Iyengar Yoga, created by B.K.S. Iyengar, is a form of yoga known for its use of props, such as belts and blocks, as aids in performing asanas (postures).
It is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, emphasizing the development of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, as well as concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana). B.K.S. Iyengar is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 60 years. He has written many books on yogic practice and philosophy, and is best known for his books “Light on Yoga,” “Light on Pranayama,” and “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.” He has also written several definitive yoga texts. Iyengar yoga centers are located throughout the world, and it is believed that millions of students practice Iyengar Yoga. Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, the center of Iyengar Yoga is located in Pune, India. Iyengar has trained thousands of teachers, who complete 2-5 years of rigorous training for the introductory level of certification (higher-level certification may take a decade or more). B.K.S. Iyengar and his daughter Geeta were the first yoga masters of the twentieth century to strongly address the need for women to nurture and honour their bodies by adjusting the way they practice yoga during the different cycles in life. It is recommended to read “Yoga: A Gem for Women” by Geeta Iyengar.
B.K.S. Iyengar writes in Light on Yoga, Yoga is not a religion, yoga is the science of religions; Iyengar Yoga, a form of Hatha Yoga, focuses on the structural alignment of the physical body through the development of asanas. Through the practice of a system of asanas, it aims to unite the body, mind and spirit for health and well being. Iyengar Yoga is considered a powerful tool to relieve the stresses of modern-day life which in turn can help promote total physical and spiritual well being. Iyengar Yoga is characterized by great attention to detail and precise focus on body alignment. Iyengar pioneered the use of props such as cushions, benches, blocks, straps, and even sand bags, which function as aids allowing beginners to experience asanas more easily and fully than might otherwise be possible without several years of practice. Props also allow tired or ill students to enjoy the benefits of many asanas via fully “supported” methods requiring less muscular effort.