Yoga in the Iyengar Lineage
“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”
- B.K.S. Iyengar
Here at the Iyengar Yoga Center of Vermont we are honored to offer yoga as developed by world-renowned Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar and his family, daughter Geeta, son Prashant, and granddaughter Abhijata. The Sanskrit word for lineage, parampara, connotes an unbroken chain of instruction and devotion from teacher, guru, to student, or sisya. B.K.S Iyengar was taught yoga in his youth by his brother-in-law, T. Krishnamacharya. B.K.S. Iyengar developed his innovative and inspired approach to yoga through intense practice and self-study. We continue this tradition through a dedication to B.K.S. Iyengar's teaching methods.
Iyengar Yoga, known for its focus on alignment and the use of props, is a systematic and progressive way of learning yoga. Teaching is oriented towards gradual but steady progress, starting from the foundation of the body in each pose, making it ideal for beginners. Each Iyengar Yoga class is a unique sequence developed by the teacher leading towards a deepening of particular actions in the body and building up slowly to deeper layers of understanding within the poses. Through skilled instruction and practice, students learn to penetrate beyond the physical body to the inner kosas (layers) of mind, energy and spirit, gaining vitality, clarity and calm through the practice.
More than 2,500 years ago, Sage Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras, a written work on the subject of Astanga Yoga, the eight-limbed path towards spiritual fulfillment. The eight limbs are yama (moral conduct), niyama (personal disciplines), asana (postures), pranayama (control of the breath), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (total absorption).
B.K.S Iyengar believed that asanas and pranayama can be a template to explore, evaluate and experience each of the other limbs. Asana can even carry us through to the higher limbs of yoga, including pratyhara, dharana and dhyana, directing practitioners towards Samadhi, the complete freedom at the end of the yogic journey.
Iyengar Yoga addresses this journey towards spiritual fulfillment from a perspective which is practical, experiential and intensely personal. Iyengar Yoga begins with ongoing practice of the yoga asanas (postures) with a focus on alignment. In time students learn to penetrate beyond the outer physical layer to the inner kosas (layers) of mind, energy and spirit.
“The engaging spirit of inquiry, welcoming generosity and honed precision that my teacher at IYCVT brings to her teaching of Iyengar yoga has been an inspiration; her guidance has encouraged me to cultivate self-awareness and a sense of compassion in my own practice.” -- IYCVT student
The focus in Iyengar Yoga is on studentship and cultivating a passion for learning and inquiry. Teachers learn in a mentorship role through ongoing study with the Iyengar family and senior teachers with whom they develop lifetime relationships with.
Many Iyengar Yoga teachers travel regularly to Pune, India where the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute and the home of the Iyengar family is located.
B.K.S. Iyengar passed away in 2014, and Geeta Iyengar passed away in 2018. Prashant Iyengar and Abhijata Iyengar, and other senior teachers still carry on the teaching at RIMYI.
Photo: Director of IYCVT, Rebecca, visiting Geeta Iyengar in Pune in 2015.