So what is Iyengar yoga?
Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 asana and 14 types of Pranayama, from the simple to the almost inconceivably difficult. These have been structured and categorised so as to allow a beginner to progress surely and safely from basic postures to the most advanced as they gain flexibility, strength and sensitivity in mind, body and spirit.
Iyengar focuses on precise body alignment. Iyengar teachers have rigorous training over many years to ensure they are skilled at adjusting students in an anatomically correct way so that the student suffers no injury or pain.
Another unique aspect of Iyengar Yoga is that BKS Iyengar developed the use of certain equipment/props which help you attain the correct position in the postures. Props are objects like blocks, chairs, blankets and belts.
B.K.S. Iyengar’s spent a lifetime developing a profound understanding of the subtleties of yoga. There’s no trendy music, no patchouli oil and no candles. Iyengar yoga classes are as physically demanding as you make them, with everyone working on the same pose, but at their own level, within their capabilities.
Is yoga suitable for me?
Yoga is for everyone, you don’t have to be flexible, strong or fit to get involved and feel the benefit.
Strength without flexibility leads to injury and restricted movement. Conversely, flexibility without strength leads to lack of stability and joint problems. We need balance in our body. Yoga provides this. So cyclists, runners and athletic types benefit from the stretching, whilst naturally flexible (but possibly weaker) people benefit from the strengthening and toning aspects of yoga.
Yoga can be practised safely by people with many forms of injury or chronic condition. In fact, a lot of people with chronic muscular conditions find that practising yoga gives them relief from pain and teaches them how to make their body healthier. I have worked with people with ‘bad backs’, joint problems, fibromyalgia, depression, Parkinson’s, strained muscles, and many other issues. You will work at a level you are comfortable with, and will use the equipment to make poses achievable.
If you have any medical problems it’s always a good idea to check with your GP before starting a new form of exercise. Always let me know at the beginning of a class if you have an injury, an ongoing condition, you’re menstruating or pregnant as certain poses are not suitable and alternatives will be given.
Help, I'm a yoga newbie!
I’m often a bit nervous when I go to a new class/course/workshop, so I understand that for some people coming to a new class is a big deal.
Whilst you may find a few things unusual or unfamiliar, you won’t be alone.
The practise is progressive, building a stable foundation before attempting more demanding work. Yoga isn’t a competition, there is no such thing as ‘being good/bad’. As long as you keep coming back and practicing, you’ll start to see the benefits physically and mentally in a way that will make you happy, fit and healthy.
All the equipment you might need will be provided. Usually people borrow one of my yoga mats for the first few sessions, and then bring their own once they are hooked. See our classes & workshops >
What can I expect during a yoga class?
- A safe, methodical progression of yoga postures
- Technique – precision, alignment and awareness in performing the yoga postures
- Skilful sequencing to develop strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration and relaxation
- Clear demonstration and explanation
- Individual correction and adjustment
Personally, I like to have aching muscles after a class, and I get bored pretty easily. That tells you a lot about my classes. I draw on my years of yoga experience to teach uplifting classes with specific sequencing to help you to move deeper into poses. I pay close attention to your alignment and provide individual adjustments to ensure you progress safely and get the very best out of each and every class. With hundreds of poses, there is an ever-changing sequence, which keeps even those with the shortest attention span engaged. Sometimes we focus on hips, other times its core stability, leg work, shoulders, etc.