The main benefit of Iyengar yoga is to align the body: discover 10 postures for all levels, tips and alternatives for beginners
Iyengar yoga, as its name suggests, is based on what Bellur Krishnamachar Iyengar taught, since as a young man he suffered from various illnesses (flu, tuberculosis, malaria…).
There is a basic concept in yoga, and that is that it allows one to be the owner of the circumstances, instead of its slave – Iyengar.
At the age of 15, he began yoga thanks to a relative of his, Sri Krishnamacharya, noticing great improvements in his health.
This encouraged him to dedicate himself to teaching this discipline, creating a new type of yoga that he called his name, “Iyengar”, so that it would be different from the rest; although hatha yoga be the predecessor of it.
BKS Iyengar in his book Luz Sobre el yoga, in which he talks about this type of yoga, offers a series of postures according to the ailment or problem suffered; for example, diabetes, heartburn, or headache.
His teaching is mainly based on the yoga sutras of Patanjali, which focus on the practice of yoga postures or asanas and pranayamas or breathing techniques, as well as pratyahara or control of the senses.
The eight steps that Patanjali described are reflected in the Iyengar. Through Yama (moral norms) and niyama (of behaviour or conduct), one reaches Dharana or a state of deep concentration, samadhi, a state of supreme consciousness, and dhyana, a state of superior meditation.
Yoga transforms. It changes the way we see things and the person who is looking – Iyengar
Technical precision in both postures and breathing and attention to the senses are the keys to integrating body and mind.
Learn More: Mastering the Art of the Well-Paced Yoga Class
What is Iyengar yoga and what does it consist of?
Practising Iyengar or practising Iyengar yoga always involves different groups of postures: standing postures, sitting postures, inverted, extensions, and finally twists.
this type of yoga’s main objective is to align the postures correctly using certain supports or accessories. Everything you need to achieve a correct and aligned posture.
You must maintain each position for 4 or 5 minutes; meanwhile, the teacher will guide you so that you can correctly align the different postures.
Yoga is done exactly by that person who practices it – Iyengar.
I want to highlight some relevant aspects in this regard:
- Specific and very precise technique: the alignment of feet, hips, spine and shoulders is sought, thus achieving a perfect balance between mind and body.
- Sequence or order of the postures: depending on the variations that are made of the sequence, it will have some effects or others; the order of asanas does not have to be always the same.
- Duration: it is the time that you must remain in each asana. These modalities are characterized by the absence of movement and by staying longer in the postures.
- Use of supports: in ashtanga yoga props or supports are not usually used, while in yoga Iyengar their use is essential to achieve correct alignment.
This type of yoga requires that teachers have thorough and demanding training, in addition to being examined to have the official Iyengar certificate and thus practice as a teacher.
In short, the main objective is to align the body. It can be practised by everyone, whether they are beginners, older people or people with some type of disability since the postures are adjusted correctly and held for several minutes.
Learn More: Yoga Basics Definition, Benefits and Technique
Main postures of Iyengar yoga
Ten of the postures of this modality are the following:
- Mountain posture or tadasana: to work on balance.
- Extended triangle pose or utthita trikonasana – Relieves back pain and increases elasticity.
- Extended Side Angle Pose or Utthita Parsvakonasana – Helps tone the legs.
- Pose Warrior or Virabhadrasana I – Improves lung capacity.
- Pose Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II – To gain leg strength.
- Pyramid Pose or Pasvottanasana – Helps to relax the abdomen and legs.
- or deep stretch poses with legs extended Prasarita padottanasana: strengthens the abductors.
- Camel pose or ustranasana: strengthens the shoulders by improving body posture.
- The posture of the thumbs or padangusthasana: is used to work the abdominals.
- Hands-to-Toes Pose or Padahastasana: Help to gain flexibility in the hamstrings.
Iyengar yoga for beginners
Iyengar yoga, in addition to being based on accuracy and precision, tries to safely adapt the postures to the needs of the people who practice it. And how to adapt them? Here are some tips for beginners :
- Especially in the beginning, make use of supports and accessories to help you.
- Do not force yourself or focus only on the result: enjoy the journey.
- Ask someone to help you; together you can correct each other.
It is the only yoga method capable of integrating teaching for pregnant women, beginners, inflexible people, etc. into the same style. That is why it is considered a similar style within integral yoga.
Thanks to this scheme, you can gradually find your physical, mental and spiritual potential through self-knowledge. Iyengar yoga is suitable at any time of life and, like other styles of yoga, it brings a series of benefits in many physical and psychological aspects.
Therefore, to start practising this or another type of yoga, I leave you my advice.
BRIDGE TO PRACTICE
Start where you want, but start. Remember that when you want, you take time; when not, he makes excuses. And to make it easier for you to find the time than excuses, here are some tips:
- Accept that your body will be a stick for the first days, weeks or months. The time does not matter; The important thing is that little by little that will change without you realizing it! And, if you are still not convinced, think that if you do not do it you will remain a stick forever 🙂
- Get rid of the fear of failing, of not doing well, of being judged… The only person who will do it will be your ego.
- Put aside unproductive tasks: you put the priority. Every day has 24 hours, neither one more nor one less. You choose what to do with them.
- Create your own space at home: having a place reserved for it will mean that when you are practising you will create an aura of concentration and relaxation. An exclusive moment for you (and for whoever you have managed to convince to practice with you).
- Buy yourself a mat: having the material and spending money on it will give you enough motivation to start.
- Plan yourself: write down in the planning weekly Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it, but don’t adopt the motto “the important thing is the intention ” because “don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today”. And more if it is about your health.
- If this is the first type of yoga you hear about, start with integral yoga. The good thing about combining different techniques, as I have mentioned, will perhaps help you realize which ones connect more with you and which ones less. If you like some asanas more than others (this will influence the style of yoga that probably suits you the most), etc.
Learn More: 5 Common Yoga Exercises and Poses for Beginners
Benefits of Iyengar yoga
Little by little and with regular and constant practice, as I have commented in other posts, you will begin to see the benefits of asanas, especially on a physical and mental level:
- Improves body posture.
- Tones the body.
- Increases flexibility.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Calms back pain.
If we all practised yoga, hospitals and pharmacies would close.