BKS Iyengar is a living yoga master who has been teaching yoga around the world for 75 years. An author of 20 books which have been translated into various languages, his contribution to yoga has been acknowledged in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) which defines ‘Iyengar’ as a form of yoga. BKS Iyengar was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons of the 20th century. Today there are certified Iyengar yoga teachers in 40 countries. Iyengar yoga is a complete approach to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, bringing vitality, mental clarity, wisdom, and emotional serenity.
The Iyengar teaching process is rigorous and students can be assured that instructors are well trained in the practice and philosophy of yoga. In Canada, a minimum of 3 years training is required for an introductory teacher. Additional teacher training includes the study of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, philosophy, and practical teaching methods. Candidates for certification undergo an assessment process that includes recommendations by mentoring teachers, a review of study and teaching experience, and a comprehensive three-part examination.
The Iyengar yoga style of teaching is marked by precision of the alignment of bones, muscles and joints in performing the yoga poses, or asanas. It is unique in the innovative use of props which has made the words of the 11th century yogic text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, come alive: “…the young, the old, diseased, the weak and the disabled can all do yoga and attain benefits.” Props include blankets, belts, ropes, chairs, bolsters and wooden blocks which allow even the stiffest and most disabled students to do the poses and gain benefits. Iyengar yoga is internationally renowned for its therapeutic value in alleviating symptoms of many diseases.
The Iyengar method offers:
· A safe and systematic progression of yoga postures to develop each student’s ability and skill
· Sequencing that develops strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration, and body alignment
· Highly developed teaching methodology
· Precise use of language
· Demonstration and teaching of specific points to develop understanding and intelligent action
· Individual correction and adjustment of students, when necessary
· Integration of the yoga philosophy with the practice of asana
· Ways to use yoga to ease stiffness, weakness and stress
· Use of props, such as blankets, blocks, and straps, to facilitate learning and adjust yoga postures to individual needs
· Qualified and rigorously trained instructors committed to excellence in teaching