What is Yoga?
Yoga is not a belief or a religion, but rather a practical philosophy involving every aspect of a person’s being. It teaches the evolution of the individual through the development of self-discipline and self-awareness. Human beings are made up of body, mind and soul. When the corresponding needs of health, self-knowledge and inner peace are met and balanced, there is harmony within.
And "Iyengar" Yoga?
Iyengar yoga is a conscious refining of action is based on the ancient Indian system which integrates all the 8 limbs in the practice of asanas (postures) and pranayama (regulation of the breath). Iyengar yoga is specific about precision and alignment so that the full benefits of the postures can be attained. The practice balances strength and flexibility, and builds endurance. The postures facilitate the release of tension and ensure the proper functioning of the organs.
Why is alignment important?
Balanced postural alignment creates a balanced muscular action around the joints and allows for each part of the body to work together in a fluid, integrated way. This develops maximum strength and flexibility and, most importantly, leads to an integration of mind and body. The mind and body are like the two wings of a bird, and the practice of yoga requires both mental and physical alignment. Mental steadiness is created when the mind evenly participates in the physical actions. Each posture thereby becomes a meditation in action.
Physical injury is reduced when the body works in an integrated way. Practicing yoga with good alignment also assists healing from previous injuries. When the body is properly aligned, circulation improves, giving rise to increased physical health and mental well-being.
ASTANGA YOGA :: THE EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA
yama : universal ethical disciplines
niyama : individual disciplines
asana : practice of postures for physical discipline
pranayama : regulation of the breath for mental discipline
pratyahara : withdrawal/discipline of the senses
dharana : concentration
dhyana : meditation
samadhi : Self Realization