Frequently Asked Questions
Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of indica philosophy. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit yuj, which means union. Yoga teaches us the means for the individual-soul be able to get in communion with the Universal-soul. The Indian sage Patañjali codified the science of yoga in his classic treatise: the Yoga Sūtras, which has been in force for 2,500 years for the integral development of the human being, without distinction of sex, race, beliefs, place of birth or social condition. From a purely physical point of view, yoga brings body health, mental clarity and emotional stability, all necessary to achieve the aforementioned goal: spiritual fulfillment.
The practice of yoga helps anyone to obtain good health, mental peace, emotional equanimity and intellectual clarity. With a healthy body, clear mind and pure emotions, the practitioners of yoga learn to get on with life in harmony with themselves and their surroundings.
The Yoga Sūtras, written by the Sage Patañjali between the 5th and 2nd centuries B. C., systematise, for the first time ever, the science of yoga in 196 aphorisms. Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar‘s practice and teachings are based in these aphorisms, in which he explains the path the practitioner has to follow to reach the goal of yoga. The path consists of eight stages: over the foundation of universal ethical principles and individual discipline, a practice of yoga postures, breathing regulation and the withdrawal of the senses lead the mind towards concentration, meditation and a superior level of consciousness.
The main characteristic of B.K.S. Iyengar´s teachings is the intensity with which the mind has to be involved in the practice of postures (āsana), breathing regulation (prāṇāyāma) and withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra) as a means for the transformation of the consciousness. His method is systematic and progressive as well as demanding. To differentiate it from other styles of yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar´s students started to call it “IYENGAR® Yoga”.
- IYENGAR® Yoga can be practiced by everyone.
- The emphasis of the method lies on the intensity with which the mind gets involved in the practice of postures (āsana), regulation of the breath (prāṇāyāma), and the withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra), as a means of transforming consciousness.
- The use of supports designed by B.K.S. Iyengar, such as wooden blocks, belts and ropes, helps the practitioner to achieve greater benefit and perfection in the postures, and allows people who with difficulties to perform them.
- The aspect of sequencing allows the practitioner to know the correct order and stay time in āsana and prāṇāyāma.
The eightfold path (aṣṭānga) of yoga, which Patañjali describes in his Yoga Sūtras are:
- Yama: Universal ethical and moral commandments.
- Niyama: Individual disciplines.
- Āsana: Posture.
- Prāṇāyāma: Regulation of breathing.
- Pratyāhāra: Internalization of the senses of perception.
- Dhāraṇa: Concentration.
- Dhyāna: Meditation.
- Samādhi: The final state of completion.