B.K.S. Iyengar and Health & Harmony founder, Kandy Love, at the Iyengar National Convention in San Diego. 1990
“How can you know God if you don’t know your big toe?”
Iyengar Yoga come from the yoga tradition of B.K.S. Iyengar, who brought the philosophy of yoga - the yoga sutras of Patanjali - into action through poses (asanas) and breathing (pranayama). Students learn how to stretch, strengthen, balance, focus, and relax as in most yoga styles. However, Iyengar Yoga is characterized by a unique teaching environment:
- Asanas are held longer, allowing mind-body coordination and deeper expansion.
- Props such as belts, blocks, and blankets are used.
- There is a strong emphasis on detail, precision, and alignment in posture and breath control.
- Iyengar teachers actively correct the mis-alignments through words and touch.
- There is a sequencing of poses to aid understanding and performance.
The concentration on proper alignment and the use of props makes Iyengar Yoga accessible to most people, regardless of skill level or expertise. The diversity of the poses and the wide range of sequences mean you’ll never be bored! While there is little movement in between poses as in flow yoga, “abiding calmly in the body” allows you to focus in the moment. This meditation in action has proven to help safeguard from the barrage of our modern lives. Iyengar students find themselves less stressed and in possession of calmer emotions while experiencing greater vitality and mental clarity.
Who Was B.K.S. Iyengar?
B.K.S. Iyengar was a yoga pioneer credited with bringing this ancient art, science and philosophy to the world. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
A sickly youth, he was introduced to yoga at 15. After he regained his health through the dedicated of practice of yoga, he devoted 75 years of his life to teaching and lecturing. His nine books have become classic texts.
Iyengar was a compassionate yet strict teacher. Known as extremely practical, he believed yoga had something to offer everyone, rather than being only for the fit or the intellectually or spiritually inclined.
He never referred to his work as Iyengar Yoga. His students coined the phrase to designate the specific approach that has become internationally recognizable. His belief was that, with consistent practice, an attainment of perfection of the poses creates balance in the body which is reflected in the quieting of the mind.
What Does It Mean to Be a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher?
Certified Iyengar Yoga instructors are held to an unusually rigorous standard of knowledge and training. Successful completion of standardized and difficult assessments are required to attain the eight levels of certification from Introductory to Advanced Senior. They can work effectively with students of all ages and physical abilities, modifying poses as needed so all students may practice safely.
We are proud at Health & Harmony to be the only Lee County studio with three certified Iyengar teachers:
Sarah Nordin and Vimla Maharaj, Junior Intermediate I
Kandy Love, Introductory Level II
Susan Carter, Introductory Level II