"Yoga releases the creative potential in life"
The ancient Indian art of yoga can benefit anyone who undertakes the practice. In today's busy world, many people use it to manage stress. It can be used to help pregnant women prepare for childbirth. Highly trained athletes practice yoga to help them to focus and recover from injuries. Yoga can be practiced by anyone.
The practice of yoga works on several levels. In the beginning, the practitioner experiences yoga as a form of challenging physical exercise that helps to develop flexibility, strength and balance. With the guidance of the teacher, the practitioner develops a personalized approach to each of the asanas (postures).
Mr. BKS Iyengar developed an approach to yoga that makes frequent use of different kinds of props. Objects such as blocks, chairs, blankets and belts are used to help students to adjust themselves into different asanas. Props enable students to work in a range of motion that is safe and help to effectively align the body. This process of aligning and working attentively increases body awareness.
In the practice, students learn to breathe in a relaxed and modulated way which provides focus while in the asanas. This practice of calm and regulated breathing is the link to the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga.
As students progress, they gain greater flexibility and a sense of lightness in body and mind. Physical strength is improved. This is matched by an emotional equilibrium that aids students to face the challenges of life with a balanced disposition.
The practitioner of yoga continually grows towards physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Students follow in the footsteps of practitioners who have ventured down this path for over 2500 years.
Sri BKS Iyengar turned 90 years old on December 14th, 2008 and has praticed yoga since his teens. He has developed an ingenious, innovative and inspirational approach to classical yoga. Through many hours of daily vigorous practice, careful study of the ancient texts, and from his instruction of students from all over the world, he has revitalized the art and teaching of yoga.
Mr. Iyengar is the author of several texts which are recognized as the foremost references for students seeking knowledge on the subject. He resides in Pune, India, where he teaches with his daughter, Geeta, and his son, Prashant, at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute. Those who are fortunate enough to be accepted to the Institute for instruction, are awed by Mr. Iyengar's focused and devoted practice which he continues on a daily basis.
"Genius in Action" 2009
Smt. Geeta Iyengar has devoted her life to the practice and teaching of Yoga.
Sri Prashant Iyengar, a lifelong practitioner and teacher.
The Iyengar Approach to Yoga
In his teaching of yoga, Mr. Iyengar emphasizes the integration of body, mind and spirit. His approach to yoga is firmly based on the astanga (eight limbs), as expounded by the Indian sage, Patanjali, over 2500 years ago. The Iyengar method promotes the development of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, as well as dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation.)
Read and print the Invocation to Sage Patanjali. The invocation is chanted by the teacher at the beginning of the Intermediate level classes. Chanting brings the mind to the present and connects the mind to the body and breath. Students may join in if they wish.
Listen to Prashant Iyengar chanting the Invocation.
Students are taught to refine their knowledge and practice of the asanas and are then instructed in pranayama (breathing). Asanas are individualized for the needs of different bodies. Various props are used to maximize opening and awareness throughout the body, and to ensure that blood flow to the organs is stimulated. Stubborn musculo-skeletal psychological blocks may dissolve through the practice of poses emphasizing precise alignment. The practice of Iyengar yoga leads a serious student to explore the interaction of mind and body.
Yoga is a spiritual practice and not a religion and its benefits are there for all irrespective of race, gender, age or religious belief.
Monolithic sculpture of Lord Narsimha excavated from the ruins of Hampi, India. Note the use of belt to support the back and the knees and the use of supports under the knees. It was this sculpture which inspired BKS Iyengar to invent the yoga belt which is possibly the most popular prop used by today's yoga practitioner.
Students use the rope wall to work on their poses.
Many books and videos on BKS Iyengar and yoga can be found in our store.
Links to other Iyengar yoga studios
Kona Yoga, BIg Island, Hawaii.