B.K.S. Iyengar

Iyengar yoga

What is Iyengar Yoga?

Iyengar Yoga, named after B.K.S. Iyengar, is a style of hatha yoga that involves detailed instruction, a focus on proper body alignment, and the use of props whenever necessary to perform asana correctly and safely.

Who is B.K.S. Iyengar?
B.K.S. Iyengar was born in India in 1918 and has been teaching since age 17.  He has died aged 95 in 2014. He was definitely one of the world’s most prominent yoga teachers for the past 70 years. His comprehensive writings address hundreds of poses, the deeper meditative practices of yoga, and the practical correlation between yoga and the prevention/treatment of illness.

How is Iyengar yoga different from other styles of yoga?
Iyengar Yoga classes are often split into levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. This allows for the steady progression of skill and awareness, rather than a quick sequence through many poses without understanding and practice technique. Classes incorporate the use of props – i.e. blocks, blankets, bolsters, chairs, belts, etc. – which help with correct alignment and create a welcoming and safe environment that is appropriate for people of all ages, sizes, flexibility, and body types.

Does every Iyengar class have the same sequence?
No. Each class has a distinct sequence with a particular focus. For instance, one class may focus on backbends, another on standing poses, another on twists, etc. Each sequence starts with preparatory poses, continues to more involved poses, and ends with gentler poses and savasana, a restful pose.

Does Iyengar Yoga incorporate inversions?
Yes. Inversions (i.e. headstand and shoulderstand) are an important part of Iyengar Yoga. Both poses are taught so that students feel comfortable and safe.