An Introduction to Iyengar Yoga

28-01-2016

Deciding on which type of yoga to practice can be a challenge in itself. There are so many different kinds out there and each has its own specific health benefits. Today we’d like to introduce you to the popular Iyengar yoga.

Iyengar is excellent for both beginners and experienced yoga practitioners alike. Iyengar poses focus on alignment and structure, and also focuses on discovering how you can use and control your breath. The most unique feature of Iyengar is that it uses different props to help you build up strength, flexibility, and stamina.

So where did it all begin, and what exactly can it do for you?

It was founded by B.K.S Iyengar, who is now considered one of the best yoga teachers in the world. He established over 200 yoga asanas (postures) and different breathing controls, ranging from easy to incredibly difficult.

He also championed the use of yoga props, such as belts, harnesses, blankets and blocks to help your body reach the perfect Iyengar poses.

The health benefits of Iyengar yoga

Iyengar poses have been developed to help you progress and build in strength. Used with Iyengar breathing techniques, the practice is incredibly healing and can help with a multitude of health issues.

Most notably, Iyengar yoga has been linked with helping severe back and neck troubles (an American study showed it could actually ease back pain). This is down to the strict positioning involved, which lengthens and strengthens your muscles.

It is also thought to aid insomnia, menopause, and heart problems. It won’t get your heart racing in the same way ashtanga yoga does, but in terms of toning, flexibility, and relaxation it’s one of the best practices out there.

Choosing the right kit for perfect Iyengar practice

Iyengar is slow and specific, so you’ll need to suit up appropriately to reflect this. Try a super stretch top to ensure you are as comfortable as possible when learning to hold those Iyengar poses. A loose fitting, flexible bottom-half, like our pedal pants will enable easy movement.

And to help you strengthen muscles and build stamina as you develop, a range of props and accessories are available to help you master your pose.

Image Credit: Flickr

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