Iyengar yoga is nothing but same traditional Hatha yoga practice named after B.K.S Iyengar. The full name of the B.K.S. Iyengar is Bellur Krishnamachar Sundaraj Iyengar, born in Belluru, Kolar District, Karnataka State. Later resided in Pune. In his early age he suffered from a infection “Influenza Pandemic” , a virus . Typhoid, TB, Malaria, Malnutrition and many problems bothered him after the virus infections. Doctor also said he may not live longer time. In his 15 year age his life got turning point. His uncles (brother of his mother) invited him Bangalore to Mysore to practice yoga. His uncle is none other than the great yoga legend Terumalai Krishnamacharya. B.K.S. Iyengar accepted him as his yoga Guru and practiced all yoga education. This made B.K.S Iyengar to get new spirit by eradicating his health issues and to give new definition to the classical Hatha Yoga, rest is history.
Approach to Iyengar Yoga:
B.K.S Iyengar realized that many people taken yoga wrongly, talking wrongly about yoga in India and its not becoming popular during his early teachings. After reading and studying other yoga master’s system, B.K.S. Iyengar understands theory and practical not similar and explained in one way and practiced in another way. Mainly issues with Asanas, everybody practices Asanas but says Asanas are not very important. Many great people and persons used different yoga concepts to get success and achieve what they wanted in their life. Hanuman and Bhishma used Bhramacharya alone strongly through out their life. Harishchandra only truth in his life. Mahathma Gandhi non-violence and truth to achieve freedom of the India. This thought made Iyengar to think about Asana mainly to pick and to teach yoga through precise and alignment manner. Including youngsters every one likes Asanas. So this was plus point to attract the people to yoga and make it popular everywhere as Iyengar thought.
Discovery of props:
A scooter accident made Iyengar very sad. But later this incident made to explore use of props to help disabled people in yoga practice. The usage of props in hindu deities (Narashimha) concepts of using wooden tools and root of the banyan tree by yogis inspired him to discover different props to learn different yoga postures even very difficult yoga postures. Otherwise many postures not possible for many people or it would take many years of constant practice.
What are the props ?
1) Chair – Twisting, back bending, others.
2) Bench – Back bending
3) Blocks – Trikonasana & depends
4) Straps – Uthitha padangustasana
5) Bolster – Supta veerasana
6) Weights – Baddakonasana
7) Strings or Ropes – Inversions
8) Sticks – head stand
9) Tool – Ustrasana
10) Thick mat – Sarvangasana
11) Pillow – Depends
12) Cushions – Depends
What are the main key points of Iyengar yoga ?
A stable and comfortable yoga posture comes from proper alignment of the body. Iyengar often talks about, if right big toe kept in certain directions, we must also remember or aware to keep left big toe in a way you kept right big toe. In a posture both the side of the body trained equally and practice and alignment must be identical. Specific angle, directions etc. or clear explained to avoid misalignment and errors, number of Asanas are not important in Iyengar yoga. The first priority is quality and is very important element in Iyengar yoga.
Proper sequence is carefully suggested to achieve specific Asana. The proper sequence also helps to meet requirements or needs of an individual too. So, under a sequence holding a posture for specific length of time carefully observed to obtain specific therapeutic benefits. Iyengar yoga is basically restorative yoga practice. Posture will be held from a few breaths to several minutes depending on requirements. Most probably 5 min to 30 min holding a posture is noticed. This helps to get into correct pose very easily and to benefit from that Asana. In particularly this allows muscles to relax, lengthen and encourages awareness in the pose.
Use of props:
Use of props are another very important feature of the B.K.S. Iyengar yoga unlike other school of yoga, assisting with specific means allows practitioner to practice asana easily, use of props helps to achieve most difficult yoga pose easily otherwise it couldn’t be possible without many years of regular practice. Use of specific props also best way to reach physically challenged persons for their yoga practice.