What is Iyengar Yoga?

Yoga is Union. Yoga uncovers the connection between body and mind, while profoundly transforming both. Practice of the yoga asanas (postures) tones and regulates the body and teaches clarity and stabilization of the mind


Iyengar Yoga is based on the teachings of 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. An innovative and inspired practice of yoga, the Iyengar method was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar during his long career. Firmly based in the ancient Indian tradition of classical Ashtanga Yoga as defined in Patanjali's The Yoga Sutras, Iyengar Yoga teaches strength and stamina, flexibility and balance, concentration and meditation. 

In Iyengar Yoga, the search for a developed consciousness begins with physical awareness. In each posture, every part of the body is acted upon with intent and precision. But Iyengar Yoga goes beyond the physical to embrace emotional and spiritual growth.  As students learn to extend awareness to each part of their bodies, they begin to explore the limitless potential of the mind and the soul. The two quests of the physical and the spiritual are not separate, but parts of a complementary approach to self-realization and enlightenment.

What are the unique features of "Iyengar Yoga"?
(quoted with permission from B.K.S. Iyengar's site: www.bksiyengar.com

  • Iyengar yoga is meant for people of all ages, genders and cuts across geographical, lingual, social and economical barriers.
  • Importance given to the practice of standing asanas.
  • The emphasis given to precision and alignment in all postures be it the standing, sitting, twisting, inverted, forward bending, backward bending or supine postures.
  • The aspect of "timing" where students are taught to stay for longer duration of time in each posture so as to experience it.
  • The use of props such as wooden gadgets, belts, ropes, chairs, so that the practitioner can strive to achieve perfection in the posture; the practitioner can then learn to perform the posture with the same precision without the props.
  • The use of props to help the aged, disabled, injured or just plain stiff to perform the classical postures and attain the benefits of the same - something they would never have been able to do independently.
  • The aspect of "sequencing". An "Iyengar Yoga" teacher is aware of the sequence in which different groups of asanas have to be performed; and how the effect of an asana would vary and be dependent upon the sequence in which the asanas are being performed.  

Production stills from the documentary film Sadhaka: the yoga of BKS Iyengar...