Running away to a yoga retreat and looking for some extra time focusing on your fitness you may wander into an Iyengar yoga session. Iyengar yoga is a type of yoga that was created by B.K.S. Iyengar and is a type of Hatha Yoga but incorporates the use of props like blocks, blankets, belts which are used to help you with your asanas. Props help students during their practice to correctly perform that asanas while minimizing the chance of injury and making the pose able to be done by any age.
While away at a yoga retreat you will be taught Iyengar Yoga is based on the traditional eight limb idea and is a form of Hatha Yoga. A yoga teacher will focus on the structural alignment of your body through the movement of asanas. During your yoga teaching and moving through asanas you will be focusing on the body, spirit and mind and trying to unite all for strong well-being and health. Through practicing this form of yoga you will learn to relieve the stress from your daily activities.
What is the focus?
Iyengar Yoga pays careful attention to body alignment and has brought the use of props into the practice which gives an added aid to achieving the asanas more easily for beginners. Props such as blocks, straps, cushions, benches or many others give the opportunity for those that are not 100 percent healthy or older students the option of continuing with this style of yoga without as much muscular effort. Teachers with yoga certification can help guide those students to achieving the same asanas as those that are more physically fit or have more experience in the same group.
Iyengar Yoga is guided by strong teachers
At your yoga retreat teachers tend to focus on more standing poses while practicing Iyengar Yoga. These types of poses are said to help build stronger legs, improve your circulation, increase your stamina, and help with coordination and balance, while helping your body increase endurance. During an Iyengar Yoga class your teacher will communicate more directly with you as you perform your asanas to correct any wrong alignments.
Iyengar Yoga teachers must complete a minimum of two years of extremely complicated training to earn their certificate. They may continue to work on more training which can lead to a minimum of a decade of more of training. You never need to worry that your instructor at a yoga retreat does not have the training experience that is required. Take a yoga vacation and learn from some of the best instructors there are in the world.
Why is it different?
As you are relaxing and looking at all the sessions and things to join while at your yoga retreat it can be confusing with all the different aspects of yoga and their levels of expertise and difficulty. Iyengar Yoga defines itself with three key elements: Technique, Timing and Sequence.
Technique refers to the idea that as you practice your asanas and pranayama’s you will learn how to make finer adjustments to your alignment. Your Timing refers to the amount of time you spend in your postures or pranayama. These postures are not meant to be completed swiftly or without taking the time for awareness. You must take the time to move through your postures and become stable or balanced while doing so. When you can achieve this level of practice then you can begin to intensify the posture and depth so that you can achieve the most benefit from the pose. The Sequence refers to the order or sequence for how you are practicing your asana and pranayama. By changing the order in which you are completing poses or asanas you can change the emotional and mental effect of the sequence and can intensify it to change the spiritual connection.
Can you handle Iyengar Yoga?
Do not ever have the false understanding that Iyengar Yoga is going to be easy even though you can modify and adapt it to your level. At a yoga retreat you will see all levels of experience, age and health practicing this style. Many advanced levels of yogis find this type of yoga very appealing. They may use it to work on their alignment. For those of you that have an interest in anatomy you may appreciate the slower movement of this style and the focus on the slower movements in the body. Using props and focusing on the asanas and your breathing can be a healthy journey and can be achieved by anyone willing to experience Iyengar Yoga practice.