Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. I’m a big fan of Yoga as a holistic form of exercise for both body and mind, as you may have noticed from the multiple musings on thisA blog!
I have written extensively in the past about the benefits of yoga including this little beginners routine.
The Iyengar studio is bright and airy, constructed with almost as much glass as brickwork, creating a flood of natural light.
Iyengar Yoga also uses quite an array of props – blankets, blocks and belts to help get into the various poses.
The poses always focus on different mental and physical emotions – grounding, energising, strengthening, stimulating and relaxing. I also find that the choice of clothing can make such a difference to your session, as Yoga is a practise which generates a serious bodily response! Olympic Iyengar Yoga provides instruction in Iyengar Yoga by Robin Popinski, a certified teacher, at our full-service downtown Port Angeles yoga studio. To celebrate National Iyengar Day, we caught up with our friends at the Iyengar Yoga Institute to discover the many benefits of developing an Iyengar practice. Yoga for long has been ascertained as the other convenient and more efficient means of treating ailments as well as strengthening the body’s immune system. The most enduring aspect of Iyengar yoga is that it is not stressful and the poses are not intend to test the limits of bodies’ endurance power.
The environment plays an important role towards the efficient performance of the yoga and it is advisable to perform this art in a clean and calm surrounding.Iyengar yoga places greater importance on the comfort of the mind and body.
The muscles of both the legs and the chest are engaged keeping the chest high and shoulders relaxed. 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 has systematised more than 200 yoga postures or asanas and also 14 different types of Pranayamas (breath control methods). The emphasis is on maintaining the correct body posture and alignment, which would be anatomically correct. Pranayama is introduced into the yoga, only after the person has achieved flexibility, alignment and lung capacity after doing various asanas. Iyengar yoga is one of the best forms of yoga where beginners can work on challenging postures at the start without much hassles. This variant is slightly different, and given where I practise it (see the picture above), feels quite unique.
The studio rooms are all white and fresh and when lying down looking up in the ceiling you might be gazing at the sky and clouds above or looking to your side at the beautifulA verdantA gardens outside, your repose punctuated by the song of chirping birds outside.
Having said that I still enjoy the occasional Iyengar class as ita€™s much slower and really emphasises correct technique as well as a strongly focussed alignment.
This form of yoga takes special care in getting the foundation right and slowly building on that onto more advanced moves (extensions, inversions, twists, backbends and arm balances). For this look (links below), I put together a relatively coordinated, understated and super-comfy outfit. Accessible to everyone You don’t have to be young, flexible and healthy to do Iyengar yoga, it is popular with young and old alike. At present eight types of yoga forms are practised at different levels and Iyengar yoga is one such yoga form. This is done to increase the strength of the legs, enhance blood circulation and balance and coordination of the mind and body. This is mainly done to help in building a strong coordination between the various parts of the body.

A beginner is introduced to the various poses at his own strength and pace and pressure is not given to be pushed beyond ones own physical ability.The yoga mostly focuses on learning the various asanas and understanding the body’s physical and structural being. This is the reason why while suggesting a convenient environment, the body too is made comfortable and as such use of a mat or folded blankets when performing the postures is a must.Beginners start with the simplest of the yoga posture, tadasana.
A calmer mind, increased fitness of the body and also enhancement of the resistance power of the body are some of the basic benefits which can be derived from this yoga form.Besides the physical strength, one’s mental ability and stamina also gets enhanced and individuals are ready to face all the perspectives of life with calmness and peace of mind.
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.
This is the foundation required for a person so that they can effectively practice breath control exercises. It is very safe as it focuses on the natural anatomy of the body while performing the asanas. Every pose or asana that has to be performed requires deep concentration and in order to do that one must be in meditative state while practising yoga.
Stretch all the joints in your body in this position and stay in this position breathing deeply for a few minutes. First lie on your back with legs straight and parallel to each other and hands on either side.
Your legs must be stretched as much as you can and should be in straight alignment with your body. Now slowly bring your legs downward such that the toes of your feet touch the ground above your head.
Your left hand must now go up in the air, as your right hand would come down towards the floor.
Bend your hands at the elbows, such that they are placed on the outer side of the calf muscles. Whilst you may or may not have heard of the Iyengar variety, it’s thought to be one of the most commonly practiced forms of yoga in the western world. It’s a pretty beautiful setting in which to undertake a tranquil session of restorative yoga.
Practising the yoga poses with awareness has a strong integrating effect, and it is believed that it works to harmonise both the body and mind. My favourite detail is without doubt the Stance socks, which apart from being super-technicalA (compression, moisture wicking, supportive), are deliciously expressive in their cute patterning!
BKS Iyengar, who developed the Iyengar yoga method, realised the benefits of yoga practice and was determined to find a way of making postures accessible to everyone, not just the young and flexible. The standing poses are meant to increase the mental awareness of the individual and build a stronger base towards the development of further more advanced forms of postures and exercises. Belts, balls and blocks are some of the more common props used to enhance mental stamina of the body.The main motto is to increase symmetrical assimilation of the different postures with the body parts. In this yoga form, a person needs to stand straight with the arms at the sides and feet together. When focusing on mastering of the different poses, Iyengar yoga aims at freeing the body from aches and pains. 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.

Many props are used in this yoga to facilitate the person to attain the correct positions of the asanas. Pranyama would help a person physically by toning all the systems in the body, majorly circulatory, nervous, digestive, and respiratory system. Remain in this position for a few seconds and then gently roll back to the original position.
The other important detailA for me is the suede-soft cover of the Yoga Design Lab mat which gives me purchase, as well as fabulous softness, making the sessionA even more wonderful an experience!
He developed the use of props to help people get into and hold poses and famously continued his daily yoga practice until shortly before he died at the age of 95. Focus is laid on the placement of the hand, feet, lower abdomen and the pelvis while establishing coordination between the arms, legs and the spine.A slow to modest approach is adapted towards greater attention to the detailing of the postures and as such the body too gets adapted to the postures anatomically.
In this particular posture of tadasana the feet are used to centralize the weight    of the body evenly.
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.
Hence is makes it easier for even a beginner to navigate through these techniques with much ease so that the body mind and soul become flexible sensitive and strong. Pranayama is crucial since it controls the mind and senses thereby preparing an individual for further meditation experience.
So it is best to do Iyengar yoga under a trainer so that the trainer can correct it immediately. Iyengar and focuses on posture, technique as well as breathing and timing; for this reason, I find it somewhat of a meditative practise, and incredibly relaxing. You hold posture for far longer which allows you to properly lengthen and stretch your muscles.
An ultra-soft, oversized and aerated top from Wellicious works well with my Bershka Yoga leggings. You are in safe hands with Iyengar yoga teachers All Iyengar yoga teachers are trained to rigorously high standards.
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. The props are used so that the person can move through all the postures in an asana with much ease. This post talks about the discipline, and is shot outsideA one of my favourite studio spaces – The Iyengar Yoga Instutute, founded in 1984 where the manA himself taught! Teachers train for a minimum of three consecutive years with a certified Iyengar teacher then undertake a two year training programme before taking an intensive assessment of their practice, knowledge and teaching skills.
With a guru like Krishnamacharya to guide him under his able supervision, Mr Iyengar mastered more than two thousand postures of different yoga forms.The Iyengar approach to yoga focuses on the precise alignments of the different postures to enhance the bodies’ stamina and flexibility. Continued practice will bring greater flexibility, strength, peace of mind and many other health benefits. If the body feels cosy when practising, I think it helps the mind enjoy the session even more!
In this form of yoga Mr B K S Iyengar introduced props when needed to reach a deeper level of endurance and body awareness. Using props not only reduces chances of injury, but also helps recover from injuries also much faster.

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