The founder of Iyengar Yoga is Yogacharya Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar. He trained his pupil under his own style of yoga during the 20th century. The yoga is a form of Hatha yoga, which involves use of props. The yoga is also based on the concept of “eight limbs” of Ashtanga yoga. It aims the bring into unison the body, mind and soul. Especially in the modern life, Iyengar Yoga helps is driving stress away and enable better well-being. This article sheds light on the various BKS Iyengar postures and how to perform them.
BKS Iyengar has systematised more than 200 yoga postures or asanas and also 14 different types of Pranayamas (breath control methods). The asanas and pranayamas are taught in many variations. They may be very simple or extremely difficult. Hence is makes it easier for even a beginner to navigate through these techniques with much ease so that the body mind and soul become flexible sensitive and strong. The fundamental rule of this form of Yoga is that, one must be extremely precise and accurate in their movements. It is a very rigorous and stringent process where there is no room for error.
Practicing Yoga The Iyengar Way
The emphasis is on maintaining the correct body posture and alignment, which would be anatomically correct. This ensures that the student does not suffer any injury or pain. Many props are used in this yoga to facilitate the person to attain the correct positions of the asanas. The commonly used props are chairs, wooden blocks, straps, belts and blankets. The props are used so that the person can move through all the postures in an asana with much ease. The props benefit a person by applying less stress on the muscles. It aids in precision and alignment. Using props not only reduces chances of injury, but also helps recover from injuries also much faster.
Pranayama is introduced into the yoga, only after the person has achieved flexibility, alignment and lung capacity after doing various asanas. This is the foundation required for a person so that they can effectively practice breath control exercises. Pranayama would help a person physically by toning all the systems in the body, majorly circulatory, nervous, digestive, and respiratory system. Pranayama is crucial since it controls the mind and senses thereby preparing an individual for further meditation experience. It helps a person to detach from all external distractions.
How is Iyengar Yoga Different from Other Forms of Yoga?
1. Props are used extensively in Iyengar yoga, unlike in other forms. This makes it convenient for people from all ages to perform these asanas with much ease.
2. It is very safe as it focuses on the natural anatomy of the body while performing the asanas. The variations make it much easier to perform these asanas.
3. The asanas need to be performed in a proper order.
4. Every pose or asana that has to be performed requires deep concentration and in order to do that one must be in meditative state while practising yoga.
Iyengar Yoga For Beginners
Let us now look at a few Iyengar Yoga poses that can be done within the confines of your house:
1. Tadasana / Mountain Pose
This helps in maintaining the balance of the body and also alleviate joint pains. It completely stretches the upper portion of the body and helps in proper alignment of the spinal cord.
Here’s How to Perform:
Begin by standing straight with your feet together and hands on both sides.
Now join both your hands in prayer and raise them above your head. This would also help in lengthening the spine.
Lift up your heels and stand on your toes.
Now try to balance your weight evenly on both of your legs.
Stretch all the joints in your body in this position and stay in this position breathing deeply for a few minutes. Then relax..
2. Halasana / Plough Pose
This pose is one of the effective asanas for spinal cord strengthening. It can improve flexibility of the body and help in reducing the lower back pain.
Here’s How to Perform:
- First lie on your back with legs straight and parallel to each other and hands on either side.
- Lift your legs upwards such that your buttocks are also lifted up off the floor. You can support your back with the help of your hands.
- Your legs must be stretched as much as you can and should be in straight alignment with your body.
- Now slowly bring your legs downward such that the toes of your feet touch the ground above your head. You can still use your hands for supporting your back.
- Your legs must be straight as you do this. Remain in this position for a few seconds and then gently roll back to the original position.
To learn more about how to perform more Iyengar Yoga poses please visit https://stylesatlife.com/articles/iyengar-yoga/