Iyengar yoga practice seeks to unite the body, the breath, the senses, the mind and the intelligence with the self to engender health and well-being. Regular and disciplined practice of yoga is a powerful tool to relieve the stresses of modern-day life and promote total physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Why choose Iyengar yoga?
There are many forms of yoga: hatha, ashtanga, bikram, anusara, jivamukti, power yoga, vinyasa… How do you choose?
Well, Iyengar yoga:
Can be practised safely by everyone, irrespective of age, physical condition and state of health
Is a totally ‘holistic’ approach to wellbeing, working on the body, mind and emotions through the practice of physical postures
Is taught by accredited Iyengar teachers who have undergone a rigorous training programme, with practical and written exams in anatomy, first aid, yoga philosophy and teaching theory, and then who undertake continuous advanced training
Is proven through scientific studies to be effective in helping alleviate certain medical and physical conditions
The core principles of Iyengar yoga are precision, attention to detail, and a focus on body alignment. Aids such as blocks, belts and bolsters are frequently used to enable students to perform asanas correctly and safely, minimising the risk of injury or strain.
Iyengar yoga is named after B K S Iyengar, one of the world’s leading yoga teachers. Indeed, so significant has Mr Iyengar’s impact been that in 2004 he was named in Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. Born in 1918, Mr Iyengar took up yoga as a boy to overcome serious physical disabilities. He went on to evolve a complete system of yoga, based on the 1,700 year old philosophy and postures advocated by the sage Pantanjali.
Mr Iyengar developed highly effective ways of applying postures to ailments, diseases and disorders such as chronic backache, high blood pressure, insomnia and immunodeficiency. Iyengar yoga is now frequently used in both preventative and complementary medicine to alleviate symptoms in a wide range of medical problems such as physical injuries, osteoarthritis, as well as depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders.
In 1975 the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute was founded in Pune, India and is now a worldwide organisation with 180 institutes, and over 2,000 fully trained teachers in more than 40 countries.
Now 93 years old, Mr Iyengar (‘Guruji’ to his millions of students) still practises every day in the yoga studio, and also travels the world to inspire people about yoga, whilst his son, daughter and grandchildren continue his teaching and research work at the Institute. Although a world-wide organisation, the Iyengar Institute functions as one big, global family. Postures are constantly being reviewed, their effectiveness enhanced, specific ailments targeted. Senior teachers travel to India regularly to study, bringing back the latest ideas to pass on to their students. Anyone taking up Iyengar yoga immediately becomes part of this global family, and can be confident that what they are learning is based on sound, safe and scientific principles.