The popularity of yoga as a medium of ultimate fitness for both mind and body needs no testimony. Considered a tough regime, it has been adapted into various accessible and popular methods in modern times to make it a feasible option to take on even for beginners. One such yoga style is the Iyengar yoga! Described as a style of Hatha yoga, it is becoming an immensely popular style to take to for anyone venturing for the first time into yoga for fitness. Let’s understand its various aspects and specialty.
Defining Iyengar Yoga
Developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, this yoga style has been made much easier and more accessible to people of all age groups and any fitness level through various props like straps, wooden blocks, bolsters, etc. With focus on alignment, each pose is easily adapted to suit your own individual body. Using the various Iyengar yoga props makes it easy for you to assume any yoga pose with greater ease and stability and gradually make the transition to more difficult poses with greater flexibility and strength. Like all exercise forms, it also has its levels and if you are a newbie to yoga, you are advised to first start practicing Iyengar yoga for beginners and then move to advanced levels.
Iyengar yoga exercises are unique in the sense that they are hallmarked by various poses and Pranayama with emphasis on the proper and planned sequence of various asanas with precision in alignment, perfect timing as well as the use of various props.
Iyengar Yoga Benefits
Whether you have been a fitness buff before or not, you can easily adapt to this form of yoga. It is also the most advised form of yoga to adapt for the elderly, a suffering and weak body, and even if you have suffered any kind of injury. This is because of the less muscular strain and more support available here. Regular practice of Iyengar yoga asanas offers you a number of advantages. A few of them are:-
1. Ideal And Accessible For All
Assuming any of the yoga postures is easy even if you are not so young and are not as flexible and healthy as desired. Because of the various props, you can easily assume Iyengar yoga poses and hold on to it with the help of the support of various props. Thus, even a person of about 80 to 90 years of age can perform it with much ease.
2. Precise Alignment
One of the main focus point of Iyengar yoga poses is correct alignment. Because of it, the muscles of your body responsible for postures like those in the back, core, and legs become stronger and energized. Consequently, the postural problems are rectified and you are able to stand straighter and stronger!
3. Versatility In Classes
This is perhaps one of the most attractive features of Iyengar classes. As a natural human tendency, you definitely start feeling bored of executing the same sequence of exercises every day. However, Iyengar yoga has a diversity of practice which ensures no two sessions are the same. The poses may be repeated but the sequencing keeps on changing. The advantage of this approach is that it prevents both overuse and injury of any muscles and ends up being therapeutic in nature. It keeps both your mind and body stimulated while fueling your expectation to be challenged in each session.
4. Breathing And Meditation In Action
While practicing Iyengar yoga poses and paying attention to alignment, you are also instructed to focus on your breathing. One interesting aspect that many of us do not realize is that we often hold our breath during times of stress and anxiety. Practicing breathing exercises consciously here makes you lose the tendency to hold the breath which ensures a better supply of oxygen throughout the body. This then helps you to the next level which is meditation and eases your efforts to focus the mind, body as well as breath and have a sublime experience.
5. Relief From Pain With Increased Flexibility
Practicing Iyengar yoga does not require you to be fit enough to easily touch your toes with nose on your knees. Instead, it is a slow and gentle practice with proper support from props that leads you to this outcome with gentle stretching. Thus, holding posture in this manner keeps you safe from any pain or injury. Simultaneously, with focus on alignment, it gently stretches the muscles to relieve all body pain. It is especially effective for any neck and back pains arising out of the incorrect posture, slouching, hunching, etc. Apart from it, you receive all other general benefits that come with practicing yoga.
Practicing Iyengar yoga will help you reap all its awesome benefits and adopt a healthier and fulfilling lifestyle. Do you agree? Chime in below!
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