Iyengar yoga, named after its founder B. K. S. Iyengar, is renowned for its meticulous focus on the precision and alignment of yoga postures (asanas). This practice emphasizes detail and the use of props to enhance and support asana execution.
What sets Iyengar yoga apart is its emphasis on alignment and its therapeutic approach. The use of various props, like blocks, belts, and blankets, is central to this style, making yoga accessible and safe for practitioners of all levels.
Developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, a student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, Iyengar yoga's origins can be traced back to the mid-20th century. Iyengar's methodical approach to yoga was introduced to a Western audience through his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and Iyengar’s influential book "Light on Yoga" (1966).
While sharing its lineage with ashtanga yoga, Iyengar yoga differentiates itself with a deep focus on the anatomical structure and alignment within each pose, reflecting a blend of physical discipline and meditative focus.
Iyengar yoga is characterized by its attention to alignment and precision in asanas. It often incorporates the use of props to ensure stability, accessibility, and correctness in postures.
Common Poses: Tree Pose (Vrksasana) with props, Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), King of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana) with support, Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Experience Level: Mixed Level (Suitable for All)
Physical Demand: Gentle Movement to Balanced Activity
Mind-Body Engagement: Balanced Mind-Body
Adaptability: Limited Adaptable
Focus Area: Flexibility & Balance to Strength & Endurance
Promotes improved body alignment and posture, enhances flexibility and balance, and provides stress relief and improved concentration.
Nice to Have: Sandbags, Eye Pillow
Optional: Chair, Wall Ropes
'Light on Yoga' by B.K.S. Iyengar
'Iyengar Yoga for Motherhood: Safe Practice for Expectant & New Mothers' by Geeta S. Iyengar