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Thread: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

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    Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    I found a local Iyengar yoga school. An excerpt from their site:

    Level 1 Iyengar

    This class is very focused on precise body alignment. Based in the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, It is yoga taught with highly verbal instructions. Errors are actively corrected so that students can find the correct form for their body in each pose. Props such as belts, blocks and blankets are used in the class to help people adjust into proper alignment in poses. This style helps to prevent any pain or injury in the poses. In this class you will build strong legs and increase vitality. The class moves slowly and this helps to bring more awareness. It takes time to move into a pose and to become stable. This class will help your practice to change and expand. Take this class to bring a positive effect to your nervous system.
    Unfortunately the prices are beyond my finances, and there is only 1 Iyengar yoga class per week.

    Drop In $18
    10 classes (valid 90 days) $150
    30 classes (valid 180 days) $400
    75 classes (valid 240 days) $750
    Monthly Unlimited $165
    3 Months Unlimited $450
    Yearly Unlimited $1400



    I cannot sit cross-legged for more than 15-20 mins. without my foot going numb (compressed nerve even after my back surgery), and I am extremely inflexible.

    However, I found some books written by Guruji himself. I was wondering if anyone could give an opinion on them: which one is better, should I even attempt using a book, etc. I would get my own blocks and supports, mat and anything else recommended. The books are:

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iyen...=9781405317382

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iyen...=9780756642839

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-...=9780756633622

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ligh...=9780805210316

    Thanks for anything you can suggest.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Vannakkam: I saw Iyengar in person once. My take was that it was all hatha, no philosophy, and incredibly strict hatha at that. Some people got injured trying to do the 'basics' . So I came away with a "Be cautious," feeling. But that was just me. There were people there going all gaga.

    Sounds like you need a far gentler approach.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Namaste Jainarayan,
    I hope the school you found is affiliated to B.K.S. Iyengar and you better do some research on it before you decide to join. I would suggest the book mentioned below as it is quite comprehensive. Even though after reading the book you might think you could do many of the asanas (poses) from the book but Guruji advises it's always better to learn from a proper yoga instructor. But there will be always some asanas very simple which a beginner can do effortlessly. The book even gives a regiment from beginner to advanced and also by weeks. And I see you are from US and yoga there is commodity now and a market worth billions of dollars. All I can say is please don't go by the name of Iyengar yoga as many people who learnt directly from the students of Guruji or from their students' students.. you never know but still use Guruji's name just to attract people and make money. (Even this started happening in India)

    I heard from my teacher who learnt directly from Guruji that Guruji never makes a beginner to do advanced asanas and even in our class we use lots of props (a trademark of Iyengar yoga) just to educate your body till flexibility comes in. Same asana can be done by a beginner with props in one way and in another way by someone advanced and some don't even use props.

    It could be also possible people from this school learnt Guruji books and try to teach on their own.

    http://www.amazon.com/Light-Yoga-B-K...=light+on+yoga

    If you think you can learn from dvds I would suggest Richard Freeman videos as he is really good and learnt from Pattabhi Jois a contemporary of B.K.S Iyengar.

    I'm grateful that I was born in India and have the opportunity to learn Iyengar yoga for just 8$ per month..three classes a week

    Good luck
    ॐ महेश्वराय नमः

    || Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya ||

    Hara Hara Mahadeva Shambo Shankara

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Namaste.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: I saw Iyengar in person once. My take was that it was all hatha, no philosophy, and incredibly strict hatha at that. Some people got injured trying to do the 'basics' . So I came away with a "Be cautious," feeling. But that was just me. There were people there going all gaga.

    Sounds like you need a far gentler approach.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Yes, I need a very gentle approach. This question was spurred by another discussion about integrating meditation and yoga. It was recommended that Iyengar was the route to go to avoid the 'New-Age-removed-from-Hinduism-yoga'. I will bear your caution in mind, of course. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by realdemigod View Post
    Namaste Jainarayan,
    I hope the school you found is affiliated to B.K.S. Iyengar and you better do some research on it before you decide to join.
    Given the pricing and schedule I think joining is out of the question. So, not to worry about that. In reading further about the school, only one teacher is certified in Iyengar yoga:

    XXXX has been practicing yoga for 10 years. In her quest for knowledge and as a vehicle to improve her personal practice, she found herself drawn to the endless refinements of the Iyengar method.

    As a student and teacher the deeper she dug the more she realized that the surface had hardly been scratched and found herself truly enjoying the endless learning and discovery it brought. She has been following and studying Iyengar yoga intensely for the last 7 years.

    After completing the teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York led by senior teachers James Murphy and Mary Dunn. She was awarded certification in the Iyengar method as a Intro One Teacher.

    Currently XXXX is continuing her studies in New York and also working with world renowned Iyengar teacher Patricia Walden in Boston to further her qualification as a teacher and yogi .She is completing an additional two year teaching program finishing in June.

    Her passion is simply to guide students towards a better understanding of this method and then to observe the students and teach according to what their practice requires. Keeping it simple... XXXX believes interest is the most important thing a student can bring to yoga.
    I would suggest the book mentioned below as it is quite comprehensive. Even though after reading the book you might think you could do many of the asanas (poses) from the book but Guruji advises it's always better to learn from a proper yoga instructor. But there will be always some asanas very simple which a beginner can do effortlessly. The book even gives a regiment from beginner to advanced and also by weeks.


    Fortunately I'm not one to try to attempt too much. I've learned my limitations... the hard way. I'm in no hurry to master any asanas. Any little bit I do today is more than I did yesterday, I always say.

    And I see you are from US and yoga there is commodity now and a market worth billions of dollars. All I can say is please don't go by the name of Iyengar yoga as many people who learnt directly from the students of Guruji or from their students' students.. you never know but still use Guruji's name just to attract people and make money. (Even this started happening in India)
    Yes, it's common practice to co-opt a famous name. One example is the upsurge in Sōka Gakkai because Tina Turner practices it. This is why I'm reluctant to just jump into something.

    I heard from my teacher who learnt directly from Guruji that Guruji never makes a beginner to do advanced asanas and even in our class we use lots of props (a trademark of Iyengar yoga) just to educate your body till flexibility comes in. Same asana can be done by a beginner with props in one way and in another way by someone advanced and some don't even use props.
    I will definitely need props.

    It could be also possible people from this school learnt Guruji books and try to teach on their own.

    http://www.amazon.com/Light-Yoga-B-K...=light+on+yoga

    If you think you can learn from dvds I would suggest Richard Freeman videos as he is really good and learnt from Pattabhi Jois a contemporary of B.K.S Iyengar.

    I'm grateful that I was born in India and have the opportunity to learn Iyengar yoga for just 8$ per month..three classes a week

    Good luck
    The book you recommended looks like a later edition of this one http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ligh...=9780805210316 which I would probably go with, rather than the B&N copy.

    I envy you. Yeah, there are benefits to living in India. When I order puja items or books, or anything else I can't get here, the prices are very low. It's the shipping that kills you. A $20 order can be $13 in shipping, for example. But it's usually worth it.


    Thanks much.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Namaste.

    If you have a Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit Plus w/ Balance Board is like 60 to 80 bucks and there are several beginner asanas as well as more advanced. It is designed for people to ease into the postures. If you don't have a Wii you can get the whole package with system game and balance board for around 180 bucks.

    I found a lot of benefit in it, my 52 year old mother with degenerative disk disease also found it beneficial. Once you develop some flexibility it will be easier to move on to more difficult asanas without straining yourself.
    Aum Namah Shivaya
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Reality must always be real. It is not with forms and names. That which underlies these is the reality. It underlies limitations, being itself limitless. It is not bound. It underlies unrealities, itself being real. Reality is that which is. It is as it is. It transcends speech. It is beyond the expressions 'existence, non-existence', etc." ~Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi~

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    You said somewhere that you were doing TRX exercises. TRX has very good mobility DVDs and some of the movements are yoga inspired. You can do this at home. This is very good preparation for yoga asanas.

    Also, you don't necessarily need to follow yoga classes every week. That's what they tell you, because they want a steady income. You could go every two or three weeks and practice at home the rest of the time.

    Light on yoga is a very good book, but there are a lot of advanced postures in it. You will need a good beginners book too, like this one: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-...=9780756633622

    If you are looking for yoga anatomy books, these are the best I think: http://www.bandhayoga.com/

    Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Namaste.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    You said somewhere that you were doing TRX exercises. TRX has very good mobility DVDs and some of the movements are yoga inspired. You can do this at home. This is very good preparation for yoga asanas.
    Yes, I was doing TRX at a fitness club I joined, but they changed the schedule so much that I was not able to get there for the classes, so I withdrew. They geared the classes towards stay-at-home moms and retirees.

    TRX was my favorite class at the club, and is excellent for core strengthening and flexibility. I'm going to re-visit this and if I can manage to get a class at a time I can attend, I can do a drop-in without joining up.

    The yoga school, as I may have mentioned also has a drop-in arrangement, and a once-a-week Iyengar level 1 class. There is no harm in trying it out.

    Also, you don't necessarily need to follow yoga classes every week. That's what they tell you, because they want a steady income. You could go every two or three weeks and practice at home the rest of the time.
    That is exactly what my accupuncturist, who is big into yoga and understands its roots and heritage, said. I might consider the weekly drop-in class at the studio, then do the rest of the discipline at home.

    Light on yoga is a very good book, but there are a lot of advanced postures in it. You will need a good beginners book too, like this one: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-...=9780756633622

    If you are looking for yoga anatomy books, these are the best I think: http://www.bandhayoga.com/
    I have both Light on Yoga and The Path to Holistic Health waiting at the B&N store. You can order on-line and do an in-store pick up. I'll get them tomorrow. I have two weeks to review them and return, if necessary. But I'm sure that won't happen. Be assured I have no intention of doing more than my body will allow. I need to hear my sports chiro chewing me out!? Nuh uh. In fact, I'm going to get a block, strap, mat and cushion this weekend at our local sporting goods chain store.

    Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.
    I think you are right... there are very few teachers or authors who are not "tainted" to some degree by $ signs and fame. But we can't let ourselves get too cynical or we will write everyone off.

    I think anything that requires such deep concentration to do properly entails a certain meditative aspect. For me it has a multi-purpose goal... joining mind, body, spirit in my bhakti and sadhana; and physical fitness and recovery.

    I found out via x-rays ordered by my sports chiro that I have a calcification in my right shoulder and C6 vertebra, which may preclude any serious weight training anymore. My initial p.t. consists of serious stretching from the chiro as well as on my own.

    So you see, I have a method to my madness, as the saying goes.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  8. #8

    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Namaste,

    One thing led to another, and I have been studying with a very experienced Iyengar Yoga teacher for the past couple of months. I started in her beginning class so as not to miss anything. I'm very pleased with her teaching and her knowledge. Even though her beginner class is very gentle, she has an even gentler class which is especially geared toward people who have medical issues.

    So if your teacher is anything like her, I would not fear becoming injured.

    I found an excellent book for beginners -- "PRELIMINARY COURSE - Yoga in Action" by Geeta S. Iyengar. I got my copy from these folks:

    https://www.toolsforyoga.net/store/M...refab&list=C23

    I am also reading "Light on Life" by BKS Iyengar. This is a wonderful book. It doesn't explain how to do asana, but it is all about why practice Hatha yoga in the first place.

    Pranam

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    I saw in the list of books that his daughter Geeta has written a few. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just try one class. The worst that can happen is I've wasted $18 and 90 minutes. I'm going to keep looking though; I hope there is more than one school to choose from.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: Iyengar yoga recommended to me; I have questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jainarayan View Post
    I found a local Iyengar yoga school. An excerpt from their site:

    I cannot sit cross-legged for more than 15-20 mins. without my foot going numb (compressed nerve even after my back surgery), and I am extremely inflexible.

    Thanks for anything you can suggest.
    i would quote what yajvan ji quoted recently. it is a call / sign that helps you move to the next level. why do not you try for a level. my experience is that it is very very painful during starting but the body get used to it after few sessions. i am a serious walker ( around 4.5 kms per day) for many months now, but i get anxious to attend the training each week. each part of my body aches for two days but it is advice able as the body is reacting to techniques it never had a opportunity for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post
    Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.
    Sahasranama ji . plz do not get me wrong. they are many ppl who are determined and focused to help. they take money no doubt only to make sure that you will be committed and remain committed. plz do not get me wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jainarayan View Post
    I saw in the list of books that his daughter Geeta has written a few. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just try one class. The worst that can happen is I've wasted $18 and 90 minutes. I'm going to keep looking though; I hope there is more than one school to choose from.
    yes. that is the best approach at this time.


    PS. i am beginner level student of Iyengar yoga and i am wondering why did not i not attend it earlier when my body was more flexible. plz take my above advice based on this statement.
    regards
    Ceedaar
    Last edited by ceedaar; 27 July 2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: clarity
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