Yoga is not simply exercise or stretching. It is a practice, with a philosophy behind it, that teaches the individual how to achieve a calm mind.

Essentially, yoga is a complete science dealing with all aspects of man from the physical to the psychological, intellectual, and emotional. If practiced with dedication, yoga has the ability to draw out positive qualities.

[Source: Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health by B.K.S. Iyengar]

Iyengar Yoga is based on the teachings of the yoga master Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar who began teaching in Pune, India, in 1936 at the age of 18.

Iyengar Yoga emphasises precision and alignment. Quality of movement is prioritised. In Iyengar Yoga, you learn to move with ease in your body while working within your limitations. This makes the postures (asanas) safe to perform.
Go to What is Iyengar Yoga? section for more details.

People tend to stretch from their more flexible areas and rely on their better-developed muscles for strength, thus reinforcing postural habits.

Iyengar Yoga encourages weak parts to strengthen and stiff areas to release, thus awakening and realigning the whole body. As the body moves into better alignment, less muscular work is required and relaxation increases naturally.

B.K.S. Iyengar introduced props into the modern practice of yoga to allow all practitioners access to the benefits of the postures regardless of physical condition, age, or length of study.  Props help all practitioners (including the most advanced students) to gain sensitivity in the poses and also how to correctly use effort in poses. In addition, props enable the student to receive the deep benefits of postures when held over a significant time period.

Props include blankets, belts, blocks, chairs and other objects that help students experience the various yoga poses more profoundly.

Props enhance personal understanding of a posture and its effects.

Wear something comfortable that you can move around in, avoiding excessively loose or baggy clothing. The teacher should be able to see your knees to check for proper alignment, so please wear shorts or tights.

Comfortable exercise clothes are best. Please come to class with clean feet.  Yoga is practiced with bare feet.

Basically, just bring yourself and the clothes that you plan to wear. The studio is equipped with yoga mats and all the necessary equipment that you may need. If you wish to bring your own yoga mat, you may do so.

Please be on time. Arrive 5-10 minutes before the class is scheduled, to allow time to register at the front desk and change for class.

It is best to leave 1 to 2 hours after a light meal and 3 hours after a heavy meal before practising Yoga. A cup of tea, juice, coffee and toast is often enough to keep you going without disturbing your digestion in class.

Avoid alcohol before class.

You will feel much lighter and be more sensitive to the effects of the practice if you follow these guidelines.

Yes, but you should not be drinking anything during the class (although there are some exceptions such as if you are diabetic or pregnant). If you bring a water bottle, please do not bring it onto the practice floor. Drink before or after class. Although this may seem like counter to popular culture, with practice you will discover that the body will respond better when you absolve from drinking during the actual class and get in the habit of hydrating yourself sufficiently before and after class.

Please advise your teacher if you are on your menstrual cycle. There are some postures that are unsuitable at this time. The teacher will provide adaptations to these poses or alternative poses that are helpful and more suitable during your menstrual cycle.

Advise your teacher of your concerns before class. Iyengar Yoga teachers are trained to modify and suggest alternative strategies (or postures) to enable you to practice safely and intelligently.

Please advise your teacher if you have a headache, earache, back, neck or knee issues, eye problems, high blood-pressure or any other problems of this sort. There are specific postures and sequences that can assist your recovery. In some cases certain postures should be avoided.

If you have a fever do not come to class.

The great advantage of Iyengar Yoga is that it can be practiced by anyone, irrespective of age, sex, and physical condition.

Do not be put off from trying a yoga class because you feel that you are too old, too stiff, too fat, too thin, too tired, etc. There are all sorts of people who do Yoga. Yoga has something to offer everyone.

Iyengar Yoga teachers are trained to offer adaptations where necessary and suggest the use of props (belts, blankets, blocks) to make the poses accessible and safe for everyone. It won't be easy, there is much to learn in Yoga and there are challenges - for every one and every body.

Mr. Iyengar says: "Most types of exercise are competitive. Yoga, although noncompetitive, is nevertheless challenging. The challenge is to one’s own will power. It is a competition between one’s self and one’s body."

[Source: Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health]

At this stage, we are not offering specific pre-natal classes. If you are a regular student who has already been practicing, please inform us if you are pregnant where we will provide further advice. If you are not already practicing Yoga, we advise that you do not start a practice of Yoga in the first trimester but contact us after the first trimester. It is possible to attend selected classes.

Most students often start by coming to one class a week, but then later will find that attending two or three times a week makes a noticeable difference to their understanding and progress.

You will benefit most by consistent and regular attendance.

The practice of yoga makes the body strong and flexible. Yoga will also improve the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. Yoga also brings emotional stability and clarity of mind.

However,  that is only the beginning of the journey to samadhi, or self-realization, which is the ultimate aim of yoga. The idea of self-realisation may sound like a lofty goal. Yoga takes you towards this goal in an incremental and safe pace with every step along the way offering something that improves your life.

Source: Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health

Yogic science centres the intelligence in two areas: the heart and the head. The intelligence of the heart, sometimes also called the “root mind,” is the actual agent of ahankara or false pride, which disturbs the intelligence of the head, causing fluctuations in the body and mind.

The aim of yoga is to calm the chaos of conflicting impulses and thoughts.

Yoga is not a miracle cure that can free a person from all stress, but it can help to minimize it.

Yogic science believes that the nerves control the unconscious mind, and that when the nervous system is strong, a person faces stressful situations more positively. Asanas improve blood flow to all the cells of the body, revitalizing the nerve cells. This flow strengthens the nervous system and its capacity for enduring stress.

[Source: Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health]

An asana is a posture. It is not a posture that you assume mechanically. It involves a thoughtful process at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance. Your weight has to be evenly distributed over muscles, bones, and joints, just as your intelligence must be engaged at every level. You have to create space in your muscles and your skin, fitting the fine network of your entire body into the asana. This helps the organs of perception (the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin) to discern the subtlety of each movement.

This conjunction between the organs of action and organs of perception occurs when the student reaches a subjective understanding of an asana, and begins, through instinct as well as knowledge, to adjust his or her movements correctly. Practice with dedication. Be completely absorbed by the asana.

[Source: Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health]

When you practice asanas (poses) correctly, you realign your physical body so that the muscles, joints and tissues work more efficiently. The classic poses, when practiced with discrimination and awareness, bring the body, mind, intelligence, nerves, consciousness, and the self together into a single, harmonious whole. Asanas may appear to deal with the physical body alone but, in fact, different asanas can affect the chemical messages sent to and from the brain, improving and stabilizing your mental state.

Yoga’s unique ability to soothe the nerves—the medium between the physiological body and the psychological body—calms the brain, makes the mind fresh and tranquil, and relaxes the entire body.

In summary, asanas (poses):

- tone the muscles, tissues, ligaments, joints, and nerves,

- maintain the smooth functioning and health of all the body’s systems.

- relax the body and mind, allowing both to recover from fatigue or weakness, and the stress of daily life.

- boost metabolism, lymphatic circulation, and hormonal secretions, and bring about a chemical balance in the body.

Asanas, one of yoga’s most significant “tools,” help the sincere student develop physically and spiritually. The ancient sages believed that if you put your whole heart into your practice, you become a master of your circumstances and time.

Asanas are one of the major “tools” of yoga. Their benefits range from the physical level to the spiritual. That is why yoga is called sarvanga sadhana, or holistic practice.

"The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”

[Source: Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health]

Iyengar Yoga Centre of Hong Kong

19 Floor, The Pemberton
22-26 Bonham Strand
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

+852 2541 0401
85296872538 (WhatsApp)
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