How Iyengar Yoga Benefits the Body
Iyengar yoga is based on principles of Ashtanga yoga, with an emphasis on improving stamina, flexibility, concentration, and balance. One of the principles is based on the asanas, which help the body improve strength and flexibility and combat physical malaise. Pranayama, emphasizes deep, slow breathing. Pratyahara and Dhyana, the other principles incorporated into Iyenga yoga, emphasize quieting the mind and achieving unity with the divine. Proper alignment of the asanas is extremely important for Iyengar yoga, and many of the poses used are found in other types of yoga. There is, however, no regular progression of the asanas. Each pose is followed by the “child’s pose,” a very relaxing, calming pose. Iyengar yoga makes use of various props so that everyone can perform the poses as competently as possible. Since the child’s pose is used between other poses, Iyengar yoga does not provide as strong a cardiovascular workout as other yoga forms. Nonetheless, it provides an excellent strength and flexibility workout.