Those exercises have been structured so as to let a beginner progress confidently and safely from the basic postures to the hardest and gain flexibility, physical strength and sensitivity for the mind, body and spirit.
In its practice Iyengar yoga features its main three unique aspects. Correcting the body's alignment allows the practitioner's body to develop properly in a physiologically right way so that the person suffers neither injuries nor pain when performing Iyengar yoga exercises correctly. As long as all human bodies are different and people tend to have different weak and strong points, Master Iyengar has developed the utilization of so-called props in order to help the body get into the correct positions that are required by this method.
Props, considered being one of the essential Iyengar yoga features are different objects. There are Iyengar yoga blocks (primarily made of wood), blankets, chairs, even Iyengar yoga belts that help the practitioners adjust or support themselves in the different Iyengar yoga asanas so that they work in a wide range of motions that are safe and efficient.
An additional benefit of Iyengar yoga features is that although the healing effects of asanas and pranayamas have been known for many centuries, Master Iyengar's emphasis on correct body alignment and his methods of working revived the therapeutic aspects in Yoga. Therefore, the regular practice of Iyengar yoga often results in reducing aches and pain, improving posture, etc. But Iyengar Yoga features can also be used to cure many ailments, among them extremely serious medical cases, under the careful supervision of an experienced teacher.
Another essential aspect of asana practice within the Iyengar yoga method is the correct sequence of exercises in which lies a powerful curing effect achieved by performing Iyengar yoga asanas in particular consequences. The concept of timing means that postures are kept still for considerably long periods of time to let the healing effects of the postures penetrate deeper into the practitioner's body.
One of the essential Iyengar yoga features and features of practically each Yogic school in general is pranayama, the breathing control. Pranayama is started by the practitioners only when a solid foundation in asanas has been reached because in the physical aspect the student needs the alignment, considerable flexibility, high lung capacity and some training in order to be able to sit and breathe correctly while performing Iyengar exercises.
Pranayama gives the students numerous benefits including toning the blood circulation, digestive, nervous, respiratory systems, purifying the inner organs and creating a sensation of full energy and quietness. What's equally important is that it also brings your mind and senses under your steady control and makes the practitioner perfectly fit for the difficult experience of meditation. All in all, Iyengar yoga leaves the impression of somewhat improved and modernized Hatha yoga.
As you can see, there's a lot more to yoga than sitting crossed legged and thinking happy thoughts.