About Iyengar Yoga

What is Iyengar Yoga? 

Iyengar yoga is a style of Hatha yoga that emphasizes precision, alignment, and the use of props to help practitioners achieve the correct poses and positions. It was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, an influential yoga teacher from India who was a direct disciple of T. Krishnamacharya. 

 

Key features of Iyengar yoga include:

 

  1. Alignment: Iyengar yoga places a strong emphasis on proper alignment of the body in each pose. The goal is to achieve balance and symmetry in the poses, which can lead to greater physical stability and improved posture.

 

  1. Use of Props: Props such as blocks, belts, bolsters, and blankets are commonly used in Iyengar yoga. These props help students of all levels to access the poses more easily, maintain correct alignment, and gradually deepen their practice.

 

  1. Sequencing: Iyengar classes often have a specific sequencing of poses designed to build strength, flexibility, and balance progressively. The sequencing allows students to work on foundational poses before attempting more advanced ones.

 

  1. Attention to Detail: Iyengar yoga teachers are known for their attention to detail and their ability to provide precise instructions. They often use verbal cues and hands-on adjustments to guide students into the correct alignment.

 

  1. Focus on Breath: Like many other yoga styles, Iyengar yoga emphasizes the importance of breath control (pranayama). Proper breathing techniques are integrated into the practice, helping students to find calmness and focus.

 

  1. Adaptability: Iyengar yoga is known for being adaptable to different ages, abilities, and physical conditions. It is often used therapeutically to address various health issues and injuries. 

 

Overall, Iyengar yoga is a methodical and precise approach to yoga that can be beneficial for individuals looking to develop a strong foundation in yoga asanas (poses), improve alignment, and gain a deeper understanding of the practice.

 

What are the benefits of Iyengar yoga? 

A regular Iyengar yoga practice can help to: 

  • improve physical and psychological health
  • alleviate postural/structural problems in the body
  • release emotional tension
  • increase focus and concentration
  • increase energy
  • reconnect with your body and breath
  • bring intelligence and clarity to all parts of the body and mind

 

How can I learn the Invocation chanted at the beginning of classes? 

The Invocation to Patanjali is best learned through repetition. You can see the chant below and a pronunciation guide under each line. 

 

yogena cittasya padena vācāṁ

(yo-gay-nuh chih-tah-syuh pah-day-nuh vah-chahm)

malaṁ śarīrasya ca vaidyakena

(mah-lahm shah-ree-rah-syuh chuh vy-dyuh-kay-nuh)

yo’pākarottaṁ pravaraṁ munīnāṁ

(yo-pah kar-oh-tahm prag-vah-rahm moo-nee-nahm)

patañjaliṁ prāñjalirāṇato’smi

(pah-tahn-jah-lim prahn-jah-leer ah-nah-toh-smee)

 

ābāhu puruṣākāraṁ

(ah-bah-hoo-poo-roo-shah-kar-ahm)

śaṅka cakrāsi dhāriṇaṁ

(shahn-kah chah-krah-see-dar-ee-nahm)

sahasra śīrasaṁ śvetaṁ

(sah-hah-srah sheer-ah-sahm shvay-tahm)

praṇamāmi patañjalim

(prah-nuh-mah-mee pah-tahn-jah-lim)

 

Click here to hear the Invocation chanted by Geeta Iyengar 

 

Click here to hear the Invocation chanted word-by-word by B.K.S Iyengar

 

Getting to the Studio

Where should I park? 

There are many on-street parking options available and a parking lot behind our building. There is a row of 1-Hour Only parking spots directly in front of our studio – please be respectful of these and only use them if you are going to be under an hour. We have many neighbors who need these spaces for their customers. 

 

You can access the parking lot behind our building via Meadow Street. You can see the parking lot and on-street options highlighted in Green in the image below. 

Is your studio handicap accessible? 

There is a step into our front door, 8 inches in height. 

Inside the Studio

How do I check in for class? 

When you walk in the front door, please make sure to check in with a staff person so that you can be marked as Present for the class. The staff person will inform you if there is any missing information on your registration or if payment is due. 

 

Where can I store my belongings? 

Please do not bring a lot of belongings with you. Shoes can be left in the shoe bins to the left as you walk inside. Any other jackets and bags should go downstairs in our Student Lounge where there are many empty storage shelves available. There are no other public entrances to the Student Lounge and it is supervised by a staff member during class so you do not need to worry about anyone going through your belongings. 

 

Do you have a restroom? What about dressing rooms? 

Yes, we have a restroom and dressing rooms downstairs in the Student Lounge. Please note that we only have stairs (no elevator) so they are not wheelchair accessible.

 

Can I bring my water bottle to class with me? 

Please do not bring water bottles with you to the studio. Following the Iyengar yoga tradition, drinking water during a yoga practice is not recommended unless one has a medical condition which requires it. In the event that you absolutely do need water, we have a water cooler and cups downstairs available for student use. 

 

If you do end up bringing your water bottle, please leave it downstairs in the student lounge and don’t forget to take it home with you. 

 

Is there anything I need to tell the teacher before class?  

Yes – please inform your teacher if you have any medical issues or concerns such as new or pre-exisiting injuries or illnesses. Even if it doesn’t seem relevant to yoga, inform your teacher anyway; yoga can have a profound effect on every system of the body and your teacher may know of alternatives that will be relevant to you. 

For students that menstruate, please inform your teacher if you are menstruating (and which day of the cycle you are on, if you know); there are many poses which should not be done during menstruation and your teacher will give you alternatives throughout the class. 

You can send any of this information in an email ahead of time.

 

Other Policies

Why are you requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination? 

Although we have seen a decrease in Covid-19 related deaths, it is still very active in our worldwide health system and there are new infections daily. Because of the potential severity of Covid-19 and its lasting effects through Long Covid, we feel it is our responsibility to the community to make sure that our staff and students have done their part to decrease the chances of spreading Covid-19.

 

Additionally, many of our students come to Iyengar yoga for therapeutic reasons and may have significant health conditions and/or compromised immune systems. We take this very seriously and do not wish to make their conditions worse through an infection at our studio. 

 

We do recognize that infections can still spread even when individuals are vaccinated, the point is simply to reduce the risk as much as possible. 

 

We realize that many people have not been vaccinated for a variety of reasons and we are open to learning more about their situation to see if a reasonable exception can be made. 

 

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your vaccination situation. 

 

Do you require students to wear masks during class?

 

Many students are still choosing to wear masks in the studio, either for their own protection or for the protection of others. You are certainly welcome to do the same but we are not requiring them at this time. We reserve the right to require masks again at any time if the situation warrants it. 

 

How do I submit my proof of Covid-19 vaccination? 

You can email a photo or scan of your Covid-19 card to our Studio Administrator, Sarah Leboeuf, at studioadmin@iycwm.com

 

She will confirm through email that it has been received. You do not need to bring it in person with you once you’ve received that confirmation.