The focus on Iyengar yoga is on alignment and extension, creating strength,flexibility and evenness in the body Connecting the body with the breath and the mind , creating evenness and stability in the mind.
Iyengar yoga is a rounded and balanced practice. It is a holistic approach and practice for your whole life. There is a strong emphasis on teaching in Iyengar yoga. It is culture of teaching and learning. The idea being that the student can begin to start their own practice with the knowledge they gain in class. We also focus a lot on inversions ( going upside down ) as these asana’s have enormous health benefits and are also seen as the gateway to meditation.
Each week the class will be different, moving from standings (including balancings) forwards bends, backbends, twists, restorative and pranayama. We also practice Surya namaskar and jumpings when the students become more experienced. As a student you move towards staying for longer periods in the asanas, to explore them in depth. This leads to meditation in action, by placing the mind in the body the everyday thoughts cease.
BKS Iyengar developed a way of practicing yoga with props. This is so that yoga would be inclusive to everyone. The student uses the prop when they are stiff and cannot quite make the correct shape of the asana without causing injury or just making an incorrect shape. The prop is an extension of the body- it is not always needed – but helps to align the body. They are also used in restorative practice to hold asana’s comfortably for long periods of time.
The point of all the asana’s, opening the hips, chest and lungs, is eventually to be able to lead to a sitting practice, where we start to practice pranayama. This is where the student learns to alter their breathing in different ways, extending and lengthening the inhalation and the exhalations. This creates a connection with the mind and breathing body, soothes the nervous system, and the focus or dharana leads to meditation.
“ Yoga is an art, a science and a philosophy. It touches the life of man at every level,
physical, mental and spiritual. It is a practical method for making one’s life purposeful
useful and noble” BKS IYENGAR