Iyengar Yoga was created by a man named B. K. S. Iyengar and is a form of yoga known for using props such as belts and blocks to assist you in performing asanas or postures. At a yoga retreat your instructor will be happy to show you how to modify the pose with a prop to make it possible for you to achieve.
While practicing other forms of yoga a student is encouraged to find their own path to the asanas by watching and following a yoga teacher. However, in Iyengar Yoga there is much more emphasis on alignment and precision and finding perfection while practicing your asanas.
While relaxing at your yoga retreat take a class for Iyengar Yoga. It is a style of yoga based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga which emphasizes the development of stamina, strength, balance and flexibility as well as the focus on meditation (dhyana) and concentration (Dharana). By doing regular practices of this style it will combine the mind, body and emotions through experiencing the perfection and wisdom of these sutras.
Iyengar yoga is extremely beneficial to anyone suffering from illness, weight issues and elderly people. Iyengar yoga has also been developed through yoga teaching to apply the style and practice to many ailments, disorders and diseases. Through the use of yoga props such as blocks, belts, blankets, straps and ropes the practitioner can achieve the correct form during their practice in any asana. The belief behind this style is that if your body is aligned with accuracy, then your breath is also aligned as well. If your breath is balanced then your mind, senses and emotions can become balanced giving you the best wellness.
How do props help?
The props that are provided at your yoga retreat are used to assist you while moving into postures that you cannot fully reach on your own. By having the props to assist you it will help deepen your exploration of the asanas until your body is able to reach them without assistance. Even though the props are there to help you with the postures you still need to always listen to your body and any signals that it gives that the posture is still difficult and more modifications need to be made. Your instructor who has extensive knowledge and yoga certification will help you achieve your pose.
Types of props and how to use them
Belts-Yoga belts come in many different materials and resistance levels. Belts can be used to increase the resistance during strength training or to deepen and guide a certain yoga stretch. Adding a belt to any pose while practicing strength training where arms are held at a distance from each other increases the pose. Using a belt for your legs while sitting and lying down in poses can help with resistance. Use the belts through a stretch and allow them to be used as an extension of your reach.
Blankets-Yoga blankets can make a nice versatile yoga prop. You can sit on it to help raise your hips above the knees while in a sitting position, recline and use it to cushion your back, and it can help your body retain the heat during the final relaxation phase. Mexican style blankets can be used.
Blocks-Yoga blocks are a useful tool for more than just yoga. They can be used for stretching and other exercises also. For yoga practitioners that are not very flexible, suffer from injuries or are pregnant and in the last trimester yoga blocks help support your weight and align the body properly. You can use the block under your heels while doing the Mountain Pose to help your spine align. If you sit on the block during twists it helps make it more comfortable and lifts the pelvis off the floor. For those of us that are not very flexible it provides an extension of our body for poses. You can also use the block to support your head during meditation or abdominal exercises.
Going to a yoga retreat is a wonderful experience and who does not absolutely love a yoga vacation where you can relax your mind and body. Most of us can go out and buy the newest yoga attire on the shelves. Dressed up and ready for your first session you watch as some of the people in your yoga class are easily stretching and bending while your body refuses and you realize you are as flexible as a stick. It does not matter if it takes you one, two or three tries to achieve a pose but with the use of yoga props it is all possible!