What is Iyengar Yoga?
Why we use props such as blocks, straps and bolsters
Why do we use so many props at Teton Yoga Shala? Because of a wise yoga teacher named B.K.S Iyengar! In his book Light on Yoga published in 1966, Iyengar describes this style of yoga as exercise emphasizing the practical, progressive and accessible teachings of yoga postures. It relies on the three pillars of alignment, sequencing and timing as well as the use of props to prevent injury and discomfort.
Iyengar began studying yoga at the Mysore Palace in Mysore Karnataka India in 1936 to strengthen his body after suffering from several viruses during his childhood. His significant yoga mentors were his brother-in-law Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and the famed yoga instructor Pattabhi Jois. At the time, his major influences were hatha yoga and traditional Indian wrestling and gymnastics.
He first visited the United States in1956 where he began gaining popularity first in Ann Arbor, Michigan and then with several Hollywood celebrities. Nowadays, Iyengar is referred to as ‘the father of modern yoga,’ because he showed people around the world safe ways to achieve challenging postures including standing on their heads. Most effectively, he designed ‘the rope wall’ to provide students a secure rope system to experience relief and support in yoga postures.
In Light on Yoga, Iyengar says yoga is “timeless pragmatic science evolved over thousands of years dealing with the physical, moral, mental and spiritual well-being of man as a whole.” The Shala has lots of class styles on the schedule that embrace Iyengar’s teachings including Early Bird Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Gentle Flow and Rope Wall and Chair Yoga. Shala teachers encourage students to strengthen practical muscles to improve mobility to optimize the experience of daily life and favorite activities.
Take your Iyengar Yoga practice to the next level by joining us Friday, April 28th through Saturday, April 30th for Eddy Marks and Mary Obendorfer’s Essential Openings Workshop. Eddy and Mary are senior Iyengar teachers from San Diego who direct the Iyengar Yoga Center of San Diego in Ocean Beach. They have studied with the Iyengars in Pune, India 19 and 20 times respectively.
There are three days of workshops focused on twists, hip flexion, shoulders, opening for backbends and stabilizing knees. You will leave these yoga workshops with numerous applicable tools to open and reduce pain in your body. This workshop is suitable for all yoga students and will be best experienced as an entire workshop though individual sessions are available.
Iyengar Workshop Schedule:
- Friday, April 28 th 6-8pm – Twists: Hard to Easy
- Saturday, April 29 th 8:30-11:30am Hip Flexion: Expanding range and ease of movement
- Saturday, April 29 th 2-4:30 Shoulders: Increase range of motion, strength and stability
- Sunday, April 30 th 8:30-11:30am Essential Openings for Backbends
- Sunday, April 30 th 2-4:30pm Knees: How best to bring ease, pliability and stability to your knees
Sign up here.