What is Iyengar Yoga

Yoga is one of the oldest systems of personal development in the world. Yoga means union. The union of body, mind and spirit. Yoga is for everyone. No one is too old or too stiff, too fat or thin or tired to practice yoga.

The term “Iyengar Yoga” was coined by students of Sri B.K.S. Iyengar to distinguish his approach from other styles of yoga. However, Sri B.K.S. Iyengar states that “yoga is one” and describes the yoga he teaches as traditional, authentic “Patanjali Yoga”. Patanjali, an Indian sage, outlined the eight-limbed (astanga) path of yoga in the Yoga Sutras, over 2500 years ago.

Sri B. K. S. Iyengar, originally inspired by his teacher Sri T. Krishnamacharya, a classically trained Hindu scholar and yoga master, developed a style of yoga that is characterized in the practice of asana and pranayama with the innovative approach emphasizing precision and alignment, planned sequencing, timing, and the use of props, which helps the practitioner to achieve perfection in any asana. This approach has allowed people of varying ages, levels of health and fitness to enjoy the benefits of yoga, which a sustained practice can bring: the ability to face the physical, mental and emotional challenges of contemporary life with strength, vitality, mobility, thoughtfulness and equanimity. This intelligent practice develops our ability to grow and to separate what is worthwhile and productive from what to leave behind, and provides a framework to live in harmony with others, our environment and ourselves.

Becoming an Iyengar Yoga teacher begins with a long term and dedicated practice. After applying for and being accepted into a teacher-training program endorsed by Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, the rigorous teacher-training process, which can take up to five years begins. An assessment process, overseen by a national association to international standards, follows where candidates are carefully observed and evaluated.  After passing two levels of assessment teachers are able to display the Certification Mark demonstrating a commitment to maintaining the purity, excellence and high standards of Iyengar Yoga.

Sri B.K.S. Iyengar was the foremost authority on the subject of yoga until his death in August 2014. He authored a number of classic texts on yoga, including Light on Yoga. In his 90s, he practiced and taught yoga until shortly before his death at 95, at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute in Pune, India, along with his daughter, Geeta, son, Prashant, granddaughter, Abhijata, and a host of highly skilled teachers that have learned at the feet of Sri B.K.S. Iyengar.