Specificities and benefits of Iyengar yoga
Despite being decades old, perhaps you knew of the existence of Iyengar Yoga recently, as Yoga has become a trendy practice all over the world. However, it is not a novelty in yoga, as B.K.S. Iyengar created it in the 40s.
A life dedicated to yoga
Born in a very poor Indian family, he suffered several diseases during his childhood. To improve his health, he started practicing yoga until he became a guru. When he was 15, he started living with his brother in law, the famous yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who sent him to Pune. It was there where he began to teach and to develop his own discipline. Later his students gave his yoga style the name of Iyengar Yoga in order to differentiate it from others types. He is also one of the yogis who introduced yoga in the western world’s way of life.
Patañjali yoga based
Patañjali (a relevant character in the Indian Literature) wrote the sutras yogas, a text in which the science of yoga is systematized for the first time. It teaches the way to follow to practice yoga, which is divided in 8 points:
- Yama: universal ethic principles
- Niyama: individual discipline
- Asana: yoga postures
- Pranayama: respiration regulation
- Pratyahara: senses’ interiorization
- Dharana: concentration
- Dhyana: meditation
- Samadhi: superior level of conscience
Specificities of Iyengar yoga
The main characteristic of the yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar is the intensity that the mind and the intelligence have to put in the asanas’ practice, the respiration control and senses’ interiorization. It is a very demanding yoga that gives a lot of importance to sequence. It means that it allows the student to know in which order must the asanas and pranayama be done and how much time they take.
Moreover, extra material like chairs, blankets, belts, etc. designed by B.K.S. Iyengar are also used to practice. Thanks to it, the student gets a better benefit and perfection in the postures. This also helps people with difficulties to try the postures. That is why Iyengar yoga is accessible to anyone.
As every yoga modality, Iyengar yoga has a lot of benefits for the health as it is very complete discipline that works on body and mind. It is important to practice it with prepared and qualified instructors (6 years are needed to become Iyengar yoga instructor) in order to avoid lesions.