If you’re searching for a modern yoga practice that will keep your alignment in check, consider Iyengar yoga. In this practice, it’s all about alignment. There is a significant emphasis on every angle and every adjustment to the body, ensuring that each pose is exactly the way it should be. For this reason, it works wonders for posture. The sequences stretch and stack the vertebrae in the body in a specific manner. Paying careful attention to your alignment is a great way to practice safely. It can prevent injuries and ensure your longevity. This practice requires teachers to have vast experience within Iyengar practice, as well as in-depth knowledge of the human anatomy. In Iyengar, the skeletal structure is aligned in a particular manner, and poses are only executed correctly if proper alignment is accomplished.
History of Iyengar Yoga
You have probably heard of B. K. S. Iyengar, the author of Light on Yoga and a prominent teacher. He began his yoga journey in Indian in 1936. He practiced with renowned teachers, making his way across India to learn about different teaching methods and techniques. Later, he would use these experiences to shape his own system of beliefs and practices, putting them together in a guide that was published in the US in 1966. Almost overnight, his teachings made their way into various yoga styles across the globe. Over the next thirty years, Iyengar’s ideas gradually integrated into Western yoga culture. B. K. S. Iyengar promoted these ideas in his own classes. The style that he taught was eventually named after him. And so, Iyengar yoga was born. Iyengar studied for many years to be able to put together his syllabus. Those who specialize in the practice today need a wide range of knowledge to ensure that the practice is safe and proper. An Iyengar instructor needs to know how to make adjustments throughout the class and help direct students towards the correct alignment. Additionally, teachers need to be able to advise the students on the best ways to use props.
Benefits of Iyengar Yoga
The body is a complex network of muscle, bone, and ligament. Being able to keep everything in check takes hard work. Iyengar yoga is a great tool that enables practitioners to keep the body running like a well-oiled machine. The slower pace of Iyengar yoga puts no unnecessary pressure on the body during the practice, making it accessible for all levels of ability. Once a pose is cued and the body is properly aligned, practitioners get comfortable, breathing deeply into every small, tense crevice of the body. In Iyengar, yogis hold poses for a while, allowing the muscles to lengthen. This is great for the posture, strengthening even the smallest muscles that promote proper stacking. The longer holds also strengthen the students’ mental ability to stay calm and focused. In addition, continued practice is great for stress relief and the cultivation of inner strength.