How does Iyengar Yoga differ from other styles of yoga?
The Iyengar method develops strength, endurance, and optimal body alignment, in addition to flexibility and relaxation. The Iyengar method develops self-awareness, intelligent evaluation, and profound inward reflection. Standing poses are emphasized at the beginning to build strength and ease of movement, increase general vitality, and improve circulation, coordination, and balance. Postures for deep relaxation are also introduced from the beginning. Gradually, sitting and reclining postures, forward bends, inversions, backbends, twists, arm balances, and flowing sequences are introduced.
Iyengar Yoga emphasizes precision of alignment in the yoga poses. Why is this important? People tend to stretch from their more flexible areas and rely on their better-developed muscles for strength, thus reinforcing postural habits. Iyengar Yoga encourages weak parts to strengthen and stiff areas to release, thus awakening and realigning the whole body. As the body moves into better alignment, less muscular work is required and relaxation increases naturally.