Yoga Instruction

Yoga instruction refers to the teaching of an ancient practice, which involves the physical (body postures and breathing), mental and spiritual (meditation).  The word yoga is based on the Sanskrit word yunakti,’ meaning to yoke or join. Yoga is rooted in the Hindu religion, which dates back thousands of years. It is the disciplined way to a goal and the controlling of the body and mind.

Modern yoga developed out of the heightened interest in fitness and health.  There are many styles of yoga practiced and taught, each with a different focus.  Benefits to yoga include:  stress relief, increased flexibility, enhanced muscle tone and strength, improved concentration and memory, improved cardiovascular system.

There are a variety of Yoga styles including

    • Ashtanga: Developed was by Sri Pattabhi Jois. There are 6 sequences of postures or asanas. Emphasis is moving between sequences, one breath for one movement. Ashtanga is a rigorous paced flow.
    • Iyengar: Is named for BKS Iyengar. BKS Iyengar began teaching yoga in 1937 when he was sent by his teacher and brother in-law Krishnamacharya from Mysore to Pune to take a teaching position. He is the author of ‘Light on Yoga’ which when published in 1966 revolutionized yoga in the west. Iyengar yoga is ‘meditation in action’ characterized by longer holdings and focus on alignment, both within and without, it is fondly known by his students as a work-in (not a work-out). The use of props were first introduced by BKS Iyengar in the 1940’s when he experimented with a brick to improve form and ease in a pose. Modern yoga blocks are still known as bricks at the Iyengar Institute in Pune. Mr. Iyengar went on to introduce blankets, bolsters, chairs and all manner of props to the practice to be used as a teaching aid but not to be depended on. These props are commonly found today in yoga studios around the world. In August 20th, 2014 BKS Iyengar died of natural causes at the age of 95.
    • Bikram: Is named after founder Bikram Choudhury. Yoga postures are practiced in a room that is heated to promote sweating (flushing of toxins from body), greater flexibility, and stress relief.  This form is also called hot yoga.
    • Svaroopa: Based on a Sanskrit word which mean "embodiment or essential nature".  Focus is on opening up the spine and releasing tension.

      Submitted by Leigh Anne Milne RMT, RYT, PFT, Ivengar Certified