About Iyengar Yoga

This information is provided by the Official BKS Iyengar website (www.bksiyengar.com)

What is Yoga? Yoga is one of the six systems of Indian philosophy. The word "yoga" originates from the sanskrit root yuj which means Union. On the spiritual plane, it means union of the Individual Self with the Universal Self. Yoga is the union of the body, mind, emotions and intellect. Sage Patanjali penned down this subject in his treatise known as Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

What are the different stages/aspects of Patanjali's Yoga ? Sage Patanjali's exposition consists of just 196 terse yoga sutras which cover all aspects of life. The eight aspects (astanga) of yoga are:
  • Yama and Niyama : depicts of moral and social conduct
  • Asanas : adjust the body in various postures
  • Pranayama : regulation of breath
  • Pratyahara : internalization of the senses of perception
  • Dharana : concentration
  • Dhyana : meditation
  • Samadhi : the ultimate state of self realization.

What is Iyengar Yoga? Sage Patanjali's treatise on Yoga consists of just 196 terse aphorisms compiled in the 5th century B.C. Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar has made it possible for ordinary human beings to experience the wisdom of the yoga sutras. He finds the meaning of the sutras by practical search and regular practice. Iyengar Yoga has shown and taught how all the eight aspects of astanga yoga are integrated. His style of teaching yoga which is now being followed by certified teachers has been called as "Iyengar Yoga".

What are the unique features of "Iyengar Yoga"?
  • Iyengar Yoga can be practiced by all.
  • The emphasis is given to precision and alignment in all postures.
  • The use of self designed props such as wooden gadgets, belts, ropes helps the practitioner to achieve perfection in all the postures.
  • The aspect of "sequencing". An "Iyengar Yoga" practitioner is aware of the sequence in which different groups of asanas have to be performed.