Everybody asks me what is Iyengar yoga?
B.K.S Iyengar was an extraordinary man who has devoted his entire life to the study of yoga.His death was announced on 20th August 2014.
I was lucky enough to be taught yoga by teachers who had been instructed by Iyengar in the 1970's and although I have tried other ways of practising Hatha Yoga I have always come back to the Iyengar style I was shown all those years ago.
If you want to see for yourself, this is his web site B.K.S Iyengar
His book Light on Yoga is the classic book on yoga and my copy, much loved and much handled is falling to bits but is still worth reading. B.K.S Iyengar Yoga the Path to Holistic Health is another good book where he shows you how postures can be adapted to the student's needs.
What I like and liked about Iyengar's teachings was the emphasis he put on correct alignment in the postures and the more I have studied anatomy, the more I have realised how Iyengar had appreciated the way in which postures can be used to solve physical problems. As an engineer, his comments made sense, the better balanced a structure is, the greater the load it can bear, so making sure you are carrying yourself well is bound to improve your feeling of well-being.
He was always talking about opening out the chest and this of course makes it easier to breathe deeply which improves the quantity of air you can inhale and improves the amount of oxygen available to the body. This too will improve your feeling of well-being.
If you want a greater understanding of the philosophy of Yoga, there is a section in Light on Yoga on it. His book Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom delves deeper into the spiritual side of yoga.
Iyengar gave his life to yoga. He used his own body as his own teaching tool, experimenting with it to explore how a posture works on the body. He practiced sincerely and honestly. He helped thousands with his teaching.
I am glad that I was taught by the Leicester Iyengar circle in the 1970's and I always want to acknowledge the influence his teaching has had on my life and my take on teaching hatha yoga. A truly great man.