Q What is Iyengar Yoga?
A 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, written over 2,500 years go. It is a disciplined and deeply researched system developed over 75 years by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar who (until his death in 2014) practiced daily – exploring, studying, writing and teaching about yoga.
"Yoga means union. The union of the individual soul with the Universal Spirit is yoga. But this is too abstract a notion to be easily understood, so for our level of understanding I say that yoga is the union of body with the mind and of mind with the soul”. – BKS Iyengar, Tree of Yoga.
What is unique about Iyengar Yoga is that it is characterised in the practice of asana and pranayama with the innovative approach emphasising precision and alignment, planned sequencing, timing and the use of props. This approach has allowed 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 f contemporary life with strength, vitality, mobility, thoughtfulness and equanimity. (http://www.iyengaryoga.asn.au)
Q I am not very flexible, so can I study yoga ?
A Yes, you can. Iyengar yoga is suitable for everyone. It is the attention to detail, the use of props and the training of the teachers that has enabled people around the world (who feel the same as you) to commence an ongoing and rewarding practice. A practice which not only builds flexibility in the body, but also in the mind. Foundation courses teach the foundation principles of Iyengar yoga and each week builds methodically on the previous. We all start at this level.
Q What do I wear to yoga and what do I need to bring with me?
A Classes are taken in loose and comfortable clothing and in bare feet. There is no need for you to bring anything but your good humour and a desire to begin a yoga practice.
Q I am looking for a way to relax. Will Yoga assist me in this and how does it work?
A The practice and learning of Iyengar Yoga is orientated towards gradual but steady progress, rather than looking for quick and fleeting results. It is important, when coming to class, that a beginner student of yoga is encouraged to move along in their practice at their own pace, even though they are working in a group. In practice, emphasis is given to different groups of asanas throughout the month – standing poses, forward bends, backbends and quieter restorative poses leading the student towards pranayama. This sequential learning of asanas will give the student a solid all-round base on which to build their practice. Each class will have a freshness as the teacher will sequence, time and link the asanas in different ways. The benefits of such a practice are far reaching and will assist the practitioner in every aspect of daily living.
Progress in practice will depend on the individual – attitude, desire – but it will always be challenging. Guruji sees practice (sadhana) as a qualitative evolutionary process. “Yoga is both an evolutive (onward journey) and involutive (inward journey) path in the quest for the Soul.” After even one class students notice a difference in mental and physical health – concentration improves, emotions steady and they increasingly experience feelings of confidence and well-being. (http://www.iyengaryoga.asn.au)
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