For a style of yoga with a deep emphasis on postural alignment and steady refinement in your practice, go no further than Iyengar Yoga! Iyengar yoga is also known for its use of props, such as cushions, bolsters and blocks, which help to customise postures for different body types and injuries, and enable you to go deeper into each stretch.
To practice Iyengar yoga, you will need a yoga mat, a strap, a bolster, a chair, 2-4 blankets and wall-space. John Norris, a certified Sydney-based Iyengar yoga teacher, has designed an ideal Iyengar yoga program for those new to yoga, as well as experienced yogis wanting a refresher course. We recommended repeating each class as many times as you like, before moving on to the next class.
Listen to the Live Yoga Life Introductory Audio for guidelines on preparing for your practice.
For additional guidelines for your practice or for specific safety information on other styles or areas of yoga (such as Prenatal Yoga) check out our Safety Information page. Iyengar Yoga (pronounced, “eye-EHN-gar”) is a style of yoga known for its precision, alignment, and use of props. It is considered one of the most popular styles of yoga in the United States today. Iyengar yoga clothing is wearing a tight-fitting leotard or legging for the legs so the teacher can more easily view their alignment and a t-shirt or tank top for the upper body.
Students even with other forms of yoga experience should attend a Level 1 class or an Introductory workshop to expose them to the methods and postures.
BKS Iyengar, a true master of asana, demonstrates all the common poses and a huge variety of variations, but he does not stop there.

If you don’t have yoga props like bolsters and blocks, you can improvise by being creative – substitute a yoga bolster with a firm rolled-up blanket; or yoga blocks with a stack of books strapped together! Iyengar more than 60 years ago after studying in Mysore, India with yoga guru Krisnamacharya.  Iyengar Yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras which are integrated into the practice by learning how the performance of Asana needs the disciplines of Yama and Niyama (ethics and personal discipline), the role of the breath (Pranayama) and how the turning of the senses of perception to look inwards (Pratyahara) and total concentration (Dharana) while doing asanas leads one to experience the higher mental states. Iyengar has systematized over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama with variations for many of them ranging from the basic to the advanced. Today it is quite common to see blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters being used in yoga studios.
Chronic back pain, immunodeficiency, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression and menopause have specific programs of yoga associated with them.
Teachers will use Sanskrit names for the yoga postures, give plenty of verbal instructions, and make adjustments as necessary. If you are just curious about the range of what is possible this book is where you will find it. He gives detailed instructions for getting into the poses, getting out of the poses, what to expect while in the poses and more.
This helps ensure that the student progresses gradually by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step. The use of these props is comparatively new in the history of yoga and comes directly from Iyengar. As with any style of yoga, it is important to let a teacher know if you have any injuries or concerns so they can offer modifications or assistance.

He details the benefits of each pose and suggests what poses are curative for what ailments.
The purpose of the Iyengar yoga props is to assist the student in attaining ideal alignment even if the body is not yet flexible enough by eliminating the chance of injury making the postures accessible to both young and old. The Iyengar yoga asanas are designed to be adjusted based on a person’s stage of recovery. Classes can be hard work as they involve intense stretching, but are fun and challenging, and will be tailored to the level of experience of the students. In Iyengar yoga, you slowly move into a pose, hold it for a minute or so, and then rest for a few breaths before stretching into another. Because of this attention to detail and the modification of poses, Iyengar yoga is often a good form of yoga for people with back pain or neck pain, as they are likely to benefit from modification to the poses. Helpful chapters on pranayama, bhandas and kriyas, plus explanations of important mudras are also included.
Continued practice will bring greater flexibility, strength, peace of mind and many other health benefits.

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