There are many forms of yoga: hatha, ashtanga, bikram, anusara, jivamukti, power yoga, vinyasa.
How do you choose?
Well, Iyengar yoga:
- Can be practised safely by everyone, irrespective of age, physical condition and state of health
- Is a totally holistic approach to wellbeing, working on the body, mind and emotions through the practice of physical postures
- Is taught by accredited Iyengar teachers who have undergone a rigorous training programme, with practical and written exams in anatomy, first aid, yoga philosophy and teaching theory, and who continue advanced training
- Is proven through scientific studies to be effective in helping alleviate a range of medical and physical conditions
The core principles of Iyengar yoga are precision, attention to detail, and a focus on body alignment. Aids such as blocks, belts and bolsters are frequently used to enable students to perform asanas correctly and safely, minimising the risk of injury or strain.
You will find there are men and women of all ages and physical abilities. Iyengar yoga classes are highly verbal and tactile. Teachers deliver precise instructions about every aspect of a posture, and actively correct misalignments and errors. You will work hard within your limits, which will make the period of relaxation at the end even more enjoyable!
Being flexible is not a pre-requisite for yoga: it’s one of the goals! The purpose of yoga is to gradually build flexibility and strength. You will start with gentle postures, then work your way up to more intense poses as your body learns to stretch and the stiffness in your joints and muscles is relieved.
Wear comfortable clothing so that you can move and stretch easily. Leggings, shorts or jogging trousers with a t-shirt are ideal, plus a warm top for relaxation. Yoga is always practised in bare feet.
Our iYoga Centre has all the equipment you will need to tailor the poses for your individual needs including non slip yoga mats. Iyengar yoga uses ‘aids’ such as blocks, belts, chairs and bolsters to help people get the maximum benefit from the postures and minimise stress on the body. You can also buy your own kit, either from a specialist supplier or through Iyengar Yoga Manchester and that way you can practice your yoga at home just as you’ve been taught in class.
You should not eat a large meal within at least four hours of a yoga session. A small snack will be sufficient to give you the energy you need.
Many students are encouraged to practise yoga by their GP or physiotherapist as medical conditions can often be relieved by appropriate yoga postures. Because Iyengar yoga focuses on an individual’s needs and abilities, postures are always practised in the way that best suits your body. Please do check with your doctor first before enrolling for class and if you do have any medical problems, injuries, or are pregnant make sure you notify your teacher.
Our classes focus on improving health and wellbeing, building strength and stamina by the practise of physical postures – the asanas. Whilst there certainly is a spiritual dimension to Iyengar yoga that can be investigated more deeply by those interested in it, you will find that working hard in the postures is in itself a form of meditation, helping to focus and relax the brain, dispelling the day’s worries and reducing stress.