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– More About Iyengar Yoga –

Understanding Alignment based Yoga developed by BKS Iyengar

Iyengar yoga is a complete, powerful and precise system of physical, mental and spiritual culturing.

Its aim is the union of the individual spirit with the universal spirit.

Its method of achieving this lofty aim is mainly through allowing the student to access the pose regardless of flexibility or strength. It is meditation in action. This leads the student into a journey of yoga postures (asanas) and yogic breathing (pranayama). Concentration on the alignment in asanas engrosses the mind in progressively subtler aspects of one's self which begins with the body but ends with the very Self within.

An example:

When the beginner attempts the asanas, the mind struggles to find even the gross parts of the body like the arms and legs and how to control and move them as required. Progressively the mind is made to respond to and control subtler parts of the body as well as coordinate these parts. This process expands the depth and breadth of the mind improving its ability to focus on and penetrate an object as well as expanding its capacity from single pointed concentration to multi pointed concentration. By stages, the mind moves from concentration to awareness. In responding to and controlling the many parts of the body, the mind itself gets controlled since it cannot go away from the body. In this state, the mind becomes merged and suffused in its object. As the object is controlled, so to is the mind. The sense of a separate self fades and the mind becomes stilled like the water of a reflecting pond. In it, the true Self within is glimpsed. That glimpse lends perspective to our life and satisfies our deepest urges for understanding.

 

"If the foundation is firm the building can withstand calamities.

The practice of Yoga is the foundation so that the self is not shaken under any circumstances."

B.K.S. Iyengar

 

More INFORMATION to help Your Practice

Yoga Centre Toronto

Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada

 

Practice sequences from The Yoga Place

This link is to the Resources page – scroll down for the sequences. Thank you to The Yoga Place and the IYIGNY for sharing these.

 

BKS Iyengar resources:

His 1938 Practice, Part 1

His 1938 Practice Part 2

The Body is My Temple, Asanas are My Prayers

a film montage of BKS Iyengar's practice over the years.

 

Guruji reflects on Practice

 

 

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