- Published: 12 May 2011
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Here at Yoga Hamburg we practise Hatha Yoga in the style of Iyengar-Yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar is internationally the most distinguished Yoga teacher. Born 1918 in India, he dedicated his life to the development of Yoga. His daughter Geeta Iyengar adapted the asanas (postures) which had originally been practised by male yogis only, to the needs of women. It is typical for Iyengar style Yoga to use props like belts, blankets, chairs and blocks during the session. They facilitate or intensify the accurate performance.
Iyengar style Yoga strengthens muscles and ligaments and creates room in the joints. It can be either dynamic or static but is always well aligned while the grade of difficulty can be adapted to the ability of each practinioner. For each class the postures will be compiled afresh from the repertoire of all asanas: corresponding to the knowledge of the participants and their physical and mental needs. We teach standing postures, forward and backward bends, stretching twists, balancings and inverted poses. During Breathing practice (pranayama) we aim to reach a meditative state and relaxation.
Yoga asanas have a wide-ranging effect: they connect our experiences of body, spirit and soul in a holistic process. This integration is experienced as physical and emotional lightness, as wellbeing. The room of possible movements – of the body and of the soul – is extended.
Asanas unfold their dynamic effects on diverse levels. On the physical level they prolongue and stengthen each muscle group. This leads to more power, freedom of movement and improved stance. As they stimulate the metabolim, thus leading to increased oxygene intake and detoxication, the asanas strengthen harmoniously the function of all organs and systems. This helps to maintain or to restore good health. The focus on awareness is as important with the asanas as it is with the breathing techniques. We improve our concentration and calm our brain. On the emotional level yoga can lead to transformation: through practising asanas and controlled breathing, we can become aware of emotions and feelings that have manifested themselves in our muscles, our stance and movements and learn to let them go. This process frees the body and enables it to find back to its natural balance.
Such a process takes time. Although in the beginning progress will be visible after a few weeks or months by increased wellbeing, the practitioners of yoga count in years. Only through perseverance we manage to connect our consciousness with gradually deepening layers of our body and it may well happen that we glimpse a flash – reflected in a calm mind - a sense of the possibilities of our divine soul. Combining the energies of body, breath and mind with a devoted attitude we can reach joy of living and freedom.