Born in 1918, Iyengar started teaching yoga himself in 1936, after learning from guru Krishnamacharya at his classes in Mysore, India. Iyengar was making an effort to restore his health because he was suffering from tuberculosis. Nowadays Iyengar continues to teach and practice, while his son Prashant and his daughter Geeta assist him. Iyengar's personal classes take place at his Yoga Institute located in the city of Pune, India.
There are also many Iyengar institutes all over the world; his methods are expertly taught there, and many of those Iyengar yoga centers offer high-quality Iyengar yoga classes. In addition to the continuous growth and popularization of his style of Yoga, books written by Iyengar are very much respected; they have even become classic texts of Yoga. The main one among Iyengar's books is Light on Yoga, published in 1966, that describes and illustrates lots of Iyengar yoga poses and breathing techniques. All in all, it is the best Iyengar Yoga guide issued so far.
Iyengar yoga description tells us that it is a kind of Hatha yoga, based on giving primary attention to the physical body alignment while performing Iyengar yoga poses. In the Iyengar yoga description, it is claimed that there exists a correct way to perform each pose, and every student will definitely be able to accomplish perfect poses one day, if he dedicates himself truly to the consistent practice.
As soon as this balance is created in your body, it will reflect in your mind, too. One of the major innovations of Iyengar yoga description is in the utilization of so-called props. Today it is very common to see various additional items like blankets, blocks, pillows, chairs, belts and bolsters used in modern yoga studios. The utilization of those props is relatively new in Yogic history and comes straight from Iyengar. The purpose of using the props is that they assist the practitioner in attaining perfect alignment, even when the body is not open enough yet.
Vinyasa flow is a special term used in general yoga schools to describe the transition of the fluid from one posture to the next in close conjunction with an inhale or an exhale of breath. Iyengar yoga includes very little, or even not at all, of the mentioned vinyasa flow. Instead, Iyengar yoga poses are held for considerably longer periods of time while the physical alignment is being perfected. Between the poses, practitioners have the needed rest in the child's pose or the corpse pose.
Therefore, Iyengar method is not an intense cardiovascular exercising system, unlike a more 'flowing' style such as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Holding the postures, however, is quite strenuous, it builds physical strength, and it is excellent for increasing flexibility. The absence of that fluid flow is a reason why Iyengar method brings yoga within the reach of the majority of the world's population. It's a great method to start with for those people who are not by far physically fit enough to be able to perform any Vinyasa flow style practice. Iyengar yoga description includes people who are suffering from a disease, elderly people, those with excess weight.
All these features, and most of them accessibility, make Iyengar yoga one of the most popular schools of yoga worldwide.