About Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar Yoga is characterized by great attention to detail and precise focus on body alignment. B.K.S Iyengar pioneered the use of "props" such as cushions, benches, blocks, belts, and even sand bags, which function as aids allowing beginners to experience asanas more easily and fully than might otherwise be possible without several years of practice. Props also allow tired or ill students to enjoy the benefits of many asanas via fully "supported" methods requiring less muscular effort.
Standing poses are emphasized for beginners in Iyengar Yoga. They build strong legs, increase general vitality, and improve circulation, coordination and balance, ensuring a strong foundation for study of more advanced poses. Inversions are also very important & taught in the Iyengar system.
Unlike more experiential approaches where students are encouraged to independently "find their way" to the asanas by imitating the teacher, an Iyengar Yoga class is highly verbal and didactic, with miss-alignments and errors actively corrected. B.K.S Iyengar has trained thousands of teachers, who complete 3-5 years of rigorous training for the introductory level of certification (higher-level certification may take a decade or more).
BKS Iyengar St Ives 1985 photo credit Barry Chapple