History of Iyengar yoga
Iyengar yoga is the smoothest, calm and safe type of yoga. It is perfectly adapted for the modern lifestyle. This practice received recognition for its accuracy and attention to details.
The founder of the teaching is Bellur Krishnamachari Sundararaja Iyengar. His merit is undeniable. He managed to create a practice that could be affordable for anyone who wishes to plunge into the mystery of yoga. Iyengar did everything to ensure that everyone could practice yoga, regardless of physical shape, age, gender, level of flexibility and plasticity of the body. In general, he promoted an individual approach to each student. This is the key to success and recognition of this direction.
Iyengar yoga practice
Iyengar yoga teachers take into account individual features of the body structure and level of the physical shape. To ensure and regulate the proper distribution of the load students use special devices: pillows, rollers, blankets, bolsters. They put it under the back, hips, head, legs for making the practice comfortable, and performing asanas as good as possible. After a while it allows a yogi to move from simple positions to more difficult ones, to make efforts and to become better.
Iyengar yoga is an amazing opportunity to lead our body to anatomical perfection. It helps to get rid of emotional and physical stress, improve health, and extend youth and beauty.
The main tools of practice are asanas and pranayamas. One of the distinguishing features of Iyengar Yoga is that asanas are static. It means that a yogi stays in a certain posture for a long time; therefore, ligaments, muscles and all internal organs experience the therapeutic effects of asanas. Iyengar taught that asanas should be performed strictly in a sequence and according to the rules. This is the only way to achieve health-improving effect. Iyengar Yoga has more than 200 asanas. The founder of this practice tested each of them personally.
Yoga therapy is also very important. Iyengar yoga will help to improve health of the yogi if he gets colds, has colitis, gastritis, problems with the musculoskeletal system (various spinal deformities, stoop) and other diseases.
Iyengar yoga features
Teaching includes three levels: beginners, medium level and intensive. The use of special auxiliary materials such as bricks, benches, slats, belts, blankets, bolsters – made Iyengar’s method universal, facilitates the practice for both – beginners and experienced yogis. Not every practitioner can consistently distribute the load between the muscles, to make correct position and stay in it for a certain time. That’s why he uses additional devices. The body receives necessary support for the proper development and stability of the pose. Under the supervision and clear guidance of the Instructor the practice will become the most effective. Due to the systematic exercises, instructor’s help the student will begin to breathe deeply in asanas. This is the first step towards mastering pranayama, the art of breathing.
The approach to pranayama in Iyengar yoga is deliberate. Beginners are not allowed to practice it from the very first lessons. The body and consciousness must be prepared for it, so that later they would not have to relearn again.
A great contribution into the progress in practice will be a healthy lifestyle, following the rules of moral and ethical standards (Yama), internal discipline (Niyama). These are the main allies of longevity, which we can only realize looking at the 90-year-old Bellur Krishnamachari Sundararadzhi Iyengar. Standing on his head in Shirshasana for more than 40 minutes every day and performing other incredibly complex asanas, he becomes a superman.