About Iyengar Yoga
Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone do Iyengar Yoga? What if I feel I am too old, too out-of-shape, too heavy, or too fatigued to try yoga? Yoga is for everyone. Whatever your age, condition or body type, you can benefit from the practice of yoga. Iyengar Yoga specializes in making yoga postures accessible to all through the use of clear instruction and progression, props as learning tools, and modifications to classic yoga poses.
Do I need to be flexible to do yoga? You do not need to be flexible, strong, fit, or young to practice yoga. Yoga begins from where you are now. Through gradual, intelligent practice over a period of time, yoga will promote flexibility, strength, and balance. But these are only the physical benefits. The practice of yoga helps us develop mental focus and poise, and emotional peace and serenity. These benefits are available to everyone.
What can I expect in a Level 1 Iyengar Yoga class? A Level I Iyengar Yoga class begins with correcting your fundamental posture through an emphasis on standing poses. You will also learn a series of arm and shoulder movements designed to improve the mobility and alignment of you neck, shoulders and upper back. Seated and reclining poses are included, and basic inverted poses are introduced in this level.
What should I wear to class? Clothing for yoga classes should be comfortable and should not obscure the body. Most students wear a simple T-shirt with shorts or athletic pants. Watches and dangling jewelry should not be worn. Strong scents should not be used.
How is Iyengar Yoga different from other methods of yoga? Iyengar Yoga is a classic form of yoga that uses breath and alignment to create integrated action and awareness. Classes are conducted without music so students can focus on specific instructions and develop a quiet, alert state of mind. Poses are generally practiced one at a time so that details of alignment can be taught. Strength and stamina are developed by learning to hold the poses, rather than by jumping from pose to pose. Students learn and progress though verbal instructions, observation of the teacher’s demonstrations, watching the teacher work with other students, and individual suggestions and hands on corrections. Our studio is known for the personal attention we give our students in classes of 12 - 18 students.
How can Iyengar Yoga help me if I have injuries? Iyengar Yoga is known for its innovative and effective approach to alleviate common aches and ailments. Our classes are not a replacement for physical therapy, but for chronic, low-grade issues, Iyengar Yoga can be very effective. Current scientifically valid studies show that Iyengar Yoga programs can bring measurable improvements for those with lower back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome, for examples. If you have injuries or other any medical issues, please let your instructor know.
Can yoga cause injuries? Like any other physical activity, yoga practice can occasionally result in a muscle strain or rarely, an injury. Iyengar Yoga is known for its meticulous approach to accurate alignment, progressive learning, and individual modification of poses, all which make injuries less likely to occur.
What if the classes seem too hard for me? In our small classes, your instructor can see how you are doing and respond to your needs. You can always come out of a pose and ask for help. Your teacher can give you a simpler version of the pose that is appropriate to your condition.
Can I practice Iyengar Yoga if I have health issue (high blood pressure, hip replacement, arthritis, joint problems, back pain)? Iyengar Yoga has approaches and protocols for all these conditions. Let your teacher know about any medical condition, injuries, past surgeries or special needs that you have. You will find that the Iyengar method can help you work skillfully, gradually and intelligently within your limits.
Do I have to enroll for a 7 or 8-week session? You are free to take classes on a drop in basis or to enroll for a 7 or 8-week session. We strongly encourage you to enroll for an entire session if you can. When you come to class each week with the same teacher and the same group of students, it creates an enhanced learning environment for everyone. Your teacher gets to know you and your needs. You develop camaraderie with your yoga friends. You get the experience of building up your knowledge week by week.
If I enroll for a session, can I make up any classes that I miss? You may make up missed classes any time during the current session and one week into the new session. For more details see Policies.
What if I have experience in another method of yoga? Yoga methods can vary widely. We recommend that students with experience in another method of yoga take at least one session of Level 1 or Level 1-2 to learn the basics of the Iyengar approach. If you feel the class is not challenging you, you can talk to your instructor about trying a different level. We are happy to work with you to find the class that best suits your needs.