What is Iyengar Yoga?
Yoga is a Sanskrit term that comes from the root ‘yuj’ meaning to join, connect, or unite. It helps enable us to unite our complete being; integrating body, mind and soul. The benefits are not just physical, yoga helps us to move towards a more balanced, happy and spiritual life. B.K.S. Iyengar is the most influential teacher of Hatha yoga in the West. He is a living guru, and has devoted his life to studying and refining a unique system of yoga which is practised world-wide. The system focuses on alignment of the body through a graduated sequence of postures. ‘Alignment is Enlightenment’ B.K.S. Iyengar
What are the effects of Iyengar Yoga practice?
A regular practice builds stamina and strength, balance and flexibility, and will develop your mental clarity and concentration. Your general sense of well-being and vitality will improve.
A good regular practice works on and improves all the body’s functions: nerves, circulation, hormones, digestion, and reproduction. The focus on precise alignment can alleviate postural problems as well as creating good posture through aligning the skeletal structure. It keeps joints strong and moving freely. It dispels tension, clears the mind and paves the way for deep relaxation and subsequent tranquillity. It can help to develop a deeper knowledge of your-self which can contribute to greater confidence. A regular yoga practice can be a stabalising force in an otherwise, perhaps, busy life-style, helping the student to move towards a healthy and balanced way of being.
What to expect in a class or workshop at the Centre
The system of teaching is methodical and progressive, using supports called ‘props’ to allow students to progress in their practice of postures. You will be introduced to a variety of the basic ‘asanas’, such as standing poses, seated poses, back-bends and forward bends. Lindsey’s abilities to know which props to use will keep your body physically challenged in safety as you access the poses at a level which is appropriate for you. In the early stages, you will be focusing on simply learning the shapes of the poses, but in the classes for experienced students there is a challenge to develop a deeper understanding of the poses and yoga practice. Once there is a fundamental understanding of the physical ‘Asansa’, then Pranayama can be introduced into the practice.
Iyengar yoga is for anyone, irrespective of age, health or circumstance. A yoga class is a safe and non-judgemental space in which you can be free to develop your practice at your pace and level. Yoga is non-competitive, and you do not need a particular level of flexibility or fitness to practise. Our students comprise a variety of standards, and are mixed gender and age!
Loose and stretchy clothing is ideal. Either leggings or shorts are fine, but it is very useful to be able to see what the legs are up to!
Yoga cannot be practised on a full stomach, so leave 3/4 hours after a main meal, and 2 hours after a snack. Also, please do not bring water bottles into class.
Iyengar yoga is a Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is the only type of physical yoga and it is the type of yoga that most people take up initially, or indeed exclusively. Other paths are Bhakti (characterised by devotion), Gyana or Jnana (concerned with wisdom and study), Karma (the yoga of actions), Mantra (utilising sound) and Raja (cultivation of the mind using meditation). But Hatha yoga is not a gymnastic activity. It seeks to strengthen inner body and outer body, the internal organs as well as the external muscles, and to focus the mind through the physical activity. Because B.K.S. Iyengar has been so influential in bringing Hatha yoga to the West, the system he refined has been named after him; Iyengar Yoga.