If you have come this far, you must already have some idea that you want to try out yoga and see what it does for you. But if there is one thing that we hear so regularly from new beginners reaching out to us, it’s that they’re unclear as to which form of yoga is right for them.
There are plenty of different kinds of yoga to choose from, and they will each have their benefits. But at Yoga Vastu, we specialise in one particular kind called Iyengar yoga. For those just starting out and looking to gain some clarity on where they should direct their efforts – we’re going to dive in and take a closer look at what Iyengar yoga is, and why it is a great choice for those just starting out.
What is Iyengar Yoga?
Firstly, let’s take a look at what Iyengar yoga is.
Iyengar yoga is actually fairly new. Or at least you could see it that way when you compare it to the long history of yogic traditions (some stretch back over 2000 years). Iyengar yoga is still steeped in tradition, but the goal at first is to engage with yoga for its physical and mental benefits as a form of exercise. The spiritual aspects of yoga are left to be explored as you progress in your practice.
Developed and taught by B.K.S. Iyengar, the style of yoga that takes his name emphasises alignment, focus, and awareness. Beginner yogis are encouraged to first find their bodies, connect to themselves, and learn from the more tangible feedback and attainable learnings that our bodies provide. It is only at a more advanced stage of your development, that you are encouraged to open up to the deeper and more philosophical aspects of yoga practice.
Practitioners of Iyengar yoga will tell you that patience and regular practice will bring changes more quickly than you would think. And the attention paid to alignment and precision is an aspect of the style that many beginners find practical and informative. In support of this aspect (and many others) teachers of Iyengar yoga are required to be educated and trained to a high standard. Becoming qualified to teach Iyengar yoga requires teachers to undergo extensive training under accredited teachers who provide mentoring over the course of years rather than weeks.
What This Means for Beginners
As a beginner, the first step is just getting started. But it’s also important that you have access to teachers and information that will set you on the right path. The careful and considered pace that you’ll find most classes run at is great for those just finding their feet in their practice. You won’t find that you’re expected to do advanced poses, produce dynamic movements, or dive deep into stretches that are simply unattainable at first.
Iyengar yoga is the ideal choice for students seeking to build their practice in a systematic and methodical way – much as you might learn a new language or musical instrument. You will learn to practice yoga and understand your body, not just run through a few poses. It is from this foundational base that you will later find you are able to build a diverse repertoire of sequences to practice.
A typical beginner Iyengar yoga session will see you coached through only a handful of poses and transitions. You’ll also often be encouraged to use props, which can be used to build strength and flexibility in a controlled way. Such as in this seated sequence designed to help you build a foundation for complex standing poses. The sessions can be vigorous at times, but often the focus is exploratory and restorative in nature. Sessions like this can be an excellent way to cool down after another form of exercise, look to this sequence as an example.
Discover Iyengar Yoga With Yoga Vastu
As a beginner yogi, it can be hard to know what you want from your practice. But quality instruction in a style of yoga renowned for its attention to detail is a great place to start. Yoga Vastu is an online yoga studio that brings world-class instruction in Iyengar yoga to your home. And you can begin your yoga journey today with us.
We have a 14-day free trial available to new sign-ups. Just the right length of time to explore some of our videos and get a taste for what it means to practice Iyengar yoga at home. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.