Yoga is characterized by great attention to detail
and precise focus on body alignment.
Iyengar pioneered the use of “props” such as cushions, benches,
blocks, straps, and even sand bags, which function as aids allowing
beginners to experience asanas more easily and
fully than might otherwise be possible without several years of
Props also allow tired or ill students to enjoy the benefits of
many asanas via fully “supported” methods requiring less muscular
effort. Standing poses are emphasized in Iyengar Yoga. They are
said to build strong legs, increase general vitality, and improve
circulation, coordination and balance, ensuring a strong foundation
for study of more advanced poses.
Unlike more experiential approaches where students are encouraged
to independently “find their way” to the asanas by imitating the
teacher, an Iyengar Yoga class is highly verbal and
precise, with misalignments and errors actively corrected.
Iyengar teachers complete at least two years of rigorous training
for the introductory certificate. They may complete subsequent
intermediate levels and senior levels of certification, potentially
entailing a decade or more of training.