If you’ve been practicing Yoga for a short time, you would notice that your perspective about yourself and the world may have changed – even for a bit.
The western world has also caught up and also reaped benefits in practicing Yoga. There are scientific discoveries that came with Yoga such as stress relief and better mental health.
Further studies have shown that Yoga may also reduce inflammation. This is a natural response of the body when it’s immune compromised. However, for those with diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, this can be a long-term occurrence.
A study done in 2015 showed that individuals practicing Yoga showed lower inflammatory signals that those that don’t practice Yoga.
Iyengar Yoga Meaning and Purpose
This is a traditional type of Yoga still being practiced today. Founder B.K.S. Iyengar brought this type of Yoga to the western world because of its simplicity and practical approach.
The reason Iyengar Yoga has been successful in the western part of the world is that of the degree of attention he gives in the postural Yoga and breathing exercises. He was also able to communicate well with his students to keep improving their postures and disciplines.
B.K.S. Iyengar also made it possible to balance the mind and body through his Yoga routines.
The uniqueness of Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar Yoga focuses on alignment. This type of Yoga may require you to use props to help you reach the desired poses from beginner to advanced Yogi. There will be instances where you may be required to hold poses longer to help you in the ‘flow’.
Iyengar Yoga pays specific attention to movements but help you learn according to your body’s capacity and calmness.
Another factor that makes this practice unique is that you don’t expect the sequence to be the same every day. Though you may expect some repetition on some poses, this is necessary to keep your body from injury and overusing certain muscles in the body.
Iyengar Yoga and using props
Video Iyengar Yoga using props
Sticking to its intention, Iyengar Yoga is all about helping students achieve certain poses as easily and smoothly as possible. The use of props will help beginner Yogis be more confident in doing advanced poses as they move along their journey.
By using everyday items like ropes, chairs, blocks, and whatever is available, it helps you advance certain postures as you go along. This is beneficial until such time that you won’t need to use these props anymore to work on your poses.
Why should you practice Iyengar Yoga?
Now that you know the Iyengar Yoga meaning and purpose, let’s move to why it’s beneficial for Yogis of all levels.
Be more flexible
Unlike other Yoga styles, Iyengar doesn’t require you to touch your toes to be able to practice any of the routines. But when you do, you’re only experiencing its side effect.
You will be slowly and gently guided by your Yoga teacher using props. Expect that you may need to hold certain poses for approximately one minute. The use of props enables you to do certain postures without causing any injury or strains.
Firming the muscles
Additionally, you may feel that stretching certain muscles in the body helps build strength and tone the muscles at the same time.
Iyengar’s practice is to engage the whole body. The practitioner knows where the muscles are connected and engage those muscle groups as well. By connecting these parts, you will get a full-body experience from doing certain routines.
Just like Yoga, Iyengar’s method also brings clarity of the mind and spirit. Entering into a pose will help you focus on achieving the task while listening to your body as you proceed with stretching or bending.
You begin to meditate and let your mind be calmer as you proceed with every posture.
Iyengar Yoga could also prevent back and neck pain that comes with most office jobs. Hunching adds weight to your back hence manifesting the back pains. Stretching the muscles and back through Yoga strengthens your muscles and relieve strains.
Iyengar Yoga links minor and major muscles with every workout. You will feel that your legs, back, and major core muscles are strengthened. Since Iyengar Yoga focuses on alignment, your posture may improve with time.
With Yoga, you know that you train your body to be disciplined to perform certain postures. And this, in turn, may influence eating and lifestyle habits.
When your mind is calmer, you find that your body responds less to cravings. You will crave for healthier food and regularly seek to do Yoga because of its health benefits.
With Iyengar Yoga, you learn to love your body and embrace a lifestyle that embodies discipline and love for self.
Though you are familiar with Iyengar Yoga meaning and its purpose, it can be hard if you’re not maintaining it. In the end, Yoga is a lifestyle. You should embrace it so that you can reap its benefits in the long run.
Maintenance is the key to any Yogi. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, Iyengar Yoga also meant working hard to perfecting those poses. You need to break new territories and overcome fears as you move along this journey.
When you move from mediocre to excellence, you know that each step is a breakthrough. You will learn to embrace the challenges and fight to become the best version of yourself every step of the way!