Iyengar Yoga | Benefits and Difference From Other Types of Yoga

Published: Nov 23, 2021 | Updated: Nov 23, 2021

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Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga is a modern yoga modality developed by B. K. S. Iyengar (1918 – 2014), emphasizing precision and alignment in the performance of asanas (Yoga postures). It is also known for the use of many props such as ropes, belts, blocks, sand bags, and blankets, to aid students of all physical conditions and limitations to perform the poses correctly without any risk of injuries.

Iyengar is from the same Yoga lineage of Pattabhi Jois (founder of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga), as both have learnt Yoga from Tirumalai Krishnamacharya – known as the father of modern Yoga -, and so the modalities share many of the same asanas, among other conceptual similarities. Iyengar Yoga also has the conceptual influence of Hatha Yoga and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as most “yoga as exercise” modalities made popular in the 20th century.

Iyengar is known for popularizing yoga, first in India and then around the world, becoming extremely famous and teaching likewise to very famous people. In 1966 Iyengar wrote his bestselling book Light on Yoga, which is considered the bible of modern Yoga and contains detailed instructions and illustrations of the asanas.

You may also be interested in:
  ◾ Yoga | India’s Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Exercise Practices
  ◾ Vinyasa Yoga | Benefits, History and Concepts
  ◾ Ashtanga Yoga | Patanjali’s Eightfold Path of Yoga

Differences between Iyengar and other styles of Yoga

The method of Iyengar Yoga is unique, differing from other styles of Yoga because of a few main elements: its focus on the execution of the poses, prioritizing a precise execution rather than the amount of different asanas done; the sequences in which the Yoga postures are practiced are also considered important, and the poses are usually held for a longer period of time compared to other styles of Yoga; and the use of props, which help the students to achieve the proper body alignment in every asana.

Health Benefits of Iyengar Yoga

Some of the health benefits of Iyengar Yoga are thought to be: improved physical and psychological health; pain relief; improved posture and flexibility; strengthening of muscles; increased focus, concentration and overall energy; experiencing the unity of body, breath, mind and soul; among others.


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