The Iyengar approach to yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga expounded by Patanjali in his classic treatise, The Yoga Sutras. It is a disciplined and deeply researched system developed over 75 years by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar who practiced daily during his 96 years – exploring, studying, writing and teaching about yoga.
What is unique about Iyengar Yoga both in respect to asana and pranayama is its emphasis on precision and alignment, planned sequencing, timing and the use of props. This approach allows people of varying ages, levels of health and fitness to enjoy the benefits which a sustained practice can bring – the ability to face the physical, mental and emotional challenges of contemporary life with strength, vitality, mobility, thoughtfulness and equanimity.
“The practice of yogasana for the sake of health, to keep fit, or to maintain flexibility is the external practice of yoga. While this is a legitimate place to begin, it is not the end,” says B.K.S. Iyengar. “Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest which brings firmness of the body, the internal quest which brings steadiness of intelligence, and the innermost quest which brings benevolence of spirit.”
From the beginning, Iyengar Yoga develops strength, stamina, concentration, coordination, flexibility, and more. Using physical alignment as a starting point, Iyengar Yoga encourages the spread of intelligence throughout the body, the growth of self-awareness, and an experience of the asanas as a form of “meditation in action.
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