What is Iyengar Yoga?

“If the foundation is firm,
the building can withstand calamities.
The practice of Yoga is the foundation,
so that the Self is not shaken under any circumstances.”
– B.K.S. Iyengar

Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya in Bhujapidasana.
Yogacharya B.K.S.Iyengar in Bhujapidasana.

B.K.S Iyengar was taught yoga in his youth by his brother-in-law, T. Krishnamacharya. B.K.S. Iyengar developed his innovative and inspired approach to yoga through intense practice and self-study. His seminal book, Light on Yoga, has been continuously in print since originally published in 1966. According to Mr. Iyengar, "The yoga I teach is purely Astanga yoga, known as the eight limbs of yoga. My pupils who follow me call it ‘Iyengar Yoga’ to distinguish it from the teachings of others." Iyengar Yoga is differentiated from other methods by a world-wide, standardized system of instruction. Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYTs) undergo rigorous training and evaluation to earn their certifications. Only CIYTs are permitted to describe their method of instruction as "Iyengar Yoga." CIYTs are trained to provide clear demonstrations of each posture and are skilled in the use of simple props to maximize the opening and awareness of the body, providing support to the less flexible, and extra extension to the more advanced student.

Teaching is oriented towards gradual but steady progress, rather than quick and fleeting results. Each Iyengar Yoga class is a unique sequence developed by the CIYT to guide students through a safe and systematic progression. Through skilled instruction and practice, students learn to penetrate beyond the physical body to the inner kosas (layers) of mind, energy and spirit, gaining vitality, clarity and calm through the practice.

Iyengar Yoga is a powerful and sophisticated discipline which can be practiced in all stages of life. The benefits are far-reaching and will assist the practitioner in every aspect of daily living.