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  DISCOVER YOGA
IYENGAR METHODBKS IYENGARHISTORY OF YOGAPHILOSOPHY OF YOGA
iyengar method


Iyengar yoga begins with the study of asana (postures). Its study proceeds in an orderly progressive manner, with postures adjusted to meet the physical conditions and needs of each student.

To do this the Iyengar approach to hatha yoga makes frequent use of different kinds of props. They are objects like chairs, blocks, belts, ropes that help you adjust yourself to different postures so that you can work a range of motion that is safe and effective for you. Use of support, force and resistance from props allow for a pose with more depth and awareness. Learning how to do this will increase body awareness.

The emphasis is placed on precise alignment in the pose. Many students find that their yoga practice helps them dissolve stubborn musculo-skeletal and psychological blocks. For the serious student it brings them into deeper exploration in the field of mind-body interaction.

Iyengar yoga invites practitioners to the present moment by teaching us how our bodies can contain and hold tensions in our being without judgment, fear or attachment…to build a relationship that can unify mind, body and spirit. Which is the very definition of the word YOGA.


bks iyengar
BELLUR KRISHNAMACHAR SUNDARARAJA (BKS) IYENGAR was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world, and one of the few living yoga masters who continue to practice what they preach.

He was born on December 14, 1918, in the midst of a world flu epidemic, and grew up a sickly child plagued by ills such as malaria, typhoid, and tuberculosis. When his sister married the renowned yoga teacher Krishnamacharya in 1934, Iyengar was put on a strict yoga regime to improve his health.

By 1937, he was sent to Pune to teach, and this is where he would eventually put up the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute in 1975. The institute was named after his late wife Ramaa, who passed away in 1973. Today, Iyengar yoga has followers and practitioners all over the world and is widely considered the most practiced style of yoga in the West.

Two of Guruji’s six children, Geeta and Prashant, are now the directors of the institute, where the 92-year-old Iyengar still practices daily and guides students in class and practice.

BKS Iyengar spent most of his life decoding this lost tradition and art of yoga by Patanjali, and has originated a style that emphasizes precision and alignment. Iyengar yoga is now one of the most widely-practiced yoga styles in the world.

history of yoga
The Yoga Sutras were outlined by the sage Patanjali over 2,000 years ago. It is a collection of 196 aphorisms that covers all aspects of life, beginning with a prescribed code of conduct and ending with a man’s vision of his true Self.

Historically, Patanjali may have lived sometime between 500 and 200 B.C., but much of what we know of the master of yoga is drawn from legends. He is often referred to as SVAYAMBHU, an avatar, an evolved soul incarnated out of his own will to help humanity. (This is very similar to bodhisattva, a being whose Buddha hood is assured but who postpones his/her own entry to Nibbana to help other sentient beings attain it first. Patanjali assumes human form, experienced our sorrows and joys, and learned to transcend them. (Similar to Christ)

He chose to write on three subjects, grammar, medicine and yoga. However, what remains of Patanjali’s yoga poses are various carvings on temple walls and a few sketchy descriptions from various text.

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philosophy of yoga
 
ASHTANGA:
THE 8 LIMBS OF YOGA

BKS Iyengar studies and teaches yoga as unfolded in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika among other classical text. Thus asana are taught as one of the eight limbs or branches of yoga defined by Patanjali.

The Eight limbs of yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, are all interconnected and has numerous facets revealed through study of the texts and through practice in daily life. They lead progressively to the highest stages of awareness and to a more spiritual life.

The eight limbs include:

1. Yama – Ethical Precepts of non-violence (ahimsa), truth (satya), non-stealing (asteya), moderation (brahmacharya) and non-coveting (aparigraha)

2. Niyama – Prescribed Individual Practices of purity (saucha), contentment (santosa), discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya) and devotion (Isvara Pranidhana)

3. Asana – The yoga postures. Asana brings steadiness, health and lightness of limb. A steady and pleasant posture produces mental equilibrium and prevents fickleness of mind.

4. Pranayama – Breath and energy practices, consisting of the regulation and refinement of the inhalation, exhalation and retention of breath.

5. Pratyahara – Emancipation of the mind from the domination of the senses

6. Dharana – Uninterrupted concentration, with the mind focused steadily on a particular point or object.

7. Dhyana – This is meditation.

8. Samadhi – True Yoga, a state of truth and bliss. Union of self and Paranatma, the universal spirit of consciousness. Meditator and object of mediation are integrated and whole

(Light on Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar and Yoga the Iyengar way, Silva, Mira and Shyam Mehta)

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