What is Iyengar Yoga?

Iyengar yoga is a precise and skilful way of teaching yoga which encourages students to develop greater awareness of their body and behaviours so they can develop better habits for longer term health and vitality.

This method of teaching was developed by BKS Iyengar, often described as the “father of modern yoga”. Mr Iyengar is credited with bringing yoga to the West and for the introduction of props to that the asanas (poses) more accessible for everyone.

Iyengar Yoga Australia describes the Iyengar method as “a standardised system of instruction” based on the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. All Iyengar yoga teachers must subscribe to a comprehensive training and certification process and commit to ongoing professional development of a minimum of 20 hours a year with a senior teacher.

The Iyengar method seeks to fully integrate the physical, physiological, mental, intellectual and spiritual aspects of yoga. In other words, it teaches students to move their awareness from the external body to the inner layers of consciousness (the kosas). There is focus on balance and developing sensitivity so that people ‘tune in’ to what is going on within, and around them. Mr Iyengar spent many years working with doctors and scientists to better understand the human body through disciplined practice and experimentation.

Prasarita Padottonasana
yoga class

meet the founder

About BKS Iyengar

Mr Iyengar started yoga as a young man under the guidance of his brother-in-law, Mr T. Krishnamacharya before teaching small groups of students in India. In 1975, he founded the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in memory of his late wife where each year thousands of Iyengar yoga practitioners continue their yoga learning.

Mr Iyengar died in August 2014, leaving behind his children and grandchildren. His daughter Geeta was a formidable teacher in her own right before her passing in December 2018. Today his son, Prashant, and granddaughter, Abhijater, continue to build on his rich legacy of teaching at RIMYI.

Yoga has a threefold impact on health. It keeps healthy people healthy, inhibits the development of diseases, and aids recovery from ill health. (Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar, p 23)

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