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BKS Iyengar, Founder of Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar

From the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States: Yoga is for everyone. No one is too old or too stiff, too fat or thin or tired. A Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher can guide students of all ages and physical conditions to an experience of yoga, which is safe, accessible and rewarding.
Certified Iyengar Yoga instructors are held to an unusually rigorous standard. Only after years of training and evaluation do they become certified. Iyengar Yoga teachers modify the classic asanas (yoga postures) for individual students with the use of props -- such as blocks, blankets and belts. Props allow for a deeper penetration into the posture, as well as a longer stay.

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Asana Post

Summary: Yes, yoga teacher training in India offers a holistic approach for pure, genuine and core understanding of the philosophy of yoga and below are the reasons why more and more people are studying yoga in India.
One can’t even imagine the amount of lives yoga has transformed globally. People are engaging themselves in yoga schools to study yoga. Yoga schools follow a diverse curriculum that doesn’t just involve some yoga exercises but a complete holistic program which includes all styles of yoga. Most of the yoga aspirants head to India for the ancient, unadulterated and core study of yoga.
Below are the few reasons to prove why one should study yoga or yoga teacher training in India.
 Inverted Poses are some of the most beneficial poses yoga can offer. This is obvious to seasoned yogis and why shoulderstand is referred to as the Queen of Asanas and Headstand is referred to as the King of Asanas. Because we spend most of our time on our feet, inversions offer us the opportunity to turn things upside and allow gravity to work its magic in the opposite direction. I often say that I cannot imagine someone who lives their entire life without practicing an inversion.Shoulder stand, says BKS Iyengar in his formidable Light on Yoga is
 One of the benefits of Iyengar Yoga is consistency to the method of teaching. In this way, the practitioner always knows what types of poses to expect depending on the level of class attended. Level one classes will always concentrate on standing poses. Standing poses are the foundation to all other poses in the Yoga Tradition. You can easily access the actions of the poses while building strength, stamina and flexibility in the poses.
Often times I tend to think of the vernal equinox as the new year. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it never feels like the right time for resolutions. But after a couple of weeks or months of cold hibernating weather, I often find the time to really reflect on the previous year and determine what has served me and what has not. Sometimes we host a fire ceremony where we write down that which no longer serve us on paper and burn these items with the intention of losing them for the new year.

Asana Sequences

This sequence is one of the shorter sequencs in BKS Iyengar's Book Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health. This sequence in the section on digestion is specifically for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. We often have a difficult time getting to Headstand and Shoulderstand in our 75 minute online classes, so I wanted to share a sequence that gives the students a chance to start their practice in headstand. If headstand is not a regular part of your practice, you can start the class in head-supported Uttanasana, Prasarita Padattonasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana. 
Inspired by Teaching a Class on All Hallow's Eve, I came up with this sequence. The Halloween Names I created for the sequence are listed below.  Insect Pose - Adho Mukha Virasana Black Cat Pose - Chaturangasana Rabid Dog Pose - Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Skeleton Pose - Tadasana Zombie Pose - Utthita Hasta Padangustasana I Crazy Zombie Pose - Utthita Parsva Hasta Padangustasana Dead Zombie Pose - Supta Padangustasana I Crazy Dead Zombie Pose - Supta Padangustasana II Dead Frankenstein Pose - Urdhva Prasarita Padasana  Dead Bug Pose - Pavanmuktasana Pumpkin Pose - Malasana II Crow Pose - Bakasana Corpse Pose - Savasana 
This class, hosted by Iyengar Yoga Therapeutics, is the second in a 6 part therapeutic series for teaching yoga to women going through menopause and those who are post menopausal. We started in a supported version of Viparita Dandasana and Supta Virasana to open the chest before forward bending. The recommendation is to keep women more supported during menopause and ask them to sharpen their practice once they are post menopausal. The end of the class started with supported Janu Sirsasana and ended with Viparita Karani. This short sequence of 4 poses is a sequence Bobby also recommends to prevent and to minimize hot flashes. 
A nourishing and illuminative look at backbends with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Patricia Walden. This class was hosted by the Iyengar Yoga Association of the United States
A Pranayama class for the Mind and Breath. Students should be familiar with basic Ujjayi and Viloma Pranayamas. This class was hosted by the Iyengar Yoga Association of the United States
A lovely and accessible class using a chair to support you in challenging twisting poses with Advanced Iyengar Teacher, Rebecca Lerner. This event was hosted by The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States.  
A strong morning practice including forward bends, twists and backbends with Advanced Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Lois Steinberg. This event was hosted by The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States. 
A beautiful expansive and quieting morning practice led by Advanced Iyengar Yoga Teacher Chris Saudek. This event was hosted by The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States.
On this final day of the online intensive with Abhijata, we began the practice with Pranayama - both seated and supine. Abhijata introduced Pranayama as a practice of sensitivity. Then we practiced several poses, each one with support as Abhijata encouraged us to recognize props as tools to help us realize yoga as a way of life. 
During the 6th day of this online intensive we focused on supported backbends. We were asked again to notice where the breath moved in our body and to also consider where our bodies were resisting anterior extension. The standing poses were practiced facing the wall with the head back to encourage anterior extension. After practicing a few supported backbends we moved into a longer practice of Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana over a chair for support. After initially practicing with just the chair for support, we added a bolster under the sacrum for a deeper extension and then finally practiced on a bench or bed or over higher support on a chair with the head on the floor for an even deeper backward extension.
On the fifth day of this online intensive, Abhijata showed us that we can effect the breath by different ways of working the body. With Urdhva Hastasana, we practiced several variations - classic, palms forward and Garudasana Arms and we noticed where the breath moved in the body depending on how we used our arms. We followed this pattern as we practiced the standing poses. She emphasized that where the breath moves the mind moves. When we practiced Uttanasana and Urdhva Hastasana in the middle of the class we were made aware that we could not move the body quickly and the breath slowly or vice versa.
On the fourth day of this online intensive, which was also mother's day, we practiced forward bends. Abhijata introduced us to the term, Iccha shakti, meaning willpower and she encouraged us to have the desire or will to practice. She said if you have this will or desire, this is what separates the ordinary person from an extraordinary person. The ordinary person, their will is extinguished easily. We practiced our forward bends with as much support as necessary and moved from the inner groins and lower back forward. We completed the practice with Salamba Sarvangasana I, Supported Shoulderstand, the mother of all asanas. And we concluded with a supine practice of Antara Kumbhaka pranayama. 
On the third day of this weeklong online intensive, Abhijata Iyengar encouraged us to soften and  in particular to soften our groins. For the first half of this class, we belted our pelvis and legs together; placing a belt on the pelvis, the shins, the thighs and the ankles and Abhijata welcomed the use of 6 belts on the legs, if available. We also placed a 4-fold cotton pune blanket in between our upper thighs to further emphasize the softening of the groins. During this class, Abhijata encouraged us to make our yoga practice comfortable because so much of our world right now is uncomfortable. We ended the session in Svastikasana supported with the back at the wall with the practice of Ujjayi III pranayama.
This was the second day of practice during Abhijata Iyengar's Online Intensive, The Power of Unity. Most of these poses were practiced using some form of support. Most of the standing forward bends included head support and most of the other standing poses used the wall for support. Abhijata encouraged us to be gentle with ourselves during this time, saying that "Everything is so uncomfortable right now. Your yoga practice should be comfortable". 
This was the first day of practice during Abhijata Iyengar's 7 day Online Yoga Intensive, The Power of Unity. 
From BKS Iyengar's Book, Yoga: The Path to Holisitc Health, There are minor viral infections of the mucous membranes that line the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. The most common symptoms are nasal obstruction and discharge, sinusitis, sore throat, sneezing, coughting and headaches. 
From BKS Iyengar's, book Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, "The Immune System is the defense mechanism of the body and protects us from disease. Its main agent is the blood, a fluid consisting of plasma and red and white corpuscles of blood cells. It is the white corpuscles that inhibit the invasion of the bloodstream by microorganisms. There are two types of immunity: natural and acquired. Yoga strengthens both, and regular practice of the recommended asanas can help to counter the disorders that affect them." 
Try these poses for a scary halloween sequence. Instead of the traditional names, try these names instead: Skeleton Pose Full Moon Pose Zombie Pose Rabid Dog Pose Headless Headstand Pose Frankenstein Pose Swarming Locusts Pose Dead Bug Pose Corpse Pose
Enjoy the benefits of forward bends for calming and cooling the nervous system during the busy hot days of summer. Join us for this sequence on the 5th Annual Day of Yoga on June 22nd or practice this sequence at another time to cool yourself down.
Recorded Live at the Yoga Institute of Champaign Urbana, this is a killer three-hour forward bends class with Senior Teacher, Lois Steinberg. 
From the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, We have received requests from various associations and teachers for a sequence of practice for the third International Day of Yoga. If our large Iyengar Yoga family across continents would practice the same sequence, then it would be our small tribute to Guruji.
This Sunday Morning session challenges you with two hours of Inversions and Backbends including Vrksikasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana followed by one hour of Restorative and Pranayama with an introduction to Anuloma Pranayama and Nadi Shodana Pranayama. All Lois' classes are taught in the Iyengar Tradition and the Advanced Classes are appropriate for students with several years study in Iyengar Yoga. Listen to and Download this class in our Download Store Here.
Recorded Live at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles during the Summer of 2012. There are three classes in this Intensive Series. This Saturday Advanced Class continues with Twists including Maricyasana III and Ardha Matsyendrasana. All Lois' classes are taught in the Iyengar Tradition and the Advanced Classes are appropriate for students with several years study in Iyengar Yoga. You can listen to and download this class here: https://www.ihanuman.com/yoga-download/la-intensive-saturday-twists-0
Recorded Live at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles during the Summer of 2012. These three classes stand alone as individual sessions and build on one another for the Intensive Experience. The Friday evening class is two hours of Seated and Standing Forward Bending poses and Twists. Listen to and Download this class in our download store: https://www.ihanuman.com/yoga-download/la-intensive-forward-bends-and-twists-0
All of Lois' classes are taught in the Iyengar Style of Yoga. This class focuses on standing poses and culminates with Urdhva Dhanurasana over a chair. This is a well-rounded yoga practice including standing poses, forward bends, twists, back bends and inversions. Listen to and download this class here: https://www.ihanuman.com/yoga-download/loissteinberg/experienced-beginners-04-21-2012
Lois begins her advanced classes with sutra studies. This class starts with Sutra IV.21. After a warm up, Lois teaches Urdhva Dhanurasana and Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana using a chair. You can download and listen to this class in our Download Store. https://www.ihanuman.com/yoga-download/loissteinberg/advanced-04-13-2012
Strong Beginner Standing Pose class in John's Level I Series of Classes. Listen to a sample and Download This Class! 
A strong Introductory Standing Pose Sequence. Listen to a Sample and Download this Class!
Strong standing pose class, including revolved triangle pose,  and inversions. All John's classes follow the Iyengar method of yoga, based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, the foremost living yoga teacher in the world. His rigorous approach emphasizes a balance between strength and flexibility, builds endurance, and develops Self-awareness through precision in movement and attention to subtleties of body, breath, mind, and spirit. Level II classes are for the students who have completed the introductory (Level I) course. The basic poses will be refined with an emphasis on all the standing poses. Inverted poses (headstand, plow, and shoulderstand) will be introduced.

Journal Post

Summertime Fire Relationships, Routine & Spontaneity  Live Yoga Classes, FREE Intro to Iyengar Yoga Series,  Summer Intensives with Lois Steinberg, Intermediate Yoga in Fiji with Elise Miller & More! The ability to relate to other people arises from the fire energy of the summer season. The emotions of the summer season encourage fluidity, flexibility and going with the flow. Summer is the season we spend more time with family and friends and highlights the strength of our relationships. During a season when it feels like everyone is on vacation or at a party, if you are not, it can feel a little disheartening or lonely and points to a need to strengthen your fire energy. 
Guru Purnima & the Full Moon in July: Clips with Abhijata Iyengar. New Live Yoga Class! FREE Introduction to Iyengar Yoga Class Series! Introduction to Asana with Lois Steinberg and Beginning Yoga with Erich Schiffmann! The full moon in July is known as Guru Purnima and is the time when we honor our gurus. A guru can take many forms and translates as the one who brings us from the dark to the light. We think of our yoga teachers, who through asana and pranayama practice, as well as guiding us on the eight-limbed path of ashtanga yoga, help us to remove the veil of ignorance, heralding the dawn of wisdom (Iyengar, 2002). 
Welcome Summer!  With the Memorial Day weekend, we officially welcome the summer season. For many of us, the start of summer means a lack of routine or a total change in schedule, especially if you are in the academic profession or have kids in school. Everything is upended in an instant! And for some of us, this is fantastic! We need a change of schedule to break up the routine, but sometimes this can feel like too much change and might be disorienting. 
Last month may have been the first month since we started iHanuman (15 years ago!) that we did not send out a newsletter and I realized it was probably time that we let you all know about some things we have been up to. We have all been transforming through this period of time, we have to! And we have all had difficult circumstances to navigate. I have shared about some difficult family circumstances that I have endured which is requiring me to show up in different ways for my family and my community. This impacted me so much that I took a sabbatical from teaching this winter for the first time since I started teaching 20 years ago!
In Honor of Women's History Month, We Celebrate Women's Yoga Expert Bobby Clennell. Discounted Yoga for Women's Health Classes, FREE Yoga for Beginners Class Series and Charitable Donations Towards Women's Health in Ukraine. 

Finally, in February, we welcome the return of the light with Candlemas on Feb 1 - the midway point between the Winter Solstice & the Spring Equinox. This year it also marks the Lunar New Year! You may have noticed an increase in energy as the days become lighter for longer. Hopefully, you have spent some time in reflection and are starting to feel the call to begin to plant seeds to grow your vision for the New Year. February is a great time to get organized and dive deep into your goals for the New Year, but it is also a time to continue to nourish the water element and to "go with the flow".
Happy New Year! I wrote this at the end of 2021, but wanted to send it along as I believe it is still relevant and timely. And be sure to read the end for news on the release of a FREE Class Tonight! Here we are at the end of the year, exhausted, and trying to decide what to do for the holidays. This time of year is characterized by the metal element. Metal is shiny, strong, and flawless. Precious metals are valued for their beauty and rarity. The higher the quality of metal the more it's worth.  Metal strives for perfection and a sense of value. 
Interestingly, if you execute a search for the word gratitude, the top results are links to research by academic institutions like Harvard Medical School. Research has been conducted on the beneficial effects of gratitude on our health and wellbeing. Research has shown that by expressing gratitude, you decrease the focus on negative emotions and report improved mental health. Gratitude has also shown long lasting positive effects on brain scans.
Dear Friends, After a temperate October, we have transitioned into the cooler days and nights of Fall - the perfect time of year to take stock of the year's inventory. Since last year felt as if we were constantly learning something new, these last two years feel like one long year and perhaps we are only now able to take stock and process what may have occurred. To the best of our ability, we take an honest inventory to reflect on our gains and losses. What are we ready to let go of and what do we want to take with us into the new year?
Ahhh! The shift into late summer and early fall is finally upon us. August was a heat wave! I had the opportunity to take some time away and visit with family and friends at the beach. We have been hunkered down in our remote rural Virginia farm location for almost the entirety of the past two years and it was a relief to enjoy of a change of scenery and a cool ocean breeze. I was literally going to melt. 
Summer is in full swing! And not only is it hot (and humid), but everyone’s routines have shifted. We are the stewards of a 10-acre farm in central Virginia, so we are outside as much as possible, planting and harvesting fruit, flowers and herbal medicine. The change in seasons affects different people differently. Some people enjoy heat more than others. You will find me under shade and out of the sun between 10 - 2pm, but my husband LOVES doing work outside during the heat of the day. Summertime is an opportunity to pay attention to the heat and what affect it has on you. 
The spring is a powerful time of year. We watch in awe as green sprouts out of the ground and buds burst on spring-blooming trees. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spring is governed by the Liver and Gallbladder. The Liver is our decision maker. If the Liver is not functioning well, we lack the ability to make clear decisions. In TCM, the eyes are the external organ of the Liver, so we might encounter vision problems, if our Liver is out of order. The Liver is not only related to our physical vision, but also our metaphorical vision. When someone has difficulty envisioning the future or has no vision for her life, we look to the Liver to bring about change.

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