Iyengar yoga is a type of yoga created in 1936 by B.K.S. Iyengar. He started practicing yoga to improve health issues and studied under guru Krishnamacharya in India.
Iyengar yoga is based on the eight limbs of yoga described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
This type of yoga emphasizes the physical correct alignment of the body while executing specific yoga postures. It is a more disciplined system than some of the other yoga types. The movements are carefully planned and have timed sequences.
Since proper alignment is emphasized, yoga instructors often recommend using yoga props such as blocks and belts so that students can safely ease into the different postures.
There are more than 200 asanas (body postures) and 14 types of pranayama (breathing). The practice is broken down to allow students to advance from basic poses to more advanced poses. Although strengthening and toning the body is a positive outcome of practicing this type of yoga, one of the main goals of Iyengar yoga is to promote physical, mental, and spiritual balance in the body and mind.
Iyengar yoga can build strength, increase stability and flexibility, boosts vitality and energy level, decrease mental distress, improve mental health, and even improve physical conditions. It has also been known to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.