Iyengar Yoga: Incredible Health Benefits

Iyengar Yoga Health Effects, Description, History, Roots, Health Benefits, Process, Postures, Precautions and Safety and FAQs

What is Iyengar Yoga?

Iyengar Yoga is developed by and named after B.K.S. Iyengar who was a direct disciple of T. Krishnamacharya. He was born on December 14, 1918. He started doing yoga as a teenager and practiced with his brother to improve his health after suffering from Tuberculosis. 

Iyengar Yoga Health benefits

Iyengar Yoga is a form of yoga taught traditionally in the family of B.K.S. Iyengar. The specialty of Iyengar Yoga is the development of awareness through a series of doctor’s self-study and specific Asana (postures) and Pranayama (breathing technique). 

Iyengar Yoga Health Effects and Benefits

The practice of Iyengar Yoga is well established and effectively applies traditional yoga techniques for medical purposes, which provide mental and physical benefits to individuals. The teaching method is categorized into prop usage and strengthened by a systematic training and qualification system for trainers.

This style often uses props like belts, blocks and blankets, which are helpful in performing disinterest. Props enable students, the elderly, or people with physical limitations to perform properly in an unsanitary manner, thereby reducing the risk of injury or stress.

Further this article discusses the effectiveness and Health Benefits of Iyengar Yoga.

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Health Effects of Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga provides immense physical, mental and spiritual benefits. In an increasingly busy world, yoga can act as an antidote to stress in everyday life, and many studies have supported the possibility of yoga to reduce physical pain and prevent diseases. Improved energy levels, strength and emotional well-being are just a few benefits of Iyengar Yoga.

It was based on the belief that yoga should be for all, Iyengar Yoga is excellent for anyone of any age or skill level. Also, among all different styles, Iyengar is most ideal for people who prefer diversity in their practice, as each category is different (for example, unlike Vikrama or Ashtanga, who have set the order).

Iyengar Yoga is also beneficial for anyone with injury or chronic pain, due to its slow motion and attention to appearance and alignment.

Specialty of Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga focuses on three aspects: alignment, sequence and time.

Alignment means maintaining an intended posture while respecting the body limits. Iyengar encourages the use of the props to help students within the seats without risking injury. Effective alignment can help to achieve balance between body, mind and breath.

Sequenced means order of practicing postures. It enables a safe and organized progress of postures, as well as the ‘opening’ and balancing of the physical and emotional body.

Time: Unlike format addition, Iyengar Yoga posture is held for a long time. When stability is achieved in a posture, it is possible to safely intensify the depth of it. It helps in the development of strength and flexibility, as well as sensitivity and awareness between the body and mind.

How Can You Do Iyengar Yoga?

To practice this style of yoga at home, you must first create a sequence using more than 200 different postures and 14 breathing techniques in Iyengar. While you can adjust the postures as you choose, the Iyengar Yoga usually starts with a meditation warm-up, then begins with a standing posture, and then ends with a restoring, supin gesture.

Unlike the yoga format style, in Iyengar, you will not breathe normally through the posture – instead, you will hold them for an extended period of time. It gives you the opportunity to get into the right alignment and then go deep into each pose.

The props are incredibly common in a iyengar class, as they make postures more easy for the beginners. You can use blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets to help you access the right alignment.

There are a lot of resources to practice iyengar at home. However, if you have never done iyengar yoga before, then first you must take coaching under experts observation. All iyengar teachers will have to undergo rigorous training and they will be able to give you guidance and posture adjustments which you will not get in home practice.

Health Benefits of Iyengar Yoga

  1. Increases your Strength, Flexibility and Mobility

Iyengar Yoga has a variety of postures that have different effects and benefits for your body. The regular habit of standing breaks the tone and strengthens the body to create a solid foundation. Sitting and twisting posture helps you develop better mobility in all joints.

  1. Improves your Vitality and Focus

By doing yoga in the iyengar method, you can improve your energy level, your overall handling and mental focus. Using iyengar yoga in a systematic manner helps in stabilizing your breath and calming your mind. Many studies have shown that asanas and pranayamas can help reduce chronic pain, anxiety and fatigue.

  1. Enhances your Posture and Balance

Iyengar helps you correct posture problems and improve your balance. A one-legged posture gives you the opportunity to find your center of gravity and create a sense of stability in the body. Bringing the body into alignment improves coordination and creates equality which then helps nourish the nervous system and build physical and mental flexibility.

  1. Improves your Spiritual, Emotional and Mental well-being

Iyengar yoga can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life. As you move on to the path of yoga, as you enhance your knowledge, understanding and skills, the benefits of your yoga practice will also deepen.

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Precaution and Safety

The processes of iyengar yoga are not easy. If you are a beginner then do it under the supervision of a professional trainer instead of doing it by yourself. Because, only one wrong posture is enough to put you in danger. 

There are many Iyengar Yoga training classes available, which can take help of.

Iyengar Method: No Flow

Format flow is the term used in yoga to describe the fluid change from one pose to another with breathing. The addition of the Iyengar style includes very little format flow. Instead, the postures are held for a long time while the alignment is perfect. 

Hence, Iyengar yoga is not as intense a cardiovascular experience as a more flowing style like ashtanga. However, holding on to postures is difficult, boosting strength, and is excellent for increasing flexibility.

The absence of format flow is another reason why the Iyengar method brings yoga within the amenable to a wider population. It is a good place to start with for those who are not able to practice physically flowing styles. This makes Iyengar one of the most popular styles of yoga worldwide.

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Iyengar Yoga is a popular, well established form of yoga that focuses on alignment. This style has had a huge impact on yoga today. 

The information regarding Iyengar Yoga mentioned in the above article is based on reliable sources but not intended to replace expert’s advice. It is recommended to approach the expert for proper training and more information.

Also Read: Iyengar Yoga Health Effects (Assamese)

Sources: NCBI Article, NCBI Article Link II


1. What is the specialty of Iyengar Yoga?

A. Iyengar Yoga focuses on three aspects: alignment, sequence and time. Alignment means maintaining an intended posture while respecting the body limits. Iyengar encourages the use of the prop to help students within the postures without risking injury.

2. Should I be younger and fit?

A. Not at all. Iyengar yoga is applicable to anyone irrespective of age, gender, health, religion and life conditions. Iyengar Yoga is not competitive.  A special feature of Iyengar Yoga is the use of equipment, called a prop, which helps you develop strength, flexibility and control in a posture to achieve your full potential.  This way you will work with the maximum capacity of yourself.

3. What are the effects of Iyengar Yoga Practice?

A. With regular periods of practice, the effects can include a general sense of physical health and mental well-being. This does not mean that bad health will not arise; it could be. If this happens then yoga will help one to face it and can control it. The importance of iyengar yoga on the postural alignment can reduce the postural/structural problems. It can also open up emotional stress. The yoga demands effort and attention for details within the posture, which increases attention and helps relieve stress. This can help you develop a deeper knowledge of yourself, which can contribute to greater confidence.

4. How is Iyengar Yoga different from other yoga?

A. Iyengar yoga is a type of yoga as exercise where the emphasis is on the structural alignment of the body through asana exercises. It differs from other styles of yoga in three ways: accuracy, order and use of prop. Accuracy is sought in the body alignment in each posture.

5. How often should I do iyengar yoga?

A. Fifteen minutes of daily exercise a day is better than two hours once a week. Each person should find time to practice in his life and according to his/her restrictions and needs. B.K.S. Iyengar practiced 8-10 hours daily as a teenager.

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