B.K.S. Iyengar introduced Iyengar yoga. It is considered as a form of ‘Hatha’ yoga. The poses of Iyengar yoga focus on breath control and posture, providing strength, stability & mobility to your body.
Benefits of Iyengar Yoga Poses
- It mainly focuses on improving posture.
- It helps increase your stability.
On the other hand, yoga is all about being aware of your breath and body. Yoga and meditation, therefore generally give you the following benefits;
- Treats depression & stress.
- Reduces anger, depression & aggression.
- Improves energy level.
- Decreases pain related to carpal tunnel syndrome & scoliosis.
- It helps to develop a positive attitude.
- Increases self-control.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Slows down ageing.
Different Iyengar Yoga Poses
1. Tadasana or Samasthiti (Mountain Pose)
- Stand straight, stretching your toes flat on the floor. Keep in mind that your toes and heels should touch each other.
- Distribute your body weight evenly on both the toes and heels. Your neck should be straight, your stomach in and spine stretched.
- Keep your arms by the side of your thighs.
2. Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana
- Keep your body in Tadasana (mountain pose).
- Inhale and slowly raise your hands upward at shoulder level.
- Hold this posture for several minutes.
3. Tadasana Urdhva Baddha Hastasana
- Bring your body in the Tadasana pose.
- Interlock the fingers of your left hand with the right hand from the base of the knuckles.
- Inhale and raise the interlocked arms fully towards the ceiling. Your elbows should be locked.
- Remain in this pose for 40-60 seconds.
4. Tadasana Paschima Baddha Namaskar
- Attain Tadasana pose.
- Bend your elbows backwards while keeping your body posture straight.
- Both your elbows should be in contact with your body.
- Hold your right elbow with the left palm and the right palm.
- Hold it for some time.
5. Tadasana Paschima Namaskar
- Attain Tadasana pose.
- Keeping your body erect, bend your elbows in the backward direction.
- While bending your elbows backwards, try to join both palms from base to fingertips.
- Breathe evenly; keep this pose for a few seconds.
6. Tadasana Gomukhasana
- Stand straight in Tadasana.
- Bend your left arm behind you. The back of the palm should be on the mid of your back.
- Now, bend your right elbow backwards and try to interlock the fingertips of both palms as shown in the picture.
- Hold this posture for 30-40 seconds.
- Repeat with opposite hands.
Inhale and sit down, bending your knees backwards.
Take a deep breath and keep your spinal cord straight.
Your toes shouldn’t be beneath your butt but beside your butt.
Place your palms on your knees or thighs.
Calm your mind and try to concentrate.
Inhale and exhale deeply.
Stay in this position for 4 to 5 minutes.
9. Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand)
- Lie down.
- Place your palms on your butt.
- Raise your legs upwards.
- Your toes should be pointing towards the sky.
- Now, slowly try to raise your body. Only your head should touch the ground. If you are a beginner, you can balance your body by resting it against the wall.
- Bend your elbows and hold your head.
- Sit down without crossing your legs and keep your spinal cord straight.
- Keep your legs straight on the floor and lock your knees. Remember, if you do this pose for the first time, don’t stretch your body too much, or you’ll end up with pulled nerve.
- Now, slowly bend your body forward.
- Place your palms on your toes and bend your body a little forward.
- Try to touch your forehead with your knees.
- Don’t stretch too much and stay in this posture for 2 minutes.
- Return to your original posture afterwards and sit by keeping your spinal cord straight.
11. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose)
- Sit down and keep your legs straight.
- Keeping your backbone straight, bend your legs and try to join the soles of your feet.
- Hold your joined feet with your palms while keeping your hands straight.
12. Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)
- Bend your knees backwards and sit.
- Lie down and keep your knees bent.
- Hold your toes with your hands.
- Shut your eyes and count up your breath.
- Release from the pose after 30 seconds to 1 minute.