IYENGAR YOGA IN CANADA TODAY
With today’s overwhelming choice of yoga disciplines, anyone starting a practice might wonder where to turn. The Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada / association canadienne de yoga Iyengar (IYAC/ACYI) is a resource for students and teachers in Canada: you can find a teacher in your area, sign up for a workshop that interests you, read the latest news from India, or register for the annual conference online.
Today, yoga is popular as a form of exercise that helps students with a regular practice to become strong, flexible, and relaxed. This reputation is deserved, but it represents only a small part of the picture. Iyengar yoga is in fact an art and a science, an applied philosophy and a spiritual practice. Iyengar yoga, one of the seminal yoga disciplines of the world, is based on the teachings of the living yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, author of the classic yoga treatise Light on Yoga, which has sold more than one million copies worldwide. B.K.S. Iyengar began teaching in Pune, India, in 1936 at the age of 18, and has revolutionized the way yoga is taught. He is, more than any other living yogi, responsible for the growth of yoga in the West.
What distinguishes Iyengar from other methods?
- The Iyengar method works on the principle of meditation in action. Practitioners concentrate closely on the movements in the yoga postures (asanas), bringing the body into balance by increasing mobility, stability, strength and alignment. At the same time, this intense concentration draws the attention inward, quieting and integrating mind and body.
- Iyengar yoga is recognized for its use of props such as blocks, blankets, straps, and chairs to deepen a pose, create awareness, or help a student to attain correct alignment.
- The teacher-training regime to become an Iyengar yoga teacher is rigorous and takes approximately five years, with ongoing professional development required. Most teachers upgrade their skills to more advanced levels.
- The certification mark, or trademark, bestowed upon every qualified teacher helps students to recognize a certified Iyengar teacher or studio.
- B.K.S. Iyengar makes it clear that yoga is for everyone, whatever the student’s cultural or religious background or state of wellbeing. He calls yoga a “practical method for making life purposeful, useful, and noble."
The Iyengar family
The Iyengar family’s teachings are deeply grounded in the yoga sutras of Patanjali, an ancient summation of the path of yoga considered to be at least 2,500 years old. B.K.S. Iyengar’s intense practice and almost 70 years of teaching have produced significant innovations in the teaching of the art and science of yoga. Today, at 93, B.K.S. Iyengar continues to teach and inspire students all over the world. His daughter, Geeta, and his son, Prashant, are also accomplished teachers and authors
of yoga texts.
B.K.S. Iyengar was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. He is the author of many books, including the latest, Light on Life. To learn more about
B.K.S. Iyengar visit www.bksiyengar.com.