Iyengar Yoga – What Is It And How To Practice It?

Image : © Mqdee

Are you getting bored practicing the same old yoga styles every day? Worry not! Here is a completely new style of yoga – Iyengar Yoga. This will not just give you a break from your daily routine, but will also ensure that you stay focused on your yoga goal. Yoga has many forms and it has many types. It has a wide range of postures, breathing exercises and meditation.

The only aspect of it is that it is classified under various heads and sub-heads, according to its uses and benefits. This is done so that people can choose which aspect of it is most useful to them and they can work upon it accordingly to achieve their goal. Yoga, unlike gyms, does not just help in reducing or gaining weight; it also works hand-in-hand with exercises to keep you fit, healthy and rejuvenated.

Yoga asanas/postures are categorized into basic, intermediate and advanced, depending on the practitioner. These yoga asanas are then classified under various types like Bikram yoga, Hatha yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and many more. One such prominent branch of yoga is Iyengar yoga.

What is Iyengar Yoga?

Iyengar yoga has been founded by Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar. BKS Iyengar yoga follows the path of Patanjali yoga and it is a unique form of yoga which can be practiced by individuals at levels. One does not need to be an expert with yoga poses to practice this form of yoga. Iyengar yoga uses props like belts, gadgets and ropes while practicing asana. It helps the practitioner to master his art and balance his body as well.

Give a break to your daily yoga asanas. Follow the instructions below and start practicing Iyengar yoga poses at home.

Iyengar Yoga Poses

Asana 1: Standing Asana:


  • Stand straight on the floor. Position your hands beside your body.
  • Exhale; bend downwards from your hips to reach your toes.
  • Your knees should be kept straight.
  • Position your hands beside your feet. Press your palms against the floor.
  • Set your elbows on the outer side of your calf muscles.
  • Relax.

Asana 2: Sitting Asana:


  • Be seated on the floor in a cross-legged pose.
  • Place your hands beside the body and rest your palms on the ground.
  • Bend your body forward from your waist until your hands reach the toes.
  • Slip your hands in the same path as you lean forwards.
  • Rest your forehead on the outer side of your calf muscles.
  • Relax and let your body loose.

Asana 3: Sleeping Asana:


  • This is popularly known as the dead man’s pose or ‘the corpse pose. ‘Shava’ is the Sanskrit term for the word ‘corpse’. This pose is important because it beholds the aspect of relaxation.
  • Lay your body on the floor, on the back.
  • Extend your legs on the floor; ankles resting on the ground.
  • Permit your body to be loose.
  • Place your hands in the same style in which you keep your legs. Place your palms up.
  • Keep your eyes closed till the asana comes to an end.
  • Relax your head on whichever side of the body you feel comfortable in. Let thoughts flood your mind. Try to bring them to a stable stage.
  • Examine your breath and concentrate on your whole body.
  • Relax your body and soul.
  • Remain steady for about 5 minutes. Release from Shavasana.

Asana 4: Backbend Asana:

Urdhva Dhanurasana

  • Stoop down on the floor.
  • Raise your hands upwards. Bend backwards as much as you can bend your body.
  • Bend your legs from your knees. Here, you have to place your feet on the floor.
  • The soles of your feet should be touching the ground.
  • Bend your hands from your elbows and place your palms on the floor. They should lie beside your head. Your forearms should be placed perpendicular to the ground. Your fingers should point towards your shoulders.
  • Press your palms and feet firmly on the floor. Lift your body upwards, away from the floor.
  • Move your upper thighs vaguely in the inward direction. Firm your outer thighs.
  • Release from the asana and relax.

Asana 5: Twisting Asana:


Here’s an interesting twisting asana for you.

  • Sit on the floor. Spread both the legs straight.
  • Fold your right leg and place it on the floor in such a way that your foot rests on the floor.
  • Lift up your left hand. Rest it against your right leg.
  • Twist your body towards the right side.
  • Rest your other hand at the base.
  • Remain steady in this twisted position for a minute’s time before you release.
  • Repeat the same activity on both sides – right as well as left.

Asana 6: Inversions:


This asana seems to be like a plough in a farm!

  • Lie down on the floor. Rest your back on the ground. Place your hands beside your torso.
  • Haul up your legs at a 90 degree angle, in the upwards direction. Here, one can easily take the support of his/her hands.
  • Rest your hands on your back to support your position.
  • Bring your legs down from above your head.
  • Remain firm in this pose for as much time as you can hold and then relax.

Asana 7: Supine:

Supta Virasana

  • Sit down on the floor in Vajrasana position. For this, you need to follow these steps – kneel down. Place the upper part of your feet on the ground. Bring your knees, big toes and ankles parallel to each other. They should also touch the ground. Place your hands on your knees. Make sure that your palms face downwards.
  • Rest your buttocks on the floor, in between your feet.
  • Lower your body backwards.
  • Relax your head, chest and upper body on the floor.
  • Place your hands on the floor at a comfortable distance from your body.
  • Your face should be upwards. Look in that direction.
  • Relax and return to the Vajrasana position.

Hope these are enough to help you learn the art of Iyengar yoga with just a few asanas at home. This is what will bring you closer to a fitter you. Practice these Iyengar yoga asanas at home, just one hour everyday and you will definitely notice a change in yourself.

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