Named after its creator, B.K.S Iyengar, Iyengar yoga is a variety that has become famous for the use of belts and blocks in the performance of postures. Though based on the Ashtanga yoga, or the eight-limbed yoga, this trend relies on the improvement of the body condition as a support for meditation and concentration techniques. Mental and physical health are the primary goals of the practice of the various asanas (postures) specific to Iyengar yoga; the body, the spirit and the mind are all united in the final achievement of yoga mastery. Though having lots of things in common with Hatha yoga for instance, Iyengar yoga is characterized by some particular details that are absent from other systems.
The presence of props is the most important element of uniqueness in Iyengar yoga: there are benches, cushions, straps, sand bags and others, so as to allow any practitioner to correctly perform the postures. Such items usually serve well for beginners who have difficulties at achieving the correct asanas from the first time; it has been claimed that postures can be truly mastered after years of practice. Moreover, such props are a true help for people who suffer from a chronic injury or who are too tired to complete all the sets of asanas without support. The great advantage of Iyengar yoga is that the muscular effort can be controlled and adjusted to the capacity of the practitioner.
The most specific postures of Iyengar yoga are the standing ones, which would explain the increased muscular condition at the level of the legs: the blood flow is definitely improved, not to mention that the balance and the movement coordination are also increased. The very practical part of Iyengar yoga is that it addresses many types of ailments, disorders and health problems, and the trained teachers can help the practitioner improve the health state by means of specific asanas. Hypertension, insomnia, depression, deficiencies of the immune system as well as various osteo-articular problems.
It is advisable for anyone interested in Iyengar yoga to turn to centers where yoga practices are included in special programs; an organized environment for the practice of the asanas is the only one recommended. Such a recommendation comes from the fact that if exercised on your own, some postures may be too difficult and potentially harmful for tissues and muscles. After all, a complete training in the secrets of Iyengar yoga takes quite a number of years before the practitioner may reach full mastery of the techniques.