A rich lineage, a multifaceted method, an inclusive mindset, an intelligent approach & a heartfelt and spirited practice.
Mr Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (14th Dec 1918-20th August 2014), better known as BKS Iyengar, is recognised as being a foremost exponent of yoga and a particularly significant individual in the introduction of yoga to the western world.
Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar
(1944 – 2018) In her father’s light, not shadow! Dr Geeta S. Iyengar, daughter of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar, and the senior most teacher in the Iyengar community until her passing in 2018.
Our method has very rigorous teacher-training and assessment, with the highest standards world-wide.
“By reflecting on which part of the body is working, which part of the mind is working & which part of the body has not been penetrated by the mind, we bring the mind to the same extension as the body.
As the body is contracted or extended, so the intelligence is contracted or extended to reach every part of the body.
This is what is known as reposing; this is sensitivity.
When this sensitivity is in touch equally with the body, the mind and the soul, we are in a state of contemplation or meditation which is known as asana…”
The Tree of Yoga
5 Great Things About Iyengar Yoga
5 - We are part of a global community
Previously in Australia, only Iyengar schools with Senior teachers were permitted to use the name Iyengar in their business name, so you may not have heard of Iyengar Yoga, but you can bet most other yoga teachers have studied ‘Light on Yoga’ by BKS Iyengar (often referred to as the ‘bible’ of yoga ) as part of their teacher training.
We are one of Yoga’s best kept secrets! There are at least five schools specialising in Iyengar Yoga in the greater Newcastle region. 2018 marked the 100th Anniversary of BKS Iyengar’s birth and was celebrated around the world.
4 - Its real yoga
Iyengar yoga is the authentic item. Lineage connects our school in Hamilton, NSW Australia to ancient yogic philosophy and practices.
Mr Iyengar was the younger brother-in-law and student of T. Krishnamacharia, attributed with the modern revival of Hatha yoga, who himself had travelled to study and live with his yoga master for 7 years in the Himalayas… and so on that story goes, far back into history.
3 - We know our stuff
Iyengar Teachers undergo years of training and ongoing professional development and the most rigorous assessment processes in the world.
We have accrued decades of experience in this comprehensive style. Current requirements are now six years minimum studentship, before being allowed to even sit for the introductory level teaching qualification.
The art of teaching and the art of yoga go hand in hand with Iyengar yoga.
2 - It's inclusive!
Poses can all be modified according to each individuals need. A professional football player and great grandmother can do the same pose varied to their individual requirements. If you are unsteady we can teach you how and what to do to participate and progress.
Age, Injury and disability are no barrier. Really! Mr Iyengar developed the use of props, not to make yoga easy, but to enable any person, regardless of physical capacity, to experience the profound effects of yoga.
1 - Iyengar Yoga is a practice for life
Many people who start learning this method just keep on going. For decades. Mr Iyengar continued his practice until his mid-nineties, just weeks before he passed away. Alignment is a technique used to bring awareness that Iyengar developed. It is also consistent with maintaining physical health and wellbeing throughout one’s lifespan. We have students in their Seventies in our advanced classes who have been practicing for decades, through injuries, catastrophes and all of life’s ups and downs.
The great thing is, there is always more to learn. After decades of practice we start to glimpse how little we know. It is a humbling, fascinating and illuminative practice.
Top 5 benefits of learning Iyengar Yoga
5 - Strength and flexibility
Don’t be fooled! Despite initial appearances, yoga is not about flexibility or strength, but if you do practice it regularly, you will become stronger and more supple. These are great ‘side-effects’ of yoga practice, but they are not our main focus, and definitely not prerequisites.
Standing poses are first learnt in the Introductory course and are the best place to start. Doing standing poses such as trikonasana (triangle pose) and virabhadrasana 1 and 2 (warrior pose) can be an invigorating work-out. They are the safest way to develop strength, flexibility and balance whilst learning the alignment basics.
An Iyengar Yoga school will teach you at your level, so that you learn to work in a way that is good for you.
Whilst flexibility is irrelevant, what you do need is a sense of curiosity and a willingness to turn up and do some work. You do get back what you put in. The asanas (poses) ought to be just challenging enough so that you can build up strength and flexibility incrementally.
Begin with the best introduction to yoga, and then continue…
4 - Body awareness, health and physical wellbeing
Most of us are not just strong, weak, flexible or stiff all over, but various mixtures. Due to lifestyle, injury or genetics some muscle groups overwork, and some underwork. People who are highly flexible for example, are very prone to injury, and need to learn where and how to strengthen.
Yoga for men is great, as imbalances in posture otherwise go unnoticed until there is pain or discomfort such as back ache, neck pain or shoulder pain.
With a method of yoga that incorporates a mindful approach to asanas, such as Iyengar Yoga, you develop great sensitivity, and learn ways to address and manage such imbalances safely.
Correct alignment will protect you from injury, but it can serve a much more profound role in a yogi’s life (more on that below).
3 - Energy & vitality
The asanas do not just affect us anatomically, at the muscles and bones, but also affect us physiologically.
One single yoga pose can be performed in numerous ways for different effects. Your hormonal system and nervous system may be either ‘charged up’ or pacified depending on the way it is performed.
A well-trained yoga instructor such as an Iyengar Yoga teacher can sequence different practices that will raise your energy levels if you are feeling low or calm you down if you are feeling anxious or stressed out.
An Iyengar yoga teacher has a minimum of 2 years in training and 2 years as a student themselves, so they have experience of these numerous variations… you might get a restorative Yin type class on one day, and an invigorating dynamic flowing vinyasa type class on the next.
A Senior Iyengar teacher will count their experience in decades, rather than years.
2 - Mental clarity and a sense of balanced wellbeing
Yoga is much more than a type of physical activity or set of exercises.
It is pleasant to experience that feeling of relaxation after a “yoga workout” just like after a gym workout, and while that is another great side-benefit of a yoga class, you are being sold short on yoga, if that is all you are getting.
Yoga practiced skilfully can effectively help to manage mental health issues such as anxiety and depression that can tend to leave us feeling exhausted and depleted.
Mindful attention in asana teaches us to be present moment by moment. When we are present there is no fear or anxiety. This has profound application off the mat, in our daily lives.
1 - Awareness and joy
The definition of yoga, according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is the quietening of the mind. When mind joins with body and breath, the sum is far greater than the parts.
Yoga means union. When that union takes place, our busy mind quietens.
We all hold conscious and unconscious stories about ourselves that shape our perception of who we are and the world around us. Often these stories go unseen and untested.
‘Svadhaya’ is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘self-study’. Ultimately yoga is a meditative practice that can give us a way to identify the true causes of our suffering, and to experience freedom from them.
Find a yoga studio that provides a pathway from beginners to advanced. One that starts with trikonasana and sets you on the journey of a lifetime.
This certification mark is your guarantee of excellence in yoga teaching.
By BKS Iyengar:
- Light on Yoga
- Light on Pranyama
- Light on Life
- Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
- Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health
- Tree of Yoga
By Geeta Iyengar:
- Yoga: A gem for Women
- Yoga in Action: Preliminary Course
- Yoga in Action: Intermediate Course
By Silva, Mira & Shyam Metha:
- Yoga: The Iyengar Way
By Mira Metha:
- How to Use Yoga