Iyengar yoga is a form of yoga which predominantly uses the techniques of posture and breath control. Iyengar yoga was founded by B K S Iyengar. Although Iyengar yoga is based on the eight limbs of yoga, the unique feature of this form of yoga is the extensive use of props. The props used in Iyengar yoga are blankets, belts and blocks. Mr Iyengar has targeted over 200 of the traditional yoga asanas and 14 different categories of Pranayamas from easy to extremely difficult. The exercises of Iyengar yoga are so designed that the student can progress gradually from the easy to the highly complex asanas.
It is a well-known fact that yoga is a good form of therapy. Iyengar yoga has refined the therapeutic aspect of yoga. This form of yoga not only provides relief to aches and pains, but it is even used for the treatment of various ailments.
If you are a newcomer to yoga, the first thing that you need to know is that Iyengar yoga is the most user-friendly and accessible form of yoga. There are a few steps described below, which should give sufficient guidance to a person who would like to start doing Iyeangar yoga, but is not quite sure how to go about it.
Breathing Exercises: Find out about pranayama or breath control and start practicing it. Pranayama is good for oxygenating the muscles and keeps breathlessness at bay. It also helps in meditation.
Study Yoga Postures: There is a lot of literature available on yoga in general and specifically on Iyengar yoga. The Art of Yoga by B K S Iyengar is however the most useful work which is well-illustrated for a better understanding.
Study the Props Used: A brief study of the various props used to perform Iyengar yoga will make the student more comfortable while using them later on. The student will then get a clear picture as to what to expect.
Meditate: Get familiar with the techniques and approach that is used for meditation. Like all forms of yoga, Iyengar yoga also involves a great deal of meditation. Some basic knowledge of meditation is bound to be useful while doing Iyengar yoga.
Choose a Master: If you have a good teacher, learning Iyengar yoga will be easier to achieve. So choose your teacher carefully. A good teacher will acquaint you with all the different poses of Iyengar Yoga.
Consult your Doctor: It is a good idea to consult your doctor before going in for yoga. Your doctor will clear you for the physically challenging stuff which may harm you if you have a specific health problem.
Some Concluding Tips
Once you start with Iyengar Yoga, here are a few tips that may contribute to a more enjoyable experience:
Split up Sessions: You can do a series of small sessions instead a single lengthy one.
Find your own Time: Yoga can be done at any time at your convenience. There is no hard and fast rule that yoga has to be done at any specific time of day.
Get a Companion: If you can do your yoga with a friend, you will not only enjoy it but you will have someone to keep check on timings and someone to compare things like diets and daily schedules.
Be Consistent: The benefits of yoga can only be felt gradually, over time. Therefore, only by being consistent, will you be able to build up the stamina and flexibility for the more advanced stages which will give you the maximum benefits.
Set a Goal: If you are focused on a particular result, you will feel a sense of achievement and feel motivated to sustain your efforts.
After following the steps given above, the practice of Iyengar yoga should become an easier and more enjoyable task. You should now feel prepared to reap the benefits of this popular form of yoga.