What is Iyengar yoga?
The form of yoga now referred to as Iyengar yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world's foremost yoga teachers. He is credited as popularising yoga around the world and taught in all five continents winning worldwide respect and recognition for his achievements. He was the author of many books, including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Light on Life. In 2004 Time magazine named him as one of the most influential people in the world.
Originally a student of Krishnamacharya, B.K.S. Iyengar taught and studied yoga for 80 years until his death in 2014 at the age of 95. He lived in Pune, India, where his Institute, now run by his daughter Geeta, and son Prashant, continues to attract students from all over the world.
Iyengar yoga emphasises classical yoga asanas (postures) with attention to balance and alignment. It is suitable for all levels, ages and physical abilities. The system of teaching is methodical, progressive and safe. The yoga has a firm philosophical base in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
B.K.S. Iyengar's particular gift has been to make yoga accessible and relevant to people everywhere, no matter what their physical or mental ability. Students may use props and supports to enable them to progress in their practice of postures safely at their own pace and to suit their body.
There are no set routines within Iyengar yoga, but teachers follow clear principles of sequencing and timing, creating classes that vary according to the particular intention of the class. You can expect, over time, to be led through structured sequences of postures including standing, seated twists, forward bends, backbends, inverted postures and restorative postures. Simple breath observation and pranayama (breath control) is gradually introduced.