Iyengar Yoga for Beginners
September 15, 2018
Iyengar yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga around the world, renowned for its care, precision, and attention to detail. At its core it involves sophisticated alignment instruction, creative sequencing, and detailed instruction in how to breathe. Created by Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, a great Indian Master who was one of the people who brought yoga to the West and really made it popular because he made it approachable for anyone. He felt that yoga was for everybody. No matter what the challenges — physical challenges, mental challenges or age — he didn’t see any limitation. He discovered that variations in alignment of a pose gave different results, and went on to pioneer the curative power of yoga for both the body and mind. Mr Iyengar has been acknowledged as the foremost yoga teacher of the 20th century. In 2004 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, and he even taught the 85 year old queen of Belgium to stand on her head!
This style of yoga has been around for over 60 years, and it is based on practices that are thousands of years old. Excellent posture, balance, and relaxation are major points of emphasis in Iyengar yoga. You don’t have to be young, flexible and healthy to do Iyengar yoga, anyone can benefit from this practice.
The Iyengar style of yoga provides a comprehensive framework for beginners learning yoga for the first time. This very structured introduction ensures that a solid foundation is established. As a result, more meaningful and consistent progress can be made, allowing the individual to reap more of the benefits of yoga.
Iyengar yoga is a particularly good for beginners, because it places a lot of emphasis on the best possible alignment of the body for all the asanas. Body alignment and symmetry are very important, as is intensity of execution of the asanas. The poses in Iyengar yoga are done with great attention to detail, and each yoga student tries to achieve the poses to the best of their ability. For those just learning the poses, Iyengar yoga makes use of props, like cushions, cylindrical pillows, blankets, belts, and soft blocks. That way, if a student has not yet achieved the strength or flexibility necessary for an asana, the props can be used as learning aids. Props also allow the yoga student to hold positions for longer periods that might not be possible without them. Iyengar’s system consists of more than 200 classic asanas, including poses that are simple and easy for beginners, as well as very advanced poses, and everything in between. The asanas are categorized so that beginners can adapt them to their ability level while progressing to increasing levels of difficulty as their ability increases. Emphasis on correct body alignment allows the body to develop symmetrically while minimizing risk of pain or injury. Each student is encouraged to use props and work the asanas in whatever range of motion is safest and most effective for them.
“My Body Is My Temple And Asanas Are My Prayers” B.K.S. Iyengar
It is particularly well-suited to yoga students who have a meticulous approach to yoga and an interest in the body’s anatomy. Beginners who do not feel ready to participate in a “flow” practice of yoga (where each pose flows into the next) find Iyengar yoga to be educational and beneficial.
You can now learn the wonderful practice of Iyengar Yoga from the ground up with our most experienced teacher Greg Walsh. Join us for our upcoming 12 week course for beginners, starting on Monday the 24th of September, and learn the alignment principles, correct breathing, and an introduction to the philosophy of Iyengar yoga. Week on week, the foundation work will be sequentially introduced to give you a clear understanding of the particulars of Iyengar yoga practice, and to maximize healthy yoga development. Over the 12 week course you should expect to improve in mobility, strength and flexibility and bodily intelligence. Under the teacher’s guidance, each student studies at their own pace.
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Your Samadhi Yoga Family