yogas chitta vritti nirodha
yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind
B.K.S Iyengar was taught yoga in his youth by his brother-in-law, T. Krishnamacharya. B.K.S. Iyengar developed his innovative and inspired approach to yoga through intense practice and self-study. His seminal book, Light on Yoga, has been continuously in print since originally published in 1966. According to Mr. Iyengar, "The yoga I teach is purely Astanga yoga, known as the eight limbs of yoga. My pupils who follow me call it ‘Iyengar Yoga’ to distinguish it from the teachings of others." Iyengar Yoga is differentiated from other methods by a world-wide, standardized system of instruction. Certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers (CIYTs) undergo rigorous training and evaluation to earn their certifications. Only CIYTs are permitted to describe their method of instruction as "Iyengar Yoga." CIYTs are trained to provide clear demonstrations of each posture and are skilled in the use of simple props to maximize the opening and awareness of the body, providing support to the less flexible, and extra extension to the more advanced student.
Teaching is oriented towards gradual but steady progress, rather than quick and fleeting results. Each Iyengar Yoga class is a unique sequence developed by the CIYT to guide students through a safe and systematic progression. Through skilled instruction and practice, students learn to penetrate beyond the physical body to the inner kosas (layers) of mind, energy and spirit, gaining vitality, clarity and calm through the practice.
Iyengar Yoga is a powerful and sophisticated discipline which can be practiced in all stages of life. The benefits are far-reaching and will assist the practitioner in every aspect of daily living.
More than 2,500 years ago, Sage Patanjali authored the Yoga Sutras, a written work on the subject of Astanga Yoga, the eight-limbed path towards spiritual fulfillment. The eight limbs are yama (moral conduct), niyama (personal disciplines), asana (postures), pranayama (control of the breath), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (total absorption).
It is Patanjali’s unique perspective that asanas and pranayama can be a template to explore, evaluate and experience each of the other limbs. Asana can even carry us through to the higher limbs of yoga, including pratyhara, dharana and dhyana, directing practitioners towards Samadhi, the complete freedom at the end of the yogic journey. Iyengar Yoga addresses this journey towards spiritual fulfillment from a perspective which is practical, experiential and intensely personal. Iyengar Yoga begins with ongoing practice of the yoga asanas (postures) with a focus on alignment. In time students learn to penetrate beyond the outer physical layer to the inner kosas (layers) of mind, energy and spirit.
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