Iyengar Yoga and its poses

The propagator of Iyengar Yoga is Yogacharya Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (B.K.S. Iyengar), who developed his own individual style of yoga during the 20th century. Not only did Iyengar teach it, but he also studied it closely, wrote, researched and taught it. The features that make Iyengar Yoga truly different and unique is the fact that it has a perfect balance of pranayama and asanas.

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Iyengar Yoga places emphasis on the following forms:

  1. Using props
  2. Timing
  3. Precision in alignment
  4. Planned sequencing

Iyengar yoga is the perfect option for people who find it tough to perform some challenging postures and are fairly new to Yoga. By adding props to the asanas, this yoga form makes it easier for those who are doing the poses and reduces the risks of injury or strain- hence it is a popular choice.

Beginners in Yoga or those who are old, injured, weak, old or suffering from an ailment are usually advised to go in for Iyengar Yoga and gain the benefits of the various postures that do not impact the muscles.

lady and yoga practice

Props Used in Iyengar Yoga

  1. Wooden Blocks
  2. Straps
  3. Sandbags
  4. Resistance bands
  5. Pillow
  6. Mats
  7. Foam blocks
  8. Cushions
  9. Chairs
  10. Blankets
  11. Benches and
  12. Belts

Not only does Iyengar Yoga make use of props, but it also encourages the trainer to actively find the mistakes of the students and correct them, so that they can arrive at the asanas that would impact their bodies and mind. If there is any lapse or misalignment during the asanas, then it is the duty of the trainer to correct the same so that the students can benefit from Yoga.

Iyengar yoga asanas

Woman Doing Yoga

There are more than 14 different types of pranayama and over 200 poses that one can practice in Iyengar Yoga and all these have been derived from classical yoga. They have been placed in a way so that one can practice yoga from a level of beginner to that of experienced. With Iyengar yoga, the learners can enhance their flexibility and strength. Various standing and sitting yoga asanas are a part of the routine, and these asanas should not be held for more than five seconds. Here are some of the common Iyengar Yoga Asanas:

  1. Virasana 1, 2 and 3 or the Warrior Pose
  2. The Utthita Parsvakonasana or the Extended Side Angle Pose
  3. The Uttanasana or the Standing Forward Bend Pose
  4. The Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose
  5. The Tadasana or the Mountain Pose
  6. The Swastikasana or the Ankle Lock Pose
  7. The Supta Bandha Konasana or the Reclining Bound Ankle Pose
  8. The Savasana or the Corpse Pose
  9. The Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand
  10. The Salambhya Sirsasana or the Headstand Pose
  11. The Paschimottasana or the Seated Forward Bend Pose
  12. The Parsvakonasana or the Extended Side Angle Pose
  13. The Parivritta Parsvakonasana or the Revolved Side Angle Pose
  14. The Padungusthasana or the Hand to Big Toe Pose
  15. The Halasana or the Plough Pose
  16. The Adho Mukha Virasana or the Downward Facing Hero Pose
  17. The Adho Mukha Svasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose

All the Iyengar yoga asanas need to be learnt from a certified and experienced yoga instructor, and have to practiced under their supervision so that the student does not get injured.

Summary

Iyengar yoga is a great form for both beginners and advanced students who are working hard towards their alignment. There are many benefits that one can derive by practicing Iyengar Yoga such as reduced pains and aches, less stress, delay in ageing, better posture, better sleep and appetite, weight loss, reduced respiratory illnesses, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease, amongst other benefits.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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