Clear Yoga offers Iyengar Yoga. We have instructors certified in the Iyengar Method.
What is Iyengar Yoga?
The Iyengar method of yoga is “meditation in action” according to BKS Iyengar. As a former dancer, I was impressed with the mental discipline required to pay attention for the duration of a class. At the same time I was fascinated by the effects of following the precise instructions on alignment. This was yoga with a clear purpose, no ambiguity! It taught me how to pay attention for an extended period of time. It is a beautiful awakening of body, consciousness and soul.
Clear and Precise instructions
Teachers are taught to articulate and have the ability to describe what to do in a pose and how to make that happen. Teachers demonstrate the poses being taught. Teachers are taught to closely observe what is practiced to see what we missed. Alignment improves, understanding evolves, and concentration deepens.
Rich Diversity of Poses are Utilized
Iyengar Yoga has a rich, diverse collection of poses that are practiced over time. No two classes are the same. Each week there is a different emphasis. Standing, Seated, Back bending, Twisting, Inverted, or Restorative. The creativity of the teacher is well exercised and a student can focus on different parts of the body each class.
Home Practice is Cultivated
As one moved through the various levels of classes, new sets of poses are learned and students cultivate the ability to develop a home practice. Levels are important because they offer a sound, safe, and solid understanding of the poses, and confidence builds and the evolution of the yogi continues for years and years.
There is an ineffable quality to Iyengar Yoga and one must try it to truly understand the uniqueness of the method. It is best to attend a few consecutive classes to investigate the teacher, the variety of sequences and the effects created. As an educated consumer you will be able to describe the differences for yourself. Do come…….
About the classes
Precise alignment is a hallmark of Iyengar yoga. Standing poses, basic twists and beginning inversions are introduced first. Beginners learn the geometry of the poses and are taught to cultivate the ability to concentrate. The intensity of Iyengar yoga comes from the mental attention required practicing the poses.
As one continues and the basic poses are learned, then seated extensions, back bending and inverted postures are introduced. The practice matures and awareness of the organic process develops. Actions (internal movements) are learned to refine alignment of the poses and practice becomes more penetrating, more inward, and more meditative. At this point the spiritual dimension of hatha yoga is amplified.
The New York Times points out that because Iyengar yoga “focuses meticulously on proper alignment” and its teachers undergo “rigorous training,” it allows instructors to cater to students’ individual needs and to minimize the risk of injury. Certified Iyengar teachers undergo a minimum of three years of intensive training and testing which they begin after at least six years of study with a senior teacher (whose training period normally runs fifteen to twenty years). WebMD states, “Analytical in its approach with a constant attention to detail, Iyengar yoga is great for learning the subtleties of correct alignment in each pose. The use of props — belts, blocks, and pillow-like bolsters — help beginners get into poses with correct alignment, even when they’re new to the poses, injured, or simply stiff.”
Cher de Rossiter Cher is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Introductory II level. She has a Ph.D. in Health Psychology and is particularly focused on how lifestyle technologies like yoga and meditation can support those dealing with chronic illness, trauma and the effects of getting older. She started practicing yoga in 2006 to support her recovery from breast cancer. The Iyengar method gave her the freedom to practice to the limit of her body’s capability without injury. Now at 65 she credits this approach for stronger and more flexible body with much less pain. She is a student of Senior Iyengar teacher Joan White, and regularly takes workshops from a variety of Iyengar teachers including Manouso Manos. She has studied anatomy with Ray Long MD, and the Yoga Sutras with Edwin Bryant.