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Iyengar Yoga - a brief history

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Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and the word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. The union of the mind, the body and the spirit. The physical postures enhance flexibility and strength, and along with the breath, can aid deep relaxation to prepare the body for meditation (usually when the student is ready).

Although yoga is much more than a series of physical poses (known as asanas), practising regularly will create a feeling of well-being and cultivate the dynamic balance in both mind and body, to improve general health and happiness. Yoga is a philosophy for a way of life, and the benefits gained from the physical aspects explore a deeper inward journey of conscious awareness and questioning.

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BKS Iyengar was born in 1918 and was a sickly child. At fifteen years old, he went to Mysore and received basic asana (posture) instruction from Sri. T. Krishnamacharya to improve his health. In 1937, his guru asked him to go to Pune to teach, which he did, but times were hard as yoga was not yet respected in India. In 1943 he married Ramamani. Mr Iyengar continued with his teaching and in 1952, upon meeting the renowned violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, Iyengar was enabled to travel to Europe to show the world the importance of yoga. His famous book ‘Light on Yoga’ was published in 1966 and yoga spread to the west!

The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute was opened in memory of his late wife in 1975.

ExploreYogaPilates BKS IyengarMr Iyengar is now nearly 90 years old and officially retired from teaching; he still resides at the Institute and his daughter Geeta, and son Preshant, along with senior teachers, now teach the classes. Iyengar teachers from all over the world travel to the Institute, where the waiting list to attend a month of classes, is two years!

Angie is a fully-qualified Iyengar yoga teacher. Iyengar yoga focuses on technique and alignment with the aid of props (blocks, foam pads, belts, chairs, bolsters) to enhance precision, strength and length and to help clients into correct position anatomically and safely. The postures are normally held for longer to aid a deeper internal awareness and stability.