Iyengar Yoga

Asana in a new light

“Iyengar Yoga” stands for the extensive oeuvre of born in 1918 in Bellur in the southern Indian state of Karnataka Yoga Master Shri B. K. S. Iyengar, short BKS Iyengar, called by his students affectionately “Guruji”. Originally a disciple of Shri T. Krishnamacharya, he revolutionized Yoga by its unsurpassed observation and profound self-analysis, he further developed continuously in the course of his passionate exercise practice by now 77 years. 

An outstanding contribution BKS Iyengar for meaning of Hatha Yoga is to point out the direct link between the physical level of the asana practice with the levels of mental and spiritual realization of the eight-limbed yoga path of Patanjali, also called Ashtanga. Accordingly, the spirit and spiritual moment in the asana practice are always present and communicate through the body with the cosmos. Mind and body do not constitute separate yoga paths, but form in the exercise practice a living entity. On the basis of a universal culture of ethical principles BKS Iyengar embeds the yogic postures in the mental and spiritual reference of Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses Dharana – concentration, and Dhyana – meditative consciousness, and makes the body, so his own words, to a temple for the prayer of the asanas. The Iyengar method is characterized by a precise execution of the asanas. The exact alignment of the body, the respective Asana appropriate timing and a balanced training sequence are essential components of this Yoga style. By means of a detailed practice an inward intelligence forms zoom, which penetrates the body complex psycho-physiological and psycho-spiritual systems into ever deeper layers. This vibrant cross-linking the various body systems, from the gross material on the subtle through to the subtle body, the Iyengar Yoga is by no means alone the health of the practitioner. Besides its practical function, to keep the body healthy, strong and pure, to the execution of asanas and pranayama ultimately ignite the mind’s inherent wisdom, that Ananda, the bliss it arises.

How does this differ in Iyengar Yoga targeted awareness of our ordinary perception of the body?Although our existence is inextricably intertwined with our physical existence, we know very little about the body. We accept his image initially externally true. We look down from above on the front of the body or see our reflection. Consider the body in the mirror, our attention is focused less on physical details as to the external appearance or self-image. Our feet are our more alien than our face, because far away. If we close one eyes and visualize our feet in all its details. How different the right from the left foot, as is formed (from) the individual toes where touch the soles of the feet when standing the earth?These are for most of us initially not familiar reflections on our bodies. I experience that, especially in my Basic courses. Once a shoulder stand, the students ask for the correct alignment of the feet because they look apparently for the first time in this position directly on their feet. You begin in the shoulder prior to contact with their feet. In the standing postures, however, where the alignment of the feet and legs is the foundation of the whole structure of the attitude, they have not (yet) thought of her feet. The feet were hidden on standing. Body and mind were not really present.

In the presence anchored
Our mind is ahead of the body. Instead consciously arrive at a moment when we draw breath after the next moment. Instead the body and mind to anchor upright and true in the present, our thoughts lost in the past or future. We like taking a yoga pose, but we remain present during the cross walking, lingering and dissolving the attitude from head to toe? Can we Asana filled internally with our awareness or we reflect only an empty, externalized form? Have we the courage and patience, our vulnerabilities, the blind spots on the inner track map,? Do we have the necessary technology and body-related intelligence to the extent possible involve our weaknesses in the asana to make it a yogic, a holistic Asana is? To perform the asanas correctly, it requires precision and care. Precision requires unbiased, direct perception and the highest physical and mental concentration. So body, breath and awareness are anchored in the here and now. Using precision breaks the cycle of ignorance, conditioning, stiffness and energy blockages. Precision increases mindfulness. And this in turn leads to more precision, not only during practice of asanas, but also in our everyday consciousness. Guruji says simply: “If I am in an asana, I am not at all in this asana.” If it does not apply to everything we do? Precision is the light that brings the eight-cut diamond of Ashtanga Yoga for jets.


The method: precision and mindfulness
The fine physical alignment while performing the asanas for a beginner not the same as for an experienced student. The teacher demonstrates the anatomical Iyengar Yogadetails in an attitude in accordance with the practice experience of the student and then corrected individually. Thanks to this specific instructions of Iyengar Yogi train his perceptiveness and comes with ever deeper layers of the body in contact. This journey into the microcosm of the body starts at the front of the body and extends to the back.It includes the complex interplay of muscles and tendons, the regulation of the internal organs and glands, calming and strengthening the nervous system, the elastic stretching of the skin – up to the enlargement of the intellect and consciousness.

we take the example of the feet: First we learn the feet deliberately set up on the earth, length and width of the sole of the foot to create and perceive the distribution of body weight. We see how a balanced or one-sided loading of the arch affects the extension of the legs and the position of the knee. We learn in practical steps the interplay of feet, knees and hips to understand, so that the spine can raise well in the state and our physical focus remains explored in the basin. This creates a solid foundation for the erection of the whole body, from the feet to the crown. Over time, the intelligence of the head rises actually down to the feet and the feet teach upside steadfastness. These dynamic flows in many asanas with a. In Salamba Sirsasana about, the headstand, the deliberate Empor stretching the feet and legs supported the establishment of the lower spine. And in everyday life, this new-Centered His saved us probably before hasty decisions. We stand upright, are in contact with the earth and even in stressful situations with ourselves. The upright position in the mountain pose, Tadasana, is the master of our spiritual presence.

Our experience in an asana should always be re-filtered, so that the essence of asana can emerge and our body is increasingly able to up their action and perceive memorize by repeatedly practicing and. So it’s not just to feel any better during practice, but about the deep contact with the nature or the dynamics of a yogic posture. we develop more stamina, strength, confidence and technical expertise, we can benefit from the depth of the more Asana. The Asana is absorbed by the body when regularly practicing effortlessly with time, their energetic information seeps into every cell. Therefore Asanas are held longer progresses practice in the Iyengar method. After a coherent sequence arises during the final relaxation in Savasana is a state of physical balance and mental peace a. How long the road to perfection may still be, in that one moment we arrive.


Sensible Aids
Our body is unique. He is by far the best and incomparably the most precious resource on the path to liberation. The designed by BKS Iyengar Yoga Props, such as straps, bolsters for Asana and Pranayama, yoga blocks and wedges, folding chairs, large and small back benches and wall parts, are no substitute for the varied possibilities of expression of the body, but neutral building blocks by which the body from the moment can go in an optimal and healing attitude.

Often report new students, they had not previously practiced Iyengar Yoga, because they felt the use of assistive devices as unnatural or even daunting. When taking up the triangle pose, Utthita Trikonasana, these students simply bring their hand to the floor, bend on the way the knee, tilt the pelvis from its axis forward, shorten the bottom edge and sink into the shoulders. In my view, they have enjoyed little pretty and also unethical because taken against the body itself violent attitude. A single block to support anything else the lower hand makes her body with the basic orientation of the attitude familiar to creates additional space for stretching of the legs, supports the lifting of the pelvis and the lateral extension of the spine, thereby allowing the rotation of the trunk and the shoulder girdle. The outer outline of the triangle is visible, a prerequisite that fills the initial triangle with progressive practice to the whole body and mature leaves reflecting prism.

In addition to the entertainment optimization have Yoga Props other functions: Asana can be prepared by the targeted use of tools and also for very advanced students, are deepened. The contact about by a specific stored yoga block along the thoracic spine or the sacrum initiated a more conscious experience of the attitude, the experience impressed to the body more clearly, so that it can reproduce more easily when practicing without props. With the help of wall or ceiling ropes the spine can passively Unhook eg headstand. In the shoulder stand inverted pose related Viparita Karani, in which the pelvis is supported on a cushion roll up and the legs along the wall are highly stretched, body and mind can attract incomparably more benefits through the long relaxed stay. People who can not participate in mainstream education due to physical ailments that Yoga Props allow a therapeutically oriented practice that emphasizes the healing effects of asanas and pranayama.

I remember when my breathing freely and without flowing through the body for the first time. It was an uplifting feeling. Instead take the asana on expansion and contraction of the muscles, my breath guided me gently back through the space of the body to Asana. I moved in accordance with an internal rhythm, its source was freed breath. Suddenly all “valves” of my body opened, the breath wind flowed through me. My previously so tight muscles seemed more relaxed and more permeable. I was inwardly in a “flow state”. The natural onset of rhythmic breathing exercise is one of the indications that can be started with the practice of Pranayama. In order to draw breath and to distribute the life force in the body, or keep, the body should be equal to a clay pot in the fire of asanas purified and strengthened. What use is a deep, conscious breath when the chest and the lungs are sunk? What causes a normal inhalation and exhalation when the vital force of the breath not also touches our weaknesses? What can a deep inhalation or exhalation cause when our nerves is weak and we can not deal with our swirling emotions?


Precious concentration
it takes some practice in the asanas to regulate the breath or even consciously stop. Mindfulness and keen observation, we have developed the practice of asanas, must refine again in Pranayama. For that to happen, we direct the senses increasingly inward, away from the external sense objects (Pratyahara), keep the attention on the breath movement possible continuously upright (dharana) and move into a state of quiet self-absorption (dhyana). The spirit was to accompany the fine breath passive and differentiated, so that the energy balance of the body can be specifically controlled and enriched pranic.In this way, the spirit freed from debilitating emotions and ignorance and attained progresses practicing a first taste for entering into its basic nature.

Yoga implies a complex process of integration of the individual into the cosmic process, a fundamental return to our Ursprung.Durch merging into the source of through us flowing vitality reveals our innermost nature: the subtle body indescribable joy, out of itself it radiates light of Seele.Die in the west so popular and hierarchical separation of body and spirit in this yoga system no place. Who can clearly define where the body ends and the mind begins? The separation between the self and other, between the individual and creation, are the cause of endless suffering and a shaky basis for perfection and liberation. On the eightfold stepped path Patanjali (Yama and Niyama, social-ethical and individual-ethical principles, Asana – Yogic postures, pranayama – rhythmical breath control, Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses Dharana – concentration Dhyana – meditative and Samadhi – the up in the space -Bewusstsein or Atman) moves while practicing with the achievement of the exerciser only focus.And each of these individual stages is potentially present in all the other stages.

This direct connection to the teachings of Patanjali with the asana practice describes BKS Iyengar in “Tree of Yoga”. Have we developed this all-embracing vision, then an Asana is not only physically and concentration and meditation are not purely spiritual. We no longer practice the occasional roll-call yoga style but dive deep into the comprehensive wisdom of yoga.


The Master: BKS Iyengar
Yogacharya BKS Iyengar, born 1918 in Bellur, learning 1934-1936 with his brother T. Krishnamacharya Ashtanga Yoga. Then he is asked by his master to go to Puna and to teach. In 1943 he married Ramamani, they get five daughters and a son. 1975 two years after the death of his wife, opened the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga institute, short RIMYI. In the following decades, he won worldwide recognition as the greatest Yoga masters of our time. he practiced until today, his children Dr. Geeta Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar are also sizes of yoga. For 14 years, he trained his niece Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar , so that they continue his legacy. He wrote many books, his main works are “light on Yoga” and “Light on Pranayama”.

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