Iyengar yoga: Master body alignment through asanas and pranayamas

Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga developed by B.KS. Iyengar. It commences with the detailed study of postures and breath control techniques. These postures are better known as asanas, while the breath control techniques are known as pranayamas. It consists of more than 200 asanas and 14 pranayamas with several variations.

The Iyengar method in detail

Iyengar yoga has been structured to address beginner and advanced students. The most basic postures are entirely safe, but as the student progresses, the postures become more difficult to perform. The focus of the program is to enhance strength, sensitivity and flexibility not only of the body, but of the mind and the spirit as well.


The Iyengar method is focused on the perfect alignment of the physical body. This can be achieved through the perfection of several poses, which can be mastered through constant practice. The belief is that when the body is balanced, the mind and the spirit will follow as well.

As compared to other Hatha yoga techniques, Iyengar has its defining innovations. The most prominent is the use of props. A spectator will definitely see students wearing straps, chairs, pillows, blankets, bolsters and blocks in the studios. The use of props was adopted to assist students in attaining ideal body alignment.

The no-flow technique

The Iyengar method makes use of very little fluid transition from one pose to the next, not like those in other yoga methods. However, the method involves holding poses for longer durations until the alignments are mastered. After every pose, the students take rests in the form of corpse and child poses. Holding the poses for extended periods of time builds strength and leads to the mastery of body alignments. The use of the no-flow technique allows various kinds of people to practice yoga. These include the not-so-physically fit, the overweight, and the elderly.

Final words

Iyengar yoga may be the best option for beginners, but it will definitely not be easy to master. Nonetheless, it is one of the best methods to use for body alignment. Students who want to build body strength and flexibility may take interest in this method as well. It may also interest advanced students who want to master difficult postures.

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