No one is too old, too stiff, too large, or too thin.
Certified Iyengar Yoga instructors guide students of all ages and physical abilities to experience yoga in a safe, accessible, and rewarding way. Instructors are held to a rigorous standard. Only after years of training and evaluation do they become certified. Instructors modify classic asanas (postures) for individual students with the use of props such as blocks, blankets, and belts which allow students to go deeper into an asana.
Iyengar Yoga instructors use their deep-seated knowledge of the asanas to individualize corrections for each student. Students know they are observed and if necessary, are adjusted. Clear demonstrations of the posture, a well-developed eye, and specific teaching points are the standards of an Iyengar Yoga instructor.
Practice makes progress.
Iyengar students begin with elementary asanas.
Emphasis is put on the standing asanas and in time, other asanas are added which include forward bends, back bends, twists, inversions, and restorative poses. Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Balance) is introduced when students are ready because of its many therapeutic benefits. Each class ends with Savasana, or corpse pose, for deep relaxation. Students learn to rest in a profound way, completely releasing the body while drawing the mind toward inner peace.
As the student progresses, Pranayama (the control of the breath) is introduced. Instructors devise sequences of poses which build skill and understanding, from posture to posture, and class to class. Students are encouraged to develop their own home practice; without one, the study of yoga is incomplete.
Called the "Michelangelo of yoga" B.K.S. Iyengar was recognized as the world's greatest yoga teacher.
Iyengar brought yoga to the west with his pioneer teaching in the 1970s, the start of today’s explosive growth in yoga. His seminal manual, Light on Yoga, called the "Bible" of yoga has been the guide for generations of yoga students. His most recent work, Light on Yoga, led to a world tour of standing-room-only appearances.
His innovations in the use of props, now ubiquitous in yoga studios of all styles, reshaped the art. Blankets, belts, and other devices allow students to work safely in the yoga asanas. Iyengar also reshaped the therapeutic applications of yoga which helped validate yoga as legitimate treatment for serious medical conditions.
Perhaps the most groundbreaking aspect of Mr. Iyengar’s teaching was that through the yoga asanas and Pranayama (the control of the breath) the practitioner can explore the most advanced stages of yoga which include concentration, true meditation, and even Samadhi; the mystical union of the individual soul of the student with the universal – God.
Mr. Iyengar bridged the gap between traditional distinctions between hatha yoga, at times considered merely a physical form of yoga, and yogas which focus on the intellect, devotion, and meditation. Mr. Iyengar brought the spiritual nature and healing power of yoga to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.