You may have asked yourself why you keep returning to your yoga class. When we start yoga most of us don’t really know what to expect and the first class may come as a bit of a shock. Maybe we expect to be sitting cross-legged or tied up in knots or even standing on our head, but in the Iyengar yoga method you are put through rigorous standing poses in the very first class. The hamstrings sing, the arms tire from holding them up for so long and our concentration is demanded at every moment.
The crescendo is reached by Sarvangasana, shoulder stand, which is performed in every class. For some it is scary to go upside down, perhaps for the first time in their life.The real change occurs when we lie in Savasana. The body is relieved to be resting on the ground and to let go. Stilling the mind, on the other hand is more difficult and an enduring challenge.
How we feel after the class may give a clue as to why we return and keep practising yoga. We asked Institute students from all different levels and types of class to give an immediate and instinctive response to their experience.
Introduction to Iyengar Yoga Course
“A sense of accomplishment.”
“Tired but challenged in a good way, I sleep better!”
Beginners Class – for students with up to two years of regular Iyengar yoga practice
“I feel a great sense of lightness in my mind and bones.”
“When I walk away from a class I feel fluid and gentle, at ease. I hear the birds more clearly and walk taller. It’s a good feeling.”
General Class – for students with up to four years of regular Iyengar yoga practice
“After class I feel I have aligned my mind with my body, which always produces a feeling of calm and wellbeing, followed by a deep sleep!”
“Over time it is apparent that yoga has a calming effect on my mind.”
Intermediate Class – for students with more than four years of regular Iyengar yoga practice
“Physically and mentally in a different space.”
“More balanced and content.”,
“A sense of achievement after being challenged to the limits, focussed.”
“Twinges of discomfort due to everyday ironed out.”
“I arrive as one person and leave as another. My creaking and groaning body does stretches and postures it never knew it could do and seems to enjoy the challenge.”
“Mentally I am often stressed and feel under pressure and think twice about coming to a class, but as soon as I enter the building I know I have done the right thing and after the class I am a different person- more positive and relaxed and all the problems I came in with seem so unimportant a I get everything in perspective. It is invaluable to my daily physical and metal wellbeing.”
“Relaxed.” “Concentrated, calm, flexible.” “Very happy because I love yoga.” “Slightly sore.” “Peaceful.”
“I always leave feeling quiet, calm and more in touch with my lovely bump.”
“It really is a chance to stop and think about what is important, work hard and come out feeling relaxed and ready to take on the next few days ahead.”