Created by B.K.S. Iyengar, Iyengar Yoga is a softer style of yoga which focuses on bodily alignment. Like many other yoga styles, Iyengar has its roots in Hatha yoga. It is ideal for individuals who are just beginning yoga or for those who haven’t exercised for awhile or are troubled by back or joint problems. This style of yoga incorporates props such as chairs, straps, blocks, pillows and sandbags which help compensate for a lack of flexibility and allow people to more comfortably assume the poses.
The Iyengar style focuses on great attention to detail, precise alignment and symmetry of postures, and meditation. The props serve a second purpose by helping Iyengar yogis achieve the best possible pose. Poses are also held longer, unlike Ashtanga yoga which involves constant motion from one pose to the next, and poses are repeated many times. Pranayma can only be attempted once a certain level of mastery has been achieved with the poses. Iyengar yoga can be beneficial for toning muscles, easing chronic pain, and eliminating tension.