Yoga in the Iyengar tradition
Often referred to as “meditation in action” and firmly rooted in ancient Indian tradition as defined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Iyengar Yoga uses the physical reality of the body to access the deeper levels of the mind, uncovering the connection between body and mind while profoundly transforming both. (Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit.)
Regular practice of the postures (known as asanas) tones and regulates the body, promoting balance, flexibility, and strength while fostering clarity, concentration, and mental calm. By providing a firm foundation for health and well-being, yoga helps the student overcome and prevent many stresses, strains, aches, and pains. The infinite perfectibility of each asana provides a pathway into the development of intelligence and the ability to sustain focus.
Pupils progress through a carefully graded program of asanas, beginning with the standing postures. In time, more complex asanas—forward bends, backbends, twists, and inversions—are introduced. Because of its many therapeutic benefits, salamba sarvangasana (shoulderstand) is taught as soon a student is ready. Pranayama (breath control exercise) is gradually introduced once students have a firm foundation in yoga practice.
Both within class and from class to class, the safe and systematic progression of asanas—demonstrated with specific teaching points to foster intelligent action—develops each student’s strength, flexibility, stamina, and alignment. Extensive use is made of yoga props—including blocks, belts, bolsters, blankets, and chairs—which enable students of varying levels of strength and flexibility to work safely and accurately in the asanas. Individual corrections and adjustments are made, when necessary.
Each class ends with savasana (also known as “corpse pose”), a form of deep relaxation in which students learn to completely release the body while drawing the mind towards the peace within.