6 Reasons to Practice Iyengar Yoga
One highly beneficial style of yoga relatively undiscovered by the mainstream yoga world is Iyengar yoga. Founded by B.K.S Iyengar, it is based on the premise that you become fully present when you focus on alignment.
The focus is much more intricate than other types of yoga, and poses are held for longer periods of time.
This specific yoga practice allows you to work on muscles that stabilize your body while building flexibility affording practitioners a very safe way to practice. Iyengar yoga is also very prop centered, often using a yoga wall (made up of ropes and used to hang upside down like a bat to allow gravity to take over in some poses), chairs, blocks, straps, bolsters, and blankets.
While Iyengar yoga is not a fast-paced, sweaty, music pumping vinyasa class, it leaves you feeling sturdy, calm, and connected to yourself.
Welcome to your introduction to Iyengar yoga, where we will guide you through the benefits of this practice to determine if you want to incorporate it into your own routine!
Interested in learning more about different yoga practices? You might also like: All You Need to Know About Ashtanga Yoga
6 Reasons to Practice Iyengar Yoga
1. Lowers Stress
Research has shown that Iyengar yoga has therapeutic benefits, including lower stress, anxiety, and stress-related issues like heart problems.
2. Prevents Sickness
Although these are studies done on general yoga practice and are not specific to Iyengar yoga, this is still a fantastic reason to take this practice up if you have never tried yoga before.
3. Reduces Back & Neck Pain
It has been shown that Iyengar yoga has positive effects on low back pain and neck pain.
If you’re used to sitting in an office chair all day long, straining your neck to see your computer monitor, this yoga practice can have some great benefits for you.
Yoga can do wonders for physical pain. Make sure to check out: Combat Neck & Shoulder Pain With These 7 Yoga Poses
4. Improves Energy Levels
Incorporating an exercise practice that builds strength and flexibility allows your digestion to improve, lower toxins, and increase overall energy.
This specific yoga practice will also tune you more into your own awareness, leaving you with an overall energized feeling the more you practice.
5. Improves Posture & Stability
This type of yoga specifically targets posture since it is so focused on alignment. When your posture improves, your organs have more space to function properly.
6. Improves Confidence & Positivity
In general, yoga has been shown to help with the symptoms of depression, leading to a more joyful and fulfilling life.
What Can I Expect from an Iyengar Yoga Class?
This is one style of yoga that is dependent on a qualified teacher and a consortium of props. Iyengar yoga for beginners can seem a little intimidating, so we’re going to go over a few things you can expect.
Basic Iyengar Yoga Poses
You will often do beginners poses like downward-facing dog, chair pose, mountain pose, seated forward fold, or shoulder stand with the support of blocks, straps, blankets, and chairs so that no matter your flexibility level, the pose becomes accessible to you.
Overall, you can expect to do way fewer poses in one class because each pose is discussed at length, and there is a much greater explanation of how to do poses safely, which reduces the risk of injury.
As you really learn how to engage the smaller muscles that hold you in a pose, you will connect to your body by feeling grounded, stable, present, supported, and calm.
This practice can be gratifying if you’re willing to try it, and you will learn a lot.
You’ll notice older yogis like this yoga style because they have found that they want a practice and an instructor who knows anatomy and will instruct them in ways where injuries are rare.
Resources to Start Your Iyengar Practice
Has this unique yoga style piqued your interest?
One of the best ways to get started is by reading B.K.S. Iyengar’s book Light on Yoga has hundreds of photos and instructions of poses with the physical and emotional benefits.
If you’re still trying to find the type of yoga that fits you and where you are in your life, be sure to check out our introductions to other types of yoga such as Hatha, kundalini, and hot yoga, or try out some of our different yoga flows and restorative sequences.
Find your perfect yoga practice: Your Ultimate Guide to Different Yoga Types