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In practice, Iyengar yoga is said to focus on the following three aspects:

  • Correct body alignment - to avoid injury or adverse pain when practising correctly

  • Strengthening, toning and relaxing muscles – to be able to support the postures and improve the body

  • The use of props (blankets, belts and foam blocks) to assist the body into the correct positions, allowing for different levels of strength, fitness and mobility.


Further benefits I have experienced are:

  • Stronger muscles, tendons and joints

  • Improved body tone and suppleness

  • Addresses many symptoms of stress, such as stiff necks, lower backache and insomnia

  • Improved concentration, and

  • Vitality


Iyengar yoga is not gymnastics and doesn’t involve listening to music. The reward of better relaxation (usually following the class) comes from having stretched the body in a sustained way. Breathing exercises or ‘pranayama’ is only introduced after several years practice, so as not to cause physical or mental harm.

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