At the age of 16 B.K.S. Iyengar was introduced to yoga by his Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Iyengar died 2014 but his the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India, is still open. Iyengar is the author of 14 books.
Since Iyengar comes from the same teacher as Shri Patthabi Jois, Iyengar Yoga also consists of eight limbs of yoga. These are:
Yama – moral codes
Niyama – self-purification and study
Asana – poses
Pranayama – breath control
Pratyahara – sense control
Dharana – concentration
Dhyana – meditation
Samadhi – self-realization
What distinguishes Iyengar from any other yoga is:
- Iyengar Yoga can be practiced by all, even people in wheelchairs.
- The emphasis is given to precision and alignment in all postures.
- The use of self designed props such as wooden gadgets, belts, ropes helps the practitioner to achieve perfection in all the postures.
I recommend going to a class, there is a list of certified teachers here. A good teacher will help you progress through the various poses by using different props. It can take many months, even years, to be able to do a beginners pose if you have som health issues.
If you also want to practice at home it might be helpful to consult Iyengar’s book Light on Yoga. The book was first published in 1966 and has been translated into 18 languages. It is the main text in Iyengar Yoga, and have pictures of all the poses as well as guidance of how to set up your practice for a variety of health issues. I used this book as well as B.K.S Iyengar’s Light on Life:the Journey of Wholeness, Inner Peace and Ultimate Freedom and Patricia Walden’s Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health.
The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS) has a collection of Iyengar related videos here.