Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.1
Tapah, Svadhyaya, Isvarapranidhanani Kriyayogah.
A burning zeal in practice, study of spiritual books, self study and surrender to God constitute yoga.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.36.
Being firmly established in truthfullness ones actions cannot go wrong.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.1
Now the exposition of Yoga begins.
What is Yoga
…an ancient and timeless art, science, a philosophy
…the union of body, mind, and soul
Common Misconceptions about Yoga
You must be young or physically fit to learn and practice yoga. Actually yoga is for all ages and abilities.
You must be flexible to practice yoga. This statement is wrong. One should practice yoga to become flexible.
Yoga is a religion. Yoga is the study and observation of one’s Self, yoga is not a religion.
What is Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga is hatha yoga based on the teachings of yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. It uses the principles of alignment to achieve a symmetrical stretch of the muscles and tendons and to place and re-place the internal organs. Iyengar yoga uses props such as blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, chairs and wall ropes to learn and deepen one’s understanding of the poses. The props help educate the body. Iyengar yoga uses themes and sub-themes in yoga classes to deepen the awareness of poses. Some examples of themes are standing poses, forward extensions, backward extensions, twists, restorative postures, pranayama.
An example of a sub theme is how to use your shoulder blades and dorsal spine while doing the yoga poses. Iyengar yoga can be challenging depending on which class you are in but more importantly Iyengar yoga is for all, all levels of flexibility, all conditions of the body, injured or not, young and old, big and small. Iyengar yoga is based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The alignment of the body is the first step to bringing the body, mind and soul into alignment.
More on Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga is based on the teachings of yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, author of the classic yoga treatise “Light on Yoga”. His daughter Geeta and son Prashant are also accomplished teachers and authors of yoga texts. The Iyengar family’s teachings are deeply grounded in the yoga sutras of Patanjali, an ancient summation of the path of yoga considered to be at least 2500 years old. B.K.S. Iyengar’s intense practice and over 75 years of teaching have produced significant innovations in the teaching of this art.
Among the most noteworthy are:
■ A complete approach to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformation, bringing the practitioner to physical health and vitality, mental clarity and wisdom, and emotional serenity and poise.
■ Emphasis on standing poses to develop strength, stamina, concentration and body alignment.
■ A safe, orderly, systematic progression of poses to develop the student’s ability both within a class and from class to class.
■ Use of props, such as blankets, blocks and straps, to facilitate learning and adjust poses to an individual’s needs.
■ Highly developed teaching methodology including the precise use of language, demonstration and teaching of specific points of action in a pose, individual correction and adjustment of students.
■ Ways to use yoga to ease various ailments and stress.
■ Complete integration of the yoga philosophy with the practice of asana.