Do you want to know if Iyengar Yoga is for you? Read this article to find out.
Iyengar is one of the most widespread types of yoga. Its founder, BKS Iyengar is one of the great Yogic figures of the twentieth century. He wanted to pass on all the wisdom that he had acquired through his experience and study, leaving us this style. We will learn its characteristics, benefits, asanas and much more.
Characteristics of Iyengar Yoga
All types of Yoga share the same essence, but they are different in their execution. The characteristics that distinguish Iyengar Yoga are:
The perfection of the asana
The mind is involved in practice with total intensity and concentration. You need to be aware of your body and the movements you are performing to be able to achieve perfection in each posture. A perfect asana is the one executed with a perfect alignment through the coordination of the body parts. You also should have control of the breath through Pranayama techniques.
Duration of the asana
You should stay in the asanas long enough for the body to get used to them.
Sequencing of asanas
Iyengar Yoga has different asana sequences that aim to achieve different benefits and goals.
Difficulty and duration of asanas must be increased little by little to avoid any injury risk.
Using aids is not only recommended but necessary to get all the positive effects of Iyengar Yoga. The use of aids makes Iyengar Yoga a great option for beginners or people who cannot do some movements on their own.
Iyengar Yoga Benefits
Since asanas are held for a longer period of time, muscles need to make a greater effort stronger.
By keeping the posture for a longer period of time, the body gets used to going a little further without risk of injury.
Alignment is vital in Iyengar Yoga. It includes having your spine aligned. Given the improvement in strength and posture, Iyengar Yoga can be a good method to correct spine deviations as scoliosis.
Iyengar Yoga increases proprioception (ability to inform the body of the position of body parts without looking at them), which also improves stability.
Changes in biomechanical responses, such as decreased production of hormones, create a sense of calm and relaxation after practicing Iyengar Yoga.
According to scientific studies from Oregon Health and Sciences University, even patients with multiple sclerosis, who often experience fatigue, reported feeling more energized after practicing Iyengar Yoga. The relaxing effect of Iyengar Yoga also helps patients with asthma. They reported they could reduce the use of inhalers and acquired a more positive attitude.
Iyengar Yoga Asanas
Iyengar identified more than 200 classic Yoga postures or asanas. As there are too many asanas to add them to this article, we have added a link to see different sequences. You can find them here.
BKS Iyengar always thought that the instructors had to pass an examination after training of at least 2 years to guarantee that they knew his method. With this training, you can only obtain the certificate of the introductory level. To get the intermediate or teacher level, it may take 10 or more years of training.