B.K.S. Iyengar has been an inspiration to thousands. His remarkable life story charts a journey from poverty, illness and hardship to international recognition as one of the world’s leading exponents of the art of yoga. He taught for over seventy years at the Ramamani Memorial Institute in Pune which oversees the training of Iyengar teachers worldwide.
Iyengar Yoga classes focus primarily on the teaching of asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) emphasizing precision, alignment, correct sequencing and the use of props where necessary so that the practice is available to all, regardless of age or ability. The geometry of the poses and the principles of movement are learnt first before a subtler awareness of the muscles, joints and inner organs is introduced. Ultimately, the aim is to practice with ‘effortless effort’ – to allow the body, breath, mind and emotions to flow together in a unified whole.
‘As the essence of the tree is contained in the fruit, so too the essence of your practice is contained in the fruit of freedom, poise, peace and beatitude’. (B.K.S. Iyengar)
Iyengar yoga classes last for 90 minutes. Classes begin with a period of stillness to centre and focus the mind. Postures are then introduced in graded sequences which may include standing, sitting and lying poses, inversions, backbends and twists. All classes conclude with recuperative poses and deep relaxation.
If you have never done yoga before or have had a long break, the Beginners/Returners class is ideal. However, beginners are also welcome to come to the General classes which are suitable for all levels. For those who wish to deepen their practice, the monthly Saturday morning workshops offer an opportunity to work at a more subtle level and on more challenging postures.