About Iyengar yoga classes
Mr. B. K. S. Iyengar is the world’s leading authority on yoga. Yoga is a vast subject and he has dedicated his life to its understanding, practice and the development of this unique method of teaching. This is a distinctive school of Hatha yoga.
Emphasis is placed on correctness and precision in the placement of the mind and body in the various asanas. The work is progressive, but the progression from basic to more complex understanding of the postures is different in each individual. What is important is regular attendance to achieve continuity and to build a foundation of correct practice, understanding and stability. Iyengar yoga is challenging but can be enjoyed at all levels. Benefits can be recognised very quickly.
There are many different types of asana divided into groups such as standing, sitting, inverted, twists and backbends each with specific effects on the body and mind. The variety of asanas that are included aim to achieve the goal of improving the body structures and lubricating the joints, creating freedom of movement at the joints, they strengthen and lengthen the ligaments and muscles. But yoga goes deeper than the outer structures of the body, the asanas act on the internal organs and systems of the body helping digestion, respiration, circulation, the nervous system etc. For good health all these systems have to work properly with co-operation and co-ordination and these courses have been structured to promote this overall harmonious functioning.
At the end of each class there is always a period of quiet rest and recuperation when some very basic pranayama (breath control) techniques may be taught. Observation and control of the breath improves vitality, quietens the bodily functions and calms the mind. The mind becomes concentrated and less liable to be distracted and agitated. The practice prepares for the stillness of meditation.