorporate yoga philosophy which offers a vast wealth of wisdom regarding how to enjoy a better quality of life and move toward ultimate emancipation (samadhi).

CERTIFICATION

Certification in the Iyengar system requires a minimum of three years of consistent practice prior to entering a teacher training program. Teacher training programs involve two years of studies in anatomy, philosophy, and teaching methods under two highly certified mentors. Certification is not complete until the aspiring teacher passes a weekend-long testing process that includes demonstrated practice, demonstrated teaching, and a written exam on anatomy, philosophy, and teaching methods.

FURTHER READING
For more information about Iyengar Yoga, check out these links:
www.bksiyengar.com   Official Website of founder, B.K.S. Iyengar
www.iynaus.com   Iyengar Yoga National Association of the U.S.

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