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Mastering Iyengar Yoga Poses: A Guide to Precision and Alignment

Iyengar Yoga, known for its focus on precision and alignment, uses props like blocks and straps to make poses accessible. Here’s a concise guide to mastering some foundational Iyengar Yoga poses, emphasising correct alignment and the use of props.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  • How to Perform: Stand with feet together, weight evenly distributed. Engage thighs, lift kneecaps, lengthen spine, and relax shoulders.

  • Props: Use a block between thighs to ensure proper alignment.

  • Benefits: Improves posture, balance, and body awareness.

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

  • How to Perform: Start on hands and knees. Lift hips, straighten legs, and form an inverted V-shape. Press heels towards the floor.

  • Props: Place blocks under hands for tight hamstrings; use a strap around elbows to keep arms aligned.

  • Benefits: Stretches the entire body, strengthens arms and legs, relieves tension.

Lady doing downward facing Dog pose

3. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

  • How to Perform: Stand with feet apart, right foot out. Reach forward, lower hand to shin or block, extend left arm up.

  • Props: Use a block under the hand to maintain spinal alignment; practice against a wall to ensure proper form.

  • Benefits: Opens hips, stretches legs, improves stability and balance.

4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

  • How to Perform: Lie on back, knees bent. Lift hips, interlace fingers under back, and roll shoulders under.

  • Props: Place a block under the sacrum for support; use a strap around thighs to keep them parallel.

  • Benefits: Strengthens back, glutes, and legs; opens chest and shoulders.

Pregnant lady doing Bridge pose

5. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

  • How to Perform: Lie flat on back, legs extended, arms by sides, palms up. Relax completely.

  • Props: Use a bolster under knees for lower back support; cover with a blanket for warmth.

  • Benefits: Promotes relaxation, reduces stress, helps integrate the practice.

By incorporating these tips and props, you can perform Iyengar Yoga poses safely and effectively, enhancing your practice and overall well-being.

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