Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.
Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar
Iyengar yoga is based on the teachings of living Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar and begins with learning the art and science of asanas, or yoga postures. The method of study is orderly and progressive, and the postures are adjusted to meet the physical conditions and needs of each student. Strength, coordination, flexibility and an increased sense of well-being are some of the benefits of the Iyengar method of yoga. Through the consistent practice of asanas and pranayama (the art of yogic breathing) students of Iyengar yoga are guided towards increased awareness of their own physical, emotional and spiritual lives.
The main principle of Iyengar yoga is alignment that represents movement toward harmony of body and mind via stretching of some body parts and relaxation of others, managing breathing and recognizing awareness of the mind throughout the entire body. Physical alignments create the foundation for purification and balance of the entire body. According to B.K.S. Iyengar, there is no distinct line between body and mind, between anatomy and physiology, between physiology and psychology, between mind and conciousness, and between conciousness and soul, thus, by starting with the alignment of one's feet one begins working on one's conciousness and spirit. This is what gives yoga its power. By gradually improving our bodies and becoming healthier and friendlier, not only do we grow spiritually, but we also bring positive changes to the world around us.
Currently, more and more people are able to benefit from practicing Iyengar yoga. Yoga brings freedom into a modern person's world - by stimulating self exploration and self improvement, it neither manipulates conciousness or will, nor imposes limitations on religious or lifestyle choices. A vegetarian diet is encouraged only if it comes naturally as part of adopting a healthy lifestyle in the course of one's day-to-day activities without disrupting one's relationships or values.
About B.K.S. Iyengar
On December 14th, 2013 Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar celebrated his 95 birthday, thus marking more than 70 years of yoga practice. Guruji left this world on 20th of August, 2014.
He started learning yoga in 1935 with T.Krishnamacharya, a renowned yogi, in a Sree Yoga Shala of Mysore. Despite suffering from poor health, the young, impoverished and starving student quickly demonstrated such a tremendous degree of perfection in performing asanas (yoga postures), that in just two years his teacher allowed Iyengar to teach students himself. That was when he moved to Puna, near Bombay, where in 1975, after many years of practice and teaching, he finally established his own school, Ramamani Memorial Iyengar Yoga Institute, where he still teaches to this day with the assistance of his two children, Geeta and Prashant Iyengar.
Having tested the effects of various postures and breathing techniques with his own body during his vigorous practice, Iyengar developed a hierarchy and sequence of practicing asanas and pranayamas. He has also developed specific programs for treating various medical conditions, thus establishing himself as a leading expert in the field of yoga therapy. Iyengar has also designed various types of equipment to allow safe yoga practice by the people at all skill levels and physical conditioning.
Links to other Iyengar yoga websites
www.bksiyengar.com - the official website of B.K.S. Iyengar
www.iyengar-yoga.com - information on Iyengar yoga associations and centers, articles, books and videos.
www.iyengarnyc.org - Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York.
www.iyi.org.uk - Iyengar Yoga Institute of London, references to yoga centers throughout the world.
Light on Yoga; Light on Pranayama; Tree of Yoga ; Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali; Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga: Gem for Women; Yoga in action - preliminary course by Geeta Iyengar