I want to start classes

If you cannot find a local teacher then email admin@iyengaryoga.org.uk.Your teacher will answer any questions you may have about equipment and clothing required for the class. In general, teachers can provide a minimum amount of equipment for a new student. Loose-fitting clothing is enough and you should be prepared to practise in bare feet. You should tell the teacher if you have medical conditions, such as post-operative conditions, hypertension, heart problems, high or low blood pressure, back, neck or knee problems, menstrual disorders etc. You should not eat for at least two hours before an Iyengar Yoga class or four hours in the case of a heavy meal.

What can I expect to do during an Iyengar yoga class?

Iyengar yoga is characterised by precision and alignment in the execution of the postures (asanas), sequencing of the asanas towards a desired result, timing in the length of time the asanas are held for maximum benefit, and the use of props if required to help a student gain the maximum benefit from each asana. Iyengar Yoga concentrates on postural alignment and body awareness. This is not just for the alignment of one body part with another, but also for the proper functioning of the human being. If the body is aligned with precision then the breath is aligned with the same precision. If the breath is balanced then the mind, emotions and senses become balanced.

What are the effects of Iyengar yoga practice?

With regular guided practice the effects are a general feeling of physical health and psychological and mental well-being. This is not to say that ill-health will not arise, it may. If it does it is likely that yoga will help one to face it and maybe manage it. The focus of Iyengar yoga on postural alignment can alleviate postural/structural problems. It can also release emotional tensions. The yoga is demanding in effort and in attention to detail within the posture, which increases concentration and focus helping to relieve the mind and body of stress. It can help to develop a deeper knowledge of your Self, which can contribute to greater self-confidence.

Does Iyengar yoga have a philosophical basis?

Iyengar Yoga is firmly based in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an Indian sage who lived about 1700 years ago. The one-line statements of the Yoga Sutras guide the yoga practitioner towards peace of mind and harmony and ultimately to bliss (Samadhi). The philosophy is explained in several of Mr. Iyengar’s books. The simplest is perhaps in the introduction of Mr. Iyengar’s book “Light on Yoga”. However, other descriptions can be found, with different emphasis, in his other books such as “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”, his translation of the Yoga Sutras, “Tree of Yoga “, “Light on Ashtanga Yoga” and the latest publication “Light on Life” .

Do I have to be young and fit?

Iyengar Yoga is for anyone irrespective of age, gender, health, religion and circumstances in life. Iyengar Yoga is not competitive. You will not be judged against other people. A distinctive feature of Iyengar Yoga is the use of equipment, called props, to enable a student to develop strength, flexibility and control in a posture in order to achieve their full potential. In this way a student works to his or her maximum ability within a general mixed class. The teacher is trained to select the correct prop and to supervise the individual student.

Can Iyengar yoga alleviate medical conditions?

Mr. Iyengar has achieved remarkable success in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, ranging from skeleto-muscular through to emotional. He has passed much of this knowledge on to his Intermediate Junior and Senior teachers. They are qualified to give help in cases where they have competence. Note; only teachers who hold Intermediate Junior and Senior qualifications and who have the necessary experience can give help with serious conditions. If you would like further information on this, please contact IYA (UK) or your local Institute.

Is religious faith necessary?

People from many religious traditions can and do practise Iyengar yoga. Teachers will not promote a religious viewpoint however, yoga is based in the Hindu tradition and some references may be made to the source of ideas or names of postures in order to clarify background detail.


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