joan white

Iyengar yoga


Iyengar Yoga is based on the teachings of the living yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, author of the classic yoga treatise Light on Yoga. The Iyengar family’s teachings are deeply grounded in the yoga sutras of Patanjali, an ancient summation of the path of yoga considered to be at least 2,500 years old.

This method of yoga is recognized for its thorough exploration of poses as they relate to the physical, emotional, spiritual, physiological and psychological aspects of each individual student.



It is a method that is appropriate for anyone - regardless of age, degree of health or other perceived limitations. The Iyengar method teaches students how to develop strength and flexibility; it gives them an increased ability to focus, observe, and relax; and it encourages understanding and compassion toward oneself and others.

asanas and Iyengar

In practice Iyengar Yoga focuses particularly on alignment, timing, sequencing and philosophy.

  • Correct body alignment, which requires focus and attention by the student, allows the body to develop harmoniously in an anatomically correct way so that the student suffers no injury or pain when practicing correctly. As all bodies are different and people have different weaknesses and strengths. Mr Iyengar has also developed the use of props to assist each student in being able to achieve the correct position required to experience the benefits of the pose.

  • Correct sequencing of asanas achieves a powerful cumulative effect, providing the student with increased awareness of the physical, mental and emotional changes which occur during the practice.

  • Longer timing in the poses builds stamina and allows the effects of the poses penetrate deeper within the individual



Although prana is usually translated as breath, it is actually the energizing force that is in the breath. The essence that we breathe in and out contains prana, which manifests itself as our life force. Ayama means regulation of breath. Pranayama is the science of breath. It is the process of the elongation, extension, expansion, and lengthening of each breath. Pranayama also involves the retention of breath, which is a deliberate and rhythmic controlling of the breath. This control of the retention of the breath along with the extended inhalation and exhalation comprise the art of pranayama.

Get Flash to see this player.

Pranayama is started once a firm foundation in asana has been established as physically the student requires the alignment, flexibility, lung capacity and training necessary to sit and breathe correctly while practicing.

what's unique to Iyengar yoga?

  • A safe and systematic progression of yoga postures to develop each student’s ability and skill, both within each class and from class to class
  • Sequencing that develops strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration, and body alignment

  • emphasizes precise bodily alignment and holding poses longer than in other styles of yoga. In Iyengar, you slowly move into a pose, hold it for a minute or so, and then rest for a few breaths before stretching into another.

what's unique to Iyengar yoga?

  • Individual correction and knowledge of how to adjust postures for common physical problems

    • Precise use of language

    • Demonstration and teaching of specific points to develop understanding and intelligent action

    • Individual correction and adjustment of students, when

  • Integration of the yoga philosophy with the practice of asana

  • Incorporation and relevance of practice into daily life

  • Ways to use yoga to ease various ailments and stress

  • Use of props, such as blankets, blocks, and straps, to facilitate learning and adjust yoga postures to individual needs

  • Qualified and rigorously trained instructors