What is Iyengar Yoga?

“Yoga has a lot to offer people, whatever their faith. It has no geographical boundary, gender, caste, or religion. As each of us is susceptible to physical problems as well as mental, emotional and intellectual problems, yoga can help us recover from these wants.”

B.K.S. Iyengar

BKS Iyengar in Padmasana, Lotus pose

Iyengar Yoga is named after Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014). B.K.S. Iyengar practiced and taught Patanjali Yoga or Asthanga yoga, which means eight-limbed yoga. The eight limbs are:

  • yama (universal ethics)
  • niyama (personal disciplines)
  • asana (postures)
  • pranayama (breath regulation)
  • pratyahara (turning inward of the senses)
  • dharana (concentration)
  • dhyana (meditation) 
  • samadhi (absorption) 

B.K.S. Iyengar specifically taught the practices of asana and pranayama, as a means to penetrate the other eight limbs.

B.K.S. Iyengar aimed to share the practice and benefits of yoga with as many people as possible. In order to make the practices and benefits accessible to all, and to bring forth the therapeutic applications of yoga poses, B.K.S. Iyengar used props such as walls, chairs, blocks, stools and belts. Iyengar Yoga is taught as a safe and progressive method that develops strength, flexibility, balance and hones the student’s attention and sensitivity. Iyengar Yoga emphasizes precision and alignment as a means for developing harmony, poise, intelligence, presence, stability and maturity – in the poses and in life.

Now that B.K.S. Iyengar has passed, his teachings are carried on by his family, including Prashant and Abhijata Iyengar, as well as by internationally certified teachers. Iyengar teachers are held to rigorous standards and aim to teach in the tradition, method and spirit of B.K.S. Iyengar and family.

See BKS Iyengar Yoga Official Website

Iyengar Yoga Association of the United States

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