Iyengar Yoga focuses on holding poses in the correct alignment, to retrain the muscles to support better posture. In Iyengar yoga we use props (blocks, bricks, belts, bolsters) to enable students of different abilities to achieve the correct alignment without risk of strain or injury. Regular practice brings harmony to both the body and the mind.
“Regular practice builds up the body’s inner strength and natural resistance, helps to alleviate pain, and tackles the root, rather than the symptoms, of the problem.” B.K.S.Iyengar
Iyengar yoga is suitable for everyone, whatever your fitness level and regular practice can help to alleviate many common problems. During yoga practice, the mind is focussed inwards, enabling it to quieten and bringing a sense of calm. Yoga is ideal for maintaining health and wellbeing and for helping us to cope with the stresses of modern day life.
Each class is structured by the teacher to include preparatory poses to begin, relaxation at the end and a varying selection of poses in between. No two classes are the same and there is a progression through the term so it is best to attend regularly if possible, although the important teaching points are repeated throughout the term. Classes are usually at least 75 mins. long and Iyengar teachers take time to correct individual students throughout. We get to know our students well and adapt asanas to accommodate individual needs. Students should leave the class feeling both energised and relaxed.
Beginners’ classes concentrate on standing poses, to build strength and flexibility and learn the necessary actions which enable us to progress to more challenging poses. Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) is also taught, using supports to protect the neck. As students progress, they are taught a wide range of asanas, including jumping sequences, backbends, more inversions, restorative poses and pranayama.
Sri BKS Iyengar introduced the use of props in yoga and his book, Light on Yoga, is still regarded as the most important text for yoga teachers of all disciplines.
The Iyengar Certification Mark (left) can only be used by certified Iyengar teachers. It shows that the teacher has completed rigorous teacher training and continues to study with senior Iyengar teachers.
Iyengar yoga teacher training takes a minimum of 2 years and is only open to students who have studied continuously for 3 years before applying to the course. All Iyengar teachers have passed rigorous exams and need to continue to train with senior teachers to remain in the IY(UK) – our professional body.
Iyengar teaching qualifications;
Introductory Level (to qualify to teach beginners)
Intermediate Junior Level1, 2 and 3
Intermediate Senior Level 1, 2 and 3
Advanced (there are several levels of these too but not many teachers get this far!)