Today we are learning Iyengar yoga for beginners today. Iyengar Yoga is a prominent form practiced in the West, and it is well-known for its general and therapeutic guidelines. Yoga positions, according to B.K.S Iyengar, are about more than just power and poise. As he explains it, his idea of yoga is “Words cannot express the whole worth of yoga. It needs to be seen to be believed!”
For beginners studying yoga for the first time, the Iyengar method provides a thorough structure. This well-structured introduction ensures a firm foundation is laid. As a consequence, the individual may reap more of the advantages of yoga by making more substantial and consistent growth.
Yoga’s advantages can be roughly classified as physical, psychological, and spiritual. Most individuals are aware that yoga promotes flexibility while also increasing muscle tone and strength. A tremendous level of mental attention and concentration is necessary to accomplish this. As a result, frequent yoga practice helps to enhance this ability.
Iyengar Yoga, like Ashtanga Yoga, is based on the eight limbs of yoga. According to the eight limbs of yoga, one of the key lessons is to educate students on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Iyengar Yoga practice is distinguished by its emphasis on body alignment in every position.
However, because most students may struggle to achieve this alignment, Mr. Iyengar brought several props to support or aid the body while in the posture. As a result, students are encouraged to hold a certain stance for a longer period of time. He felt that by focusing on alignment, the imbalance between the right and left sides of the body could be corrected with simple modifications.
According to Mr. Iyengar, yoga is for everyone: adults, children, the elderly, pregnant women, athletes, stage performers, artists, and so on. That’s why we will look to Iyengar yoga for beginners
A variety of standing, sitting, and supine postures are incorporated in the suggested Iyengar yoga for beginners to assist students to bring an overall tone to the body while being conscious of the breath-body synergy. Props are also used in various yoga postures to lead students or novices to Iyengar Yoga in order to get the most out of this practice.
Iyengar Yoga for Beginners
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Place your feet together. Check that the feet are in alignment with each other, with the toes and heels touching. If keeping the feet together is difficult, keep them approximately 2 to 3 inches apart. The remaining body weight is supported by the arches of the feet.
- Gently stretch and relax the toes. Firmly press the feet into the floor and extend the legs upwards. The legs should be parallel to the floor and parallel to each other. Tighten and pull the quadriceps and kneecaps upwards.
- Pull your hips and buttocks inwards as well. Extend your arms down the sides of your body, palms towards your thighs, fingers pointing down. Maintain a straight line using your head and neck.
- Extend your spine and draw your lower abdomen in and up. Broaden your chest and elevate your sternum.
- Continue to breathe properly throughout the practice. Press your heels and balls of your feet together to evenly distribute your weight.
- Maintain the pose for around 10-12 intentional breaths in and out.
2. Upward Forward Fold Pose (Urdhva Uttanasana)
1. Inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling from Tadasana. The hands should be pointing forward. Stretch your entire body. Take a few deep breaths.
2. Exhale and bring your hips forward. Maintain complete leg engagement and stretching. Push your whole weight evenly on both sides of your feet. The earth is grabbed between the toes.
3. Continue to bend your torso and place your palms on the ground in front of your feet. Relax your lower back by slightly separating your ankles. buttocks, as well as your hamstrings
(For novices, elevate your toes and press your heels into the ground, lock your kneecaps, and drive your hips and sitting bones upwards.)
Touch the earth with your fingertips.
4. As your body becomes more flexible, extend your legs wider and press your hands on the ground.
5. Hold the Upward Forward Fold Pose for 12 breaths, inhaling and exhaling.
6. Exhale and lift the torso to stand back in Tadasana, lengthening the spine.
3. Revolved Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose (Ardha Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana)
- Starting in Tadasana, face the long side of the mat and stretch the arms to shoulder level, expanding the chest and shoulders.
- Exhale and jump such that your feet are roughly 5 to 6 feet apart. Point your toes inwards so that your heels are close to the border of your foot.
- Inhale and extend your body upwards, then exhale and come forward, bending from the hips and bringing your hands to rest on the floor in front of you.
- Make sure your feet are securely planted, your knees are locked, and your hips are centered.
- Inhale, rotate your torso, and bring your left arm up while pressing your right hand to the ground. As you twist your shoulders and head, stretch your left arm upwards, parallel to your right arm, and bring your Drishti to your extended left-hand fingers.
- Maintain a deeper roll of the shoulders and collarbone of the left arm while turning the left arm to the ceiling. Twist from the upper and lower abdomen while keeping the hips square and in place.
- Notice the strain in your upper back. If you can’t swivel your neck and gaze towards the ceiling, look to the middle so you may expand your arms and maintain your neck relaxed. To achieve the twist, soften the knees and softly engage the core.
- Hold the twist for 6-8 breaths while in this Revolved Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose.
- To release, place the hand down and center the head and neck. Take a few moments to unwind.
- Inhale, lift your right arm and place your left hand on the floor, then repeat the same on the left side. Stay for about 6-8 breaths.
- Exhale and lower your hand. To relax, inhale and bring the torso up into Utthita Trikonasana.
4. Triangle Pose Block Wall Behind (Trikonasana Block Wall Behind)
- Come to Mountain Pose in front of the wall, with the back of the heels, shoulders, and back of the head resting on the wall.
- Bring a yoga block and set it on the floor to your left.
- Stand in Tadasana while in Tadasana. Distribute your weight evenly between both legs. Rest on the middle of your foot arches. Maintain a strong push and engagement of the heels, as well as an extension of the toes. Check that the inner arch of the foot touches. Breathe slowly and evenly.
- Take a deep breath and walk with your feet about 4 feet apart. Your feet should be in a straight line, pointing forward. Raise your arms to your shoulders. Stretch your arms back from your elbows. Lift your chest and gaze forward. Place the backs of your heels on the wall.
- Keep your other leg stretched and turn your right foot in slightly to the left. Then, with your right leg extended and stiffened at the knee, move your left foot 90 degrees to the left. The outside soles of the feet rest on the wall, and the hips are also in contact with it.
- Exhale and bend your torso to the left sideways. Place your left palm flat on a block (vertical) and press your left heel down on the floor while you’re here.
(If you are not a novice, simply place your left hand on the floor.) Adjust your posture such that your weight is supported by your left heel rather than your left palm.
- Raise your right arm in line with your shoulders and left arm to the ceiling. Keep your neck neutral and turn your head to look at your right thumb.
Hold the stance for one minute, taking six deep breaths.
- The back of the hand, shoulders, left hip, and left foot, as well as the right calves, parts of the right hip, and the back of the right foot, should be against the wall. Position the yoga block against the wall.
- To exhale, inhale and bring the arm up, returning to Utthita Trikonasana against the wall. Take a few moments to relax.
- Repeat on the opposite side, keeping the pose for around 6 breaths, totaling one minute. Relax and let go.
5. Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I)
- Come to Tadasana with your arms elevated in Anjali Mudra.
- Inhale and spring into Utthita Trikonasana, keeping your feet apart and in line with your toes pointed forward.
- Exhale and move your body to the left, bringing your left leg to 90 degrees and moving it to left. Bring your right foot inwards to a 45-degree angle. The left side is represented by the chest, hips, face, and arms.
- Exhale and bend the left knee, bringing the left thigh parallel to the floor and the left leg perpendicular to the thigh. The calf and thigh should make a straight angle, resulting in a foot arch. With the same effort, push the torso down and extend the upper body to the ceiling. Don’t put too much weight on your right knee.
- While in Virabhadrasana I, look up. Continue to breathe softly and deeply for 6 breaths.
- To release, exhale and shift the body and hips toward the center, bringing the feet together with the toes front.
- Inhale, turn in the opposite direction and repeat on the other side with Virabhadrasana I for 6 breaths. Return to Tadasana by releasing and relaxing.
6. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Exhale and bend from the waist into Uttanasana, resting your palms on the floor beside each foot and pressing your head on the thighs. Bend your knees and take a 4-foot step back, one leg at a time.
- Maintain a distance of 3 to 4 feet between your palms. Check that the space between your feet and your palms is the same. Align your right leg with your right arm, then your left leg with your left arm. Extend your toes and fingers. Raise your heels, tense your thigh muscles, and draw your kneecaps in.
- Finally, bring the heels to the floor while stretching the arch of the foot. Pull the inner arms up to the shoulders, from the elbows. Bring your torso closer to your legs. Feel the stretch all the way from your hands to your heels.
- Now, exhale and lengthen your neck, lowering the top of your head to the floor while raising your hips and bringing your shoulders and chest down and inwards.
- Maintain the stance for 6 breaths, bringing the practice time to one minute.
7.Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Lie down on the floor, pressing your tummy towards the mat while resting your forehead, chest, belly, hips, and top of your feet on the mat, hands near to your chest, and elbows bent.
- Inhale and lift your head and chest off the mat from the belly-down stance. Maintain your hip bone on the mat. Draw your shoulder blades back and your chest forwards without straining your neck. Maintain a comfortable distance between your shoulders and your ears.
- Let go of the toes, bringing the tops of the feet to the ground. Bring your hands beneath your shoulders, fingers facing the top of the mat.
- Hug your elbows against the sides of your rib cage. Gently press the hands onto the tops of the feet and the pelvis.
- While you’re here, keep your hip bone on the mat. Draw your shoulder blades back and your chest forwards without straining your neck. Maintain a comfortable distance between your shoulders and your ears. Inhale and gaze up while stretching the arms to stay in Bhujangasana for around 6 breaths.
- Avoid putting too much strain on your hands and wrists. This is the low cobra, bhujangasana; novices should stay in this position.
- Exhale and drop your chest and brow to the mat. To release and relax, turn your neck to one side and breathe normally.
- If necessary, repeat the technique for around 6 breaths or longer. Allow the tummy to return to the mat/ground.
8. Sage Marichi Pose C Variation (Marichyasana C Variation)
- Take a seat on a folded blanket. Bend your right knee and draw your right foot towards its own thigh, such that the heel of your right foot contacts your right buttock. Keep your toes pointed forward and your foot flat on the floor.
- Place your palms on the floor, fingers pointing forward, besides your buttocks. Exhale and straighten your spine.
- Exhale and twist to the right, rotating the shoulders, chest, head, and center back 90 degrees. Bend the left arm and move the left shoulder forward, reaching for the ceiling while holding the right knee. Keep your right palm near your hip and in line with your right shoulder.
- While seated in this position, do not allow the left leg to tilt to the left or lift the right hip away from the mat.
- Inhale, softly engage the core, exhale, and rotate from the torso, keeping the knee near the left side of the chest.
- Press and activate the fingers on the right hand to engage it. Breathe deeper as you exhale, pushing your chest upwards and twisting from the hip, shoulders, and neck joint.
- Hold the stance for around 6 breaths while looking behind you. To release, breathe, and return to Dandasana (staff pose). Take a few moments to unwind.
- Repeat on the opposite side, twisting to the left while holding on to the left leg with your right arm. Stay for around 6 breaths, slow and deep.
9. Reclined Legs Raised Pose With Bolster (Viparita Karani Bolster)
- Sit in Dandasana, with your lower back against a bolster (long side).
- Exhale and gently lie down on your back, hips, sacrum, and buttocks on the bolster, shoulders, neck, and back of your head on the ground.
- Extend the legs and arms out on the mat for roughly a minute, taking six calm, deep breaths.
- Exhale and elevate the legs to 90 degrees, extending them. Make sure the bolster does not move while doing this. Spread your arms to the side, palms towards the ceiling.
- For roughly 6 breaths, close your eyes and keep comfortable in Reclined Legs Raised Pose with Bolster.
- Stay concentrated while here by using the core muscles, pelvic floor muscles, and upper abdominal muscles to support the back and legs and keep them in balance.
- While in this posture, make sure the sacrum is firmly supported by the bolster. To release, breathe, and lower your legs to the floor.
- Repeat this for the second round of practice, holding it for another 6 breaths. Release and lower the legs to rest.
THE SAME CAN BE DONE WITH THE WALL FOR BETTER SUPPORT.
10. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Lie down in Savasana, stretching your legs and arms out on the mat and resting your entire back on it.
- Inhale, raise your elbows and place your palms on the floor between your shoulders and ears, fingers facing in and wrists facing out.
- Deeply inhale and press the palms down, bringing the head up and placing the crown of the head on the floor, elevating the chest upwards, and lifting the shoulders off the floor.
- To improve support, release the hands and place them on the thighs or below the hips. Stretch the neck to perform a backbend and stay in Matsyasana for around 6 breaths.
- Maintain a lifted chest to relieve tension on the head and neck. As you turn your head, make sure your hips are not lifted and your look is behind and back.
- To release, bring the hands to rest beside the shoulder and support the neck, elevate the head, and release to rest on the floor. Take a few moments to unwind.
- Repeat for the second round of practice, holding the pose for around 6 breaths. Return to Savasana by releasing and relaxing.
Why should a beginner choose Iyengar Yoga?
With so much to gain, it’s critical to establish your yoga practice with the proper structure and support. If there is no framework to learn a yoga system, early emotions of inspiration may fade, leaving the student with the impression that the lessons aren’t actually heading anywhere. This can also happen if a person is pushed through the novice level without receiving sufficient exposure to basic ideas.
The Iyengar method places a strong emphasis on the experience of the whole novice. It emphasizes the significance of offering a series of planned, staged sessions tailored precisely to introduce each student to the topic safely. This lays a solid platform for further investigation.
Can Iyengar Yoga help with weight loss?
You will be constantly moving, stretching, balancing, and changing postures while doing Iyengar Yoga. You will increase strength and muscle tone as well as improve your mobility. If you want to lose weight, Iyengar yoga can help in a variety of ways. Dynamic, flowing patterns, also known as vinyasa, can help increase cardiovascular fitness. Balanced postures and inversions, which can be physically demanding and improve muscle strength, are also part of Iyengar’s practices. There are also several belly-strengthening poses.
In addition to these exercise-based approaches to weight management, consistent yoga practice typically results in other positive mental improvements. Yoga can help you enhance your concentration and mental focus. It can also create a positive body image and self-esteem. Many people feel that doing so makes them less susceptible to bad dietary choices and more in sync with a healthy, nutritious lifestyle.
When you first begin yoga, the thorough framework of an Iyengar Yoga beginning course cannot be disregarded. Certified teachers have been particularly prepared to help you navigate this important time. They can safely make the advantages of yoga available to you as a person, regardless of your age or physical capabilities. Yoga’s reach has never been broader in today’s digital world. Technological advancements have altered the methods in which yoga may be learned. Take advantage of this wonderful moment to experience Iyengar Yoga for yourself.