Tag Archive: IYNAUS


How Do You Structure a Home Practice?

Elizabeth published this useful post about a year ago and it seemed like it might be a good time to revisit it.

Students first beginning or aiming to maintain a home practice of yoga asanas often are at a loss as to how to sequence their asanas, as we do in class. The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States provides help. You can download two different sets of practice sequences by clicking on the pages below.


               

Please come back and let us know whether you found these sequences helpful for your home practice!

You can learn more about the Iyengar National Association here.

FOR AN UPDATE: SEE BOTTOM OF POST.

As many of you probably know, this past Sunday, the New York Times ran a disturbing article entitled, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” whose subtitle was “Popped ribs, brain injuries, blinding pain. Are the healing rewards worth the risk?”  It’s a hard article to read because of the detailed injuries described, but more so because it doesn’t sound like the yoga we’ve all experienced in which Elizabeth takes great care to help us practice safely and beneficially. Oddly, there’s a particular focus on Iyengar yoga in the article (which is an excerpt from a book “The Science of Yoga: Risks and Rewards”). So you may be wondering what the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States’ response was. Elizabeth provides that below:

8 January 2012

To The New York Times
Re: “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” by William Broad

To the Editor:

If yoga hurts, it is not yoga. A student’s overreaching ego, a teacher’s ignorance –many causes may lead to injury while doing yoga, but yoga itself cannot be blamed. Nor can B. K. S. Iyengar, who more than any figure in modern yoga has made yoga safe, accessible and transformative for all.

Many teachers and students of Iyengar Yoga were disturbed by the negative tone and outright errors in “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” by William J. Broad. Just one example: Broad calls Roger Cole a “reformer” who advocates reducing neck bending in Shoulder Stand by lifting the shoulders on a stack of blankets. But this teaching was devised by Mr. Iyengar – Cole is simply one of many of Mr. Iyengar’s teachers who work this way. Similarly Broad writes that Mr. Iyengar does not address yoga injuries in his seminal book Light on Yoga; any reading will reveal countless instructions on how to perform poses correctly, without harm.

We urge readers to try an Iyengar Yoga class themselves. Iyengar Yoga teachers are held to the most rigorous standards. Only after years of practice and study, and close examination by senior teachers, are they certified. A Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher is a student’s guarantee of a yoga experience which is safe, progressive and personalized to their condition.

During his more than 70 years of practice and teaching, B. K. S. Iyengar has pioneered modern yoga and modern yoga therapeutics. One of his guiding principles – that yoga is for everyone – led him to develop modifications for the yoga asanas (postures) using props which allow them to be performed by practitioners of every age, fitness and skill level.

Iyengar teachers are trained to work even with students with serious limitations and injuries, to recognize when students are ready for certain asanas, and not to ask them to go beyond their readiness. Going to one’s maximum also means not going beyond one’s limits; teachers must help students understand this.

Before undertaking the practice of asana, those who pursue the eight-limbed path of yoga must first practice the guidelines of yama and niyama; first among these is ahimsa – non-violence. For a teacher, this means “do no harm.”

Sincerely,

Christopher Beach, President
The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS)

UPDATE: The NY Times seems to be pursuing the continuing kerfuffle from the yoga article in the current “Room for Debate”. The topic is entitled : “Me, Myself and Yoga: Is Yoga for Narcissists?” You might want to read it, if only because it will make you all the gladder that you live in Bellingham and study with Elizabeth.

Help for Your Home Practice

Students first beginning a home practice of yoga asanas often are at a loss as to how to sequence their asanas, as we do in class. The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States provides help. You can download two different sets of practice sequencesby clicking on the pages below.


               

Please come back and let us know whether you found these sequences helpful for your home practice!

You can learn more about the Iyengar National Association here.