"Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit the broken pieces together. Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life. Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed. To a yogi, freedom implies not being battered by the dualities of life, its ups and downs, its pleasures and its suffering. It implies equanimity and ultimately that there is an inner serene core of one's being that is never out of touch with the unchanging, eternal infinite." —B.K.S. Iyengar
What is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga is named after and developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. You may have heard of other styles of yoga such as Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini. Iyengar Yoga has many benefits, but if we had to name just two, they would be detail and precision. Here's what we mean:
Attention to detail: We take time in each pose to see that you both learn and absorb instruction. Those who enjoy flow often find that taking Iyengar classes helps them improve their poses because it provides fantastic instruction and thoughtfulness in approaching each pose. We welcome all students of yoga to try one of our classes and see the many benefits of the Iyengar Tradition!
- Precise focus on body alignment: You will hear our teachers giving plenty of instruction on how to align your body in each pose. We deepen your understanding of alignment by using props such as blankets, blocks, straps, and bolsters. Props help to offer support so that you can observe alignment with more clarity and sensitivity in ways that will leave you feeling fantastic!
The Iyengar Yoga Center is Nashville's only certified Iyengar Studio, which means all our teachers are either certified or in the process of getting their certification. The Iyengar Tradition and National Organization also takes great pride in the integrity of our teacher training. The Iyengar system has an extensive and thorough training program based on years of practice and study. Teachers maintain a commitment to daily practice, study regularly with senior Iyengar teachers, and have passed a rigorous assessment exam. As a certified studio, we are able to use the national accreditation seal.
What kinds of students do you see?
All kinds of students love Iyengar Yoga! We have students who drop in when they can, and we have students who come three days a week. We have students who are seniors who study next to students who are in high school. A pregnant mom can practice next to a triathlete. Our use of props to accommodate varying needs of our students allows us to help our students make the most of their practice and to challenge each student at their own pace.
Our students who dedicate themselves to a regular practice—which can be as easy as committing to class one day a week while practicing at home—find the long-term benefits of Iyengar Yoga reflected in their daily lives in many ways. To name a few, Iyengar Yoga improves the quality of your health, increases mindfulness, and taps a well of gratitude inside that flows outward into the world around you.
And while we have all kinds of students, we do ask that you be mindful of the level of the class you’re attending. Each class is marked with beginner, intermediate, or advanced in the class description. If you have never been to a yoga class before, please start with a beginner series. If none work for your schedule, contact us with a little more information about yourself, and we’ll be sure to let you know some great options for your first time visiting our studio.
Who is B.K.S Iyengar?
Mr. Iyengar was the world’s foremost teacher of yoga. He is respected and revered as a master teacher worldwide by students and teachers of all yoga traditions. Mr. Iyengar’s life spanned over 90 years of history, rich with triumphs and sufferings. He writes openly about his life in a number of books, including his most recent book Light on Life. Guruji, as his students affectionately call him, was born in the small village of Bellur. He was born on Saturday, December 14, 1918. His mother was ill with influenza during his birth, and he writes that it was by the grace of God that he and his mother survived his birth. As a result, he was a noticeably sickly and weak child.
His father died when he was nine years old from an acute appendicitis attack. Iyengar’s older sister was married to the great yogi Sri T. Krishnamacharya. Iyengar says that destiny came to meet him when he went to visit his sister after his father’s death and his brother-in-law offered to teach him yoga to help him improve his health and strength. It is from these humble beginnings that Iyengar began his vast, profound study of yoga.
Iyengar’s accomplishments have been many, and he is considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on yoga. The BBC recently called him the Michelangelo of yoga. Iyengar has authored numerous books on yoga, including Light on Yoga, a commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Light on Pranayama, and most recently Light on Life. He continued to be a devoted student of yoga and teacher to many. His students studied with him and his family out of respect, appreciation, and true gratitude for his generosity in sharing his depth of knowledge on the subject of yoga. In the Gita, verse 3.21, Krishna says, “Whatever a great man does, ordinary people will do; whatever standard he sets everyone else will follow.” Mr. Iyengar’s high standards of excellence in practice and teaching and his profound knowledge of yoga has elevated the practice of yoga for all for years to come. Iyengar was a skilled yogi and a profound communicator of what his life’s work has unveiled to him. In this way, he has set an extraordinary example for us all. He writes in Light on Life of yoga:
“Its goal is nothing less than to attain the integrity of oneness—oneness with ourselves and as a consequence oneness with all that lies beyond ourselves. We become the harmonious microcosm in the universal macrocosm. Oneness, what I often call integration, is the foundation for wholeness, inner peace, and ultimate freedom.
“Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit the broken pieces together. Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life. Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed. To a yogi, freedom implies not being battered by the dualities of life, its ups and downs, its pleasures and its suffering. It implies equanimity and ultimately that there is an inner serene core of one’s being that is never out of touch with the unchanging, eternal infinite.”
Mr. Iyengar passed away peacefully on August 20, 2014. Our greatest hope as an Iyengar Center is that we can share to the best of our ability his life’s work with you.