The Three Elements of Yoga

Yoga is a positive experience for body, mind and soul. Yoga is about fundamentally simple things like movement, breathing, concentration and relaxation (and not so much about contortion).

What is Iyengar Yoga?

Yoga in the B.K.S Iyengar tradition focuses on correct body alignment in the various yoga poses. It is a methodical, deeply developed system. The Iyengar system is characterized by precision, sequencing, timing and the use of props. There is an emphasis on the correct body alignment in the various yoga poses. With the correct alignment of the body, the breathing, the mind, emotions and senses become aligned and balanced at the same time. Hence, Iyengar Yoga is not merely physical exercise but also involves the psychological process.  B.K.S. Iyengar believed in yoga as a holistic approach to health and fitness. Appropriately, the practice of Iyengar Yoga has a therapeutic benefit which is derived through the progressive practice and elaborate sequence of asanas.

For teachng yoga effectively, Iyengar innovated props that allow people of all ages to perform the pose with ease and to attain the benefit of the practice of yoga. The use of props, such as yoga blankets, blocks, straps, but also walls and chairs meet the needs of yoga students of all ages and capabilities. The props provide the student with a safe environment to understand the correct movement without stress. As a result, the student will be guided for a better self-awareness.

With Iyengar’s innovations and his methodical system, he has made a great contribution to the understanding of yoga.

There are three basic elements in yoga: Asanas, Pranayama and Concentration

  1. Asanas are poses which exercise the front, back and side of the body equally. A full range of movements such as horizontal and vertical expansion are created while performing asanas. Both the asana and the sequence of asanas are important for creating a response such as stimulating, energizing or calming the body. The asanas also improve muscle strength, mobility of the joints, circulation, and balance as well as body awareness.
  2. Pranayama means control of the breath, which leads to deeper breathing thereby providing the body with more oxygen. This intensive breathing technique creates a feeling of serenity and inner peace.
  3. Concentration is fundamental in yoga. The focus on the specifics of the pose and control of the breath will improve concentration.