Who is the Creator of Iyengar Yoga and who where the original teachers of this mystic art?
How to grow taller and attain perfect posture by following the teaching of a Yoga Master
The B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States, Inc. (IYNAUS), oversees training of teachers in Iyengar Yoga. This training is designed to ensure that Iyengar Yoga teachers have a mature knowledge and regular practice of this discipline.
An Iyengar Yoga teacher instructs yoga in the method set forth by B.K.S. Iyengar without mixing in other styles of yoga or other disciplines; receives continuing instruction from the RIMYI in Pune, India, or from intermediate or advanced Iyengar teachers; acknowledges the governing influence on his or her practice and teaching of yoga; and maintains a regular personal practice of Iyengar Yoga. Training as a teacher of Iyengar Yoga generally takes at least two years to complete, and is one of the most rigorous in the field of yoga.
Iyengar Yoga is most frequently taught in a class setting, although, as in most styles of yoga, private instruction with a teacher is generally widely available. Classes typically last from 60 to 90 minutes. They are typically ranked by level of difficulty and the background of the students.
During an Iyengar Yoga class, the teacher pays great attention to instructing students as specifically as possible in how to perform each asana. This may entail the instructor’s demonstrating the proper way to execute the asana first, then having the students follow. Once the students have performed the asana a first time, the instructor might then demonstrate the pose again, pointing out a deeper subtlety and specificity of the pose. Students then repeat the asana. This process may continue for several rounds until the students become even more precise in their repetition of the asana.
Often, the teacher will focus on just one aspect of an asana in order to bring full awareness to its execution. For instance, a teacher may focus on just one position in the Sun Salutation series, such as Downward-Facing Dog Pose, in order to emphasize the correct form in holding the position.
In order to assist students further in their asana practice, teachers of Iyengar Yoga also often incorporate rich visual imagery into their speech as they talk students through the execution of a posture. This imagery has the effect of taking the student deeper into the pose, as well as allowing the student’s mind to become engaged in the pose, thus promoting yoga’s goal of uniting body and mind.
Iyengar Yoga is often considered a dynamic form of yoga. In fact, movements can range from very gentle to rather active. In general, beginning students use slower, gentler movements, and hold postures for a shorter period of time. As they progress in their practice of Iyengar Yoga, postures become more complex and are held for longer periods of time. The quality of dynamism is most appropriately applied to the dynamic interplay between mind and body while performing asana practice. It is this connection of mind and body that makes Iyengar Yoga meditation in motion, and enables the practitioner to be at one in body, mind, and spirit.
Iyengar Yoga is particularly beneficial for those individuals who are interested in detailed, precise instruction in performance of the asanas. These instructions are geared to take the student from beginning to advanced postures in a systematic, step-by-step fashion.
Iyengar is clear in encouraging students to begin their practice of yoga gradually and within the limits of their abilities. Because Iyengar has specialized in developing methods for helping people modify postures in accordance with their physical limitations, Iyengar Yoga may be especially well suited to men with particular disabilities. Older men may also benefit from Iyengar Yoga’s extensive use of props, whose support can help them execute postures that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.
A man’s original state is one of wholeness and harmony of body, mind, and spirit. However, time and the stresses of life tend to make men’s lives scattered and fragmented. Iyengar Yoga aims to help practitioners achieve the ultimate goal of yoga is the unification of body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga is an immense system. It is an art, a science, a philosophy, a discipline, and a therapy. Iyengar likens yoga to a tree, which he calls the tree of yoga. He likens each of the eight steps of yoga to a part of a tree. Yamas (“abstentions”) are the roots of the tree. Niyamas (“restraints”) are the trunk. The various asanas (“postures”) form the many branches of the tree. Pranayama (“regulation of the breath”) practices are the leaves, which interface between the external and internal worlds. Pratyahara (“withdrawal of the senses”) forms the bark of the tree. Dharana (“concentration”) is the life sap of the tree. Dhyana (“meditation”) is the flower of the tree. Samadhi (“ecstasy”) is the final offering of the tree its fruit.
The asanas, or physical postures, of the tree of yoga are considered vitally important because they are meant to bring the body to its greatest state of well-being. They prepare the body to receive the inflow of vital life force that pranayama practices promote. The asanas also allow the mind to unite in consciousness with the body so that self-realization can take place. When mindfully performed, asana practice is meditation, which leads to self-realization.
While Iyengar Yoga is based on the time-honored traditions of yoga practice, the specific way in which it approaches the practice and teaching of yoga is the result of Iyengar’s lifetime of practice, observation, and teaching of yoga.
Iyengar was born in 1918 in South India. As a boy, he experienced a number of health complaints, which eventually sent him (in 1934) to seek instruction in yoga. His teacher was Krishnamacharya, Iyengar’s brother-in-law and one of the most celebrated teachers of yoga in India at the time. Krishnamacharya, who was head of the Yoga Institute at the Royal Palace of Mysore, was also teacher to several other noted yoga masters of this century, including his own son, T.K.V. Desikachar, who has been very influential in the West through the work of his American student, Gary Kraftsow, who teaches Viniyoga and K. Pattabhi Jois, who developed Ashtanga Yoga, popularized as Power Yoga.
Iyengar Yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-), one of the most influential teachers of yoga in the world. Iyengar Yoga is renowned for its emphasis on precision and artistry in the execution of physical postures. Iyengar paid particular attention to the relation of yoga to anatomy, physiology, and pathology. As a result, his style of yoga incorporates an extensive system of props, such as cloth straps, wooden or foam blocks, blankets, and bolsters, to help practitioners achieve better and more comfortable balance and alignment when performing asanas.
During an Iyengar Yoga class, the teacher pays great attention to instructing students as specifically as possible in how to perform each posture. Iyengar began to teach yoga in 1936. Interestingly enough, Iyengar reports that in the 1930s, it was difficult to find students of yoga, even in India. Fortunately for ensuing generations, Iyengar did eventually find students, and has continued to refine his approach to yoga over the decades. Iyengar has perfected the practice of more than 200 asanas and breathing techniques. In 1974, Iyengar visited the United States for the first time and introduced the West to his particular style of yoga. Over the course of his lifetime, millions of students have studied his Iyengar Yoga.
Iyengar Yoga is celebrated for the precision that it brings to the practice of yoga. Among the many gifts that Iyengar has offered to yoga is the unceasing intellectual clarity that he has brought to bear upon the practice of yoga. Iyengar himself suffered from many illnesses as a child, including malaria, typhoid, and tuberculosis.
Owing to his own health concerns as well as those of his students over the years, he has paid particular care to the relation of yoga to anatomy, physiology, and pathology. He has had the opportunity to work with people who have many and various physical ailments, and like this has created a healthy natural way to grow taller with his yoga style. He considers yoga a therapy as well as a philosophy. His work has been much praised by the medical establishment.
Placing a bolster or blanket under the buttocks can help you to feel more comfortable while sitting in a cross-legged sitting position. The teachers of many styles of yoga now use such props. However, it was Iyengar, with his emphasis on the precise anatomical alignment and correct growth posture of the body while performing yoga, who popularized these powerful aids.
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