Iyengar Yoga is derived from Hatha Yoga and has 350 unique postures.
It doesn’t have a rigid set of rules and can be personalized to suit your goals!
Do you prefer a more personalized sequence to follow while practicing yoga?
If yes, then Iyengar yoga is the way to go.
Before we get into what iyengar yoga is and how to go about it, let’s talk a little about what the art of yoga revolves around.
Yoga, a brief
Yoga is a culmination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India. It was first mentioned in one of our scriptural texts, the Rig Veda.
It involves breathing exercises, postures or asanas, chants, and meditation.
Yoga offers various health benefits that can help reduce stress, improve immunity, flexibility, and lung function.
Practicing yoga can keep you grounded and in touch with your inner conscience.
It brings a sense of peace and calm.
Over time, yoga, as an art form, has developed and does not refer to one form only.
There are various types of yoga, one of them being Iyengar yoga.
Iyengar yoga emphasizes detail, precision, and alignment while performing various postures or asanas. It was founded by BKS Iyengar in the year 1965 and is known to benefit the mind and body.
It is the source of all modern forms of yoga and its depravities. Today BKS yoga centers are widespread throughout the world.
A few forms of this yoga were derived from hatha yoga. You should follow strict rules and policies while practicing hatha yoga.
But with Iyengar Yoga, you can personalize it for your individual needs and goals. Due to this fact, it has become one of the most popular forms of yoga.
What makes it unique?
Though derived from Hatha Yoga, Iyengar yoga has created 350 unique sets of exercises/postures. The following are some of the special features of this yoga,
It emphasizes the importance of exercise sequence. A yoga master can design the order of postures or asanas depending on the problem/ goal of the student.
BKS Iyengar believed in personalizing the program to suit individual needs. This philosophy helped the students learn this yoga form at their own pace and provided them with maximum benefits. Postures are practiced to enable safe and structured progression.
The first and last asanas are of utmost importance. It also focuses on the breathing rhythm(inhalation, exhalation, and holding of breath) corresponding to the particular asana.
Each asana has a different breathing sequence, and each posture is held for different durations.
The longer you hold yourself in a posture, the farther you progress. With longer holds, you achieve stability. This stability helps you develop strength, flexibility, sensitivity, and awareness of the mind and body.
You can perform the exercises in the proper sequence for long durations. But, doing the same with the appropriate posture is often a big challenge.
Your head-to-toe alignment should be perfect to avoid injuries in the long run. This type of yoga encourages a balance between mind, body, and breath.
The following are a few instruction videos, which you can choose depending on your current skill level.
Iyengar Yoga for beginners
BKS Iyengar Yoga poses for intermediates
For advanced practitioners (under videos)
Who can do this yoga?
Iyengar yoga is a new approach to traditional yoga that is well-rounded and appropriate for people of all ages, shapes, and abilities.
There is no requirement to start practicing this form of yoga. Your level of expertise will vary with the amount of experience you carry.
To start off, it is always best to work with a professional practitioner; over time, you can continue practicing by yourself.
However, it is essential to keep in mind the basics and ensure that your postures and asanas are performed correctly.
Therefore, everyone can perform BKS yoga, and like every other form, with practice, you become better.
People of ages five and above can perform this yoga based on their goals and ailments.
Iyengar yoga benefits
1. Improve physical health
Physical health is one of the most crucial parts of our everyday life. Yoga has proven to be one of the most useful ways of healing and correcting postures. In many countries, yoga acts as a post-surgery treatment prescription.
2. Alleviate postural/ structural problems
The increase in desk jobs due to civilization is immense. You spend 6-8 hours every day sitting on your desk. This sedentary lifestyle leads to postural problems, especially in the legs and the back. Postural problems(if left unattended) can lead to critical surgeries down the road. You can avoid this by performing Iyengar yoga every day.
3. Manage stress
High-stress levels are the most influential factor in hair loss, weight gain, insomnia, and other health problems. It deteriorates our mental and physical health. Stress leads to poor focus and reduced decision-making skills. All these problems can be corrected by practicing Iyengar yoga. It helps you stay calm and connects the mind, body, and breath.
4. Increased focus and concentration
Iyengar Yoga benefits you by creating a connection within the entire body and builds focus and concentration. This part of yoga is designed for children with Autism and Down syndrome. Practicing this helps them stay focused and concentrate on a single activity.
5. Increased energy
Bodybuilding involves complex and precise movements that strengthen you. But Iyengar yoga uses simple postures that make you stronger, disease-free and helps you manage your stress levels. Practicing it in the morning energizes and prepares you for the day.
The more you practice this yoga, the more peaceful you become. This increased tranquility improves your decision-making skills and reduces your need to be reactive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Iyengar yoga good for weight loss?
A: This yoga increases your heart rate and is an excellent option for losing weight. You can do these asanas to become fit as they are dynamic rather than meditative.
Q: Is Iyengar yoga suitable for beginners?
It is an excellent option for beginners. Iyengar yoga improves your mental health, physical health, creates a connection within the entire body, improves concentration, and a lot more. Moreover, it requires little to no requirements for performing these asanas. Finally, with consistent practice, it’s easy to become better at this.
Q: Can Iyengar yoga alleviate medical conditions?
A: Yes, if practiced under the right conditions and supervision, iyengar yoga can help alleviate various medical conditions.
Iyengar Yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga due to its ability to adapt to your body.
You have the freedom to customize your routine to incorporate postures and asanas that benefit you and your health.
Scholars who practiced Iyengar Yoga believe it to be the best experience of their life. Follow any one of the video lectures given above and improve your mental and physical health. Iyengar yogic postures are a gift to humanity.
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