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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

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

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.
What a year it is has been! On SO many levels. I have so much to write about and yet so much is still percolating. One item that I do want to mention is that this year marks the 20th year since I started practicing Iyengar Yoga! I lucked into a 5 day workshop during my travels in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A friend recommended the course as I had already been practicing yoga on my own, with books and classes at the Y in college. Even though no one else signed up for the Intermediate course that week, the teacher taught me privately for 5 hours per day! It was such an incredible gift! 
We just passed through the first New Moon of the New Year. New Moons are always potent times to set intentions, but particularly the first New Moon of the New Year. This past year felt particularly destabilizing and I have absolutely cherished my yoga practice, as it keeps me steady, clear and grounded in the present. I pay fairly close attention to what is going on around me, but as a yoga practitioner, one of the disciplines of the practice is to not get pulled into the drama - the ups and downs of everyday human existence.
In the yoga sutras, Patanjali talks about effortless effort - "Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached." - Light on the Yoga Sutras, BKS Iyengar Perfection is connected to the metal element present at the end of this season - the need to be perfect, valuing oneself, the need to have shiny material possessions and conversely, the exact opposite - not valuing oneself or not believing oneself worthy of respect. It is something well worth examining as we close out this year. 
Dear Friends,  As we mentioned last month, we are in the season of the Lungs and Large Intestine. It is the time of year to whittle, to hone, and to refine. These are two of our organs of letting go. I am finding time this week to reflect on what I was able to accomplish this year and letting go of what's left. It is a time of resetting and putting things to rest. 
"Grief, expressed out loud, whether in or out of character, unchoreographed and honest, for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses.” - Martin Prectel
I have to admit, I was dragging my feet on sharing a monthly newsletter, which we have done monthly since we launched over a dozen years ago! It happens sometimes, writer's block sets in, and in my experience, I just have to push through it. To be honest to some degree, I have not felt much like sharing on social media at all since the pandemic started. Mostly, because everything feels so uncomfortable, unusual & unsettled during this time.
As we have talked about in previous articles, summer is represented by the Fire element which is our passion, joy, creativity and the quality of our relationships. This period of time of social distancing makes some of these aspects of summer challenging but we must keep these important qualities at the forefront during these fleeting months. For example, now is a great time to dig deeply into connecting or reconnecting with what brings you joy; to discover or rediscover some areas of life about which you are truly passionate.
We are reconciling what we have collectively witnessed with regards to racism and injustice in our society. We stand with our brothers & sisters of color in solidarity and will continue to educate ourselves and foster work that helps tear down the walls of inequality in our communities. Yoga is a gift to humanity that helps us dissolve ignorance and brings us closer to uncovering the fact that we all come from the same Divine source. We are all one race - the human race - and these horrific events have the potential to wake us up and bring us together in collective action.
We are all feeling the pain of being apart right now, even though many of us are blessed with the ability to teach and participate in our classes online. It is a very different world and it looks like it has the potential to remain in this evolved state into the foreseeable future. I don’t have a crystal ball but I do not think we are going back to where we were. The yoga studio where I teach has already decided that we will be online at least through the end of August. It is certainly unsettling AND it is giving us an opportunity to change, to innovate, and to get out of a rut.
The Full Moon this month is a particularly auspicious moon on many calendars. Native Americans named it the Pink Moon to denote the Pink Phlox which spreads as one of the first harbingers of spring. It is the Pesach or Passover Moon in the Hebrew Calendar. In the Christian Calendar this is the Paschal Moon as it is the full moon that marks the date of Easter or Pascha. And in the Hindu Calendar this Full Moon corresponds with the Hanuman Jayanti Festival celebrating the birth of Lord Sri Hanuman. This full moon is also the largest super moon of the year! We are celebrating with some stories of Hanuman from our archives and with an offering of 20% off ALL Downloads in our Store this month. We hope you will enjoy!
We are so lucky to have our yoga practice particularly during times of change. One of the ways we remain grounded is by adherence to the Yamas and Niyamas, one of which is Svadhyaya or self study but also includes the study of spiritual texts.  I recently began re-reading the Bhagavad Gita during a particularly tumultuous time with my family. The first chapter of the book introduces us to the protagonist, Arjuna, who must go into battle with his family.
Yoga mudras: what are the types of yoga mudra, how do we practice yoga mudras, and what are the beneficial effects of mudras? Mudra means "seal", "gesture" or "mark". And simply put, yoga mudras are gestures or shapes we make with our hands. Each has it's own unique intention and implication, and they help facilitate the flow of energy through the subtle body and can enhance one's yoga practice.

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