What is Iyengar Yoga?

“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.” B.K.S. Iyengar

Iyengar Yoga is named after Yoga Master BKS Iyengar, author of what is considered the Bible of yoga, “Light on Yoga”, as well as numerous other books. Since the age of 16, Mr. Iyengar dedicated his life to the study of yoga. Born in Bellur, a small village in India, he became world-renowned for his pioneering work on the practice of yoga.

His groundbreaking contributions to the study and practice of yoga are far and wide, but here are some highlights:

  1. His philosophical teachings are deeply rooted in the yoga sutras of the ancient sage, Patanjali.
  2. He discovered that alignment was an important element in the quieting of the mind.
  3. He devised sequencing that led to that purpose, and as such, a class can include slow, fast, long holds, fast movements, and the study of all categories of poses in various ways.
  4. He invented props such as blocks, straps, and other creative ways of helping his students attain postures that otherwise would be out of reach for them, as well as to gain stability and clarity in the poses.
  5. His creativity has enabled anyone to practice yoga, through his pioneering work in Yoga Therapy, and helped those with issues no one else could solve.

Students from around the world flock to the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India, to continue learning. The institute is a two-story building with two yoga halls, which has daily classes that range from kids and teen classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced classes, different levels of Pranayama classes as well as Medical Therapy Classes.

Mr. Iyengar’s daughter, Geeta, also dedicated her life to yoga, and to help students understand her father’s work. Author of “Gem for Women” and other works in yoga, she helped to advance the understanding of yoga for women.

Mr. Iyengar’s son, Prashant, also the author of numerous books on yoga, philosophy, and Pranayama, continues to guide students into a deeper understanding of the functionings and connections of the mind, body, and breath.

Mr. Iyengar’s granddaughter, Abhijata, along with Certified teachers from around the world, continue to share BKS Iyengar’s legacy.

To become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT), a candidate must study with a certified teacher for at least three years before beginning the path to becoming a teacher. Many CIYT’s follow the Mentorship model for training future teachers, and all Teachers maintain a regular practice and continue to study with higher-level teachers.

To learn more about Iyengar Yoga, please visit www.bksiyengar.com or www.yogarosa.com.

By Rosa Santana

Made in Brazil with Mexican ingredients, Rosa Santana is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, and Certified Yoga Therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She has been studying, teaching, and propagating the therapeutic art of Iyengar Yoga and the teachings of Patanjali since 1995. She was drawn to the mental and physical discipline after suffering three accidental falls, one of which fractured her tailbone. Since healing her back, neck and sciatica pains, she has introduced yoga to thousands of students who had never experienced this healing art, philosophy, and science. In 2001, she founded www.yogarosa.com., in the Miami area, which has become a respected yoga studio in the classical teachings of Iyengar Yoga. She has hosted numerous internationally recognized teachers and continues to teach and mentor yoga students and teachers. She has had the privilege of studying directly with Yoga Master BKS Iyengar, and the Iyengar family in India and the US on numerous occasions. She continues to learn from the Iyengars as well as Senior Level teachers in the US and abroad.

Photo by kike vega on Unsplash