Iyengar yoga is one of the many prevalent styles of yoga that is popular across the world. Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, known to the world simply as BKS Iyengar, developed it. In fact, he was one of the pioneering yoga teachers in the world. People know him as the creator of Iyengar yoga India, a Hatha yoga form. He had some of the most illustrious personalities as his students. These include world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, actress Annette Bening, and designer Donna Karan. His famous Indian students are cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, filmmaker Mira Nair, political leader Jayaprakash Narayan and actress Kareena Kapoor.
Iyengar was a protege of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who was a yogi of Karnataka and his brother-in-law too. He was the one responsible for instilling interest in yoga in Iyengar and initiating him into the world of yoga. Later, Iyengar went on to develop his own unique style of teaching yoga to his students. Thus, Iyengar yoga India was born. Iyengar used to be an undernourished teen struggling with a host of diseases. Yoga turned him into a sprightly man who lived an active life until the ripe age of 95. That is exactly what Iyengar yoga aims to do too. Whether you want to improved health or freedom from ailments plaguing you, Iyengar yoga is your best option.
What Makes Iyengar Yoga India Unique?
Most of us have either had a brush with yoga or have been training in it for years. We recognize yoga as an activity that does not use an array of equipment unlike other forms of exercise. But Iyengar yoga is different. It focuses more on the accuracy of postures and controlled breathing throughout the pose. It encourages the use of a variety of props to get the body into the correct form. This helps bring that accuracy from day one.
This is widely different from other schools of yoga. There, teachers allow pupils a level of liberty in how they hold their body. They then slowly practicing their way to the right alignment. Instead, Iyengar yoga exercises an intense level of discipline, whereby one must always use the right posture. They can use props to do so. Iyengar yoga does not believe in molding the body gradually to the asana. Instead, it aims to ease the body to comfortably hold the asana.
Benefits of Yoga
This approach has many benefits. First, the student starts reaping the benefits of the pose from the get-go. This is because you form the correct posture only. Second, it reduces the chances of sliding into an imperfect pose. The reason is that you are not going through several different alignments before reaching the precise one. Last but not the least, the use of props provide much greater support in the yoga positions. It is safer than slowly learning to get into a position. It is less prone to accidents from slipping and falling in awkward body positions.
What Kind of Props Does Iyengar Yoga India Use?
We talked about the use of props in Iyengar yoga India and stressed their importance in the last section. You must be curious about what kind of props it uses. None of the so-called props is fancy equipment or complex machines of the kind you might see in gyms. Most of these are simple objects you will easily find in most homes. Iyengar himself introduced or designed by the man himself.
These props can be anything. They include simple, solid objects like blocks, stools, and chairs. Other more maneuverable ones are blankets, straps and even sandbags if you have them for other exercises. The inspiration for the use of props came to Iyengar after a scooter accident left him with a dislocated spine. He felt the need to use props to help disabled students pursue yoga perfectly.
Experience with Krishnamacharya
Iyengar also drew from an early experience with Krishnamacharya, in which he tore a hamstring when forced into an asana. He came to believe that yoga should not be an impossible feat. It need not force the body, but rather use appropriate support to achieve perfection in a posture. The knowledge that ancient yogis often used trees and rocks to help them achieve a pose strengthened his conviction. Thus was born the school of yoga that came to be known the world over as Iyengar yoga.
What is the Principle of Teaching Iyengar yoga India?
Iyengar yoga India is both an art and a discipline. It is an art that believes in using practice and support to reach a desirable level of expertise and perfection. Whereas it is a discipline because it does not believe in bypassing the criteria of an asana. Rather, it makes perfection in a pose accessible to people of all levels of body flexibility. This stringency ensures the holistic improvement of your body. It pushes you to achieve full control over it by developing a keen understanding of how your body works, yourself.
Maybe you cannot reach a pose right away. Your Iyengar yoga teacher will not ask you to exert yourself only as much as you can. Instead, he or she will work with you to find a suitable prop. This will supplement the lack of flexibility in the body part you need to stretch to get to the posture. Once you achieve the asana, you will be able to feel what work your body needs to get there unassisted. You will then have to do that work so that eventually, your body achieves the asana without help.
Iyengar had inspired any people to take up Iyengar yoga India and then spread it to the world. This included Vanda Scaravelli and his own daughter Geeta and son Prashant. You too can spread the light of this miraculous form of physical, mental and spiritual exercise to the world. You too can learn how to teach yoga.
At Mahamukti Yoga. With its exemplary teaching courses and retreats, you too can become a certified yoga teacher. We welcome you to attend our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course in Goa India