The teaching system

Iyengar yoga is accessible to everyone. Regular practice increases suppleness, strength and stamina, improves posture and concentration and quietens the mind to promote well-being.

The Iyengar yoga method emphasises precision and alignment, and safety in all the poses. The quality of every posture, physically and mentally, is seen to be more important than the number of poses. You will learn to move with ease in your body while working within your limitations.

Yoga postures might be held for slightly longer than in some other styles in order to stretch and relax muscles and to focus awareness. Yoga props such as blankets, blocks and belts may be used to improve your understanding of poses or to support with any difficulties.

The practice is progressive, building stability before more demanding postures. Beginners start with standing yoga poses and are gradually introduced to sitting and reclining yoga postures, forward bends, inversions, twists, backbends and arm balances.

Each group of yoga postures develops the body in a variety of ways, such as grounding, energising, strengthening, stimulating, calming. Yoga classes at all levels end with some time to relax. Once the body and mind are strong enough to sit or lie comfortably without distraction, students learn pranayama (yoga breathing).

Iyengar yoga classes do not follow a set programme. Teachers will select yoga poses from the different groups to build up a balanced practice.

All yoga teachers undergo a well-organised, rigorous programme of training, lasting years. After the initial ‘Introductory Certificate’, teachers often move on, with class teaching experience to the next level, ‘Junior Intermediate’, and are encouraged to travel to the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, South India for a month-long course.

Iyengar yoga has been described as meditation in action. Practising the yoga postures with awareness integrates and harmonises the mind and body.

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