Classes are usually for 90 minutes and are performed barefoot. A general class will move through a sequence of standing and seated poses, inversions where appropriate, and finally relaxation.
All Iyengar teachers sequence classes very carefully and classes are often ‘themed’ i.e. backbends, forward bends, twists and so on. On the Introductory Syllabus alone, there are over 60 different postures. So with different sequences for different outcomes, classes are never repetitive.
It is important to wear comfortable clothes that stretch well. Leggings and a t-shirt are ideal. Wear layers to accommodate warming up and cooling down. I have spare mats and equipment but bring a blanket if you have one.
For more information visti the Iyengar Yoga website.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. ‘I can’t even touch my toes, can I still come to yoga?’
A. As soon as I tell anyone what I do, this seems to be the standard response! I take no credit for the following words, they’re paraphrased from one of my own teachers but saying you can’t do yoga because you are not flexible is rather like saying you can’t shower because you are too dirty! Flexibility is developed during practice but it needs to be balanced with strength, awareness and body intelligence. This is why Iyengar Yoga is such a gift. Through the use of props e.g. blocks, if your hand doesn’t go to the floor the floor comes to the hand. So every student is able to perform the correct action without danger of injury.
Q. I’ve just found out I’m pregnant can I start coming to yoga?
A. Starting Yoga in pregnancy is not ideal, start before! Even continuing students are advised to avoid standing poses in the first 13 weeks. However, there are postures that are appropriate and helpful to expectant mothers. Please call or email Karen for further details
Q. I want to start yoga but I’m really not happy about coming to a class where everyone knows what they’re doing.
A. When I went to my first class I turned up with a camping mat because it looked kind of similar to what I’d seen ladies heading into the Leisure Centre with. After a couple of jumping skids across the polished wooden floor my teacher discretely came up to me and told me to work on the floor. I perspired, I went left as everyone else went right, I fell over, burped loudly in my first ever twist and fell asleep in relaxation. You couldn’t possibly have a less auspicious start. The point is, everyone vividly remembers his or her first class. Continuing students tend to be a totally non-judgmental, kind and helpful bunch. They’ll lend you equipment and help in you in any way they can. If you were certain you would rather have some experience beforehand or want a refresher before returning after a break call me regarding one to one sessions.
Q. I’ve had a bad back for years. My chiropractor advised me to go to yoga but the class I went to made it even worse.
A. Sadly this is a common experience and not one that has a single answer. Some yoga isn’t taught as well as it could be. Even if you decide not to do an Iyengar class, ensure your teacher is qualified and regulated. Be mindful of your own input. Many of us are competitive and will think we should be able to do the same as the person next to us and push our bodies to do more than is appropriate. Finally, if the muscles in our body ‘freeze’ around the site of an injury there may be additional discomfort as they release. In an Iyengar class you will be taught how to align yourself well and improve any back pain by understanding the correct actions of the spine.