• Yoga by the Lake

BKS Iyengar and his Teaching

The world’s most widely practised method of yoga is that taught by the late Yogacharya BKS Iyengar of Pune, India.  He died in 2014, having maintained a strong daily practice into his 90s.

To quote wikipedia:

"BKS Iyengar was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He was the author of many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life. Iyengar was one of the earliest students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is often referred to as "the father of modern yoga". He has been credited with popularizing yoga, first in India and then around the world."

Here's a (silent) video of Iyengar practising in 1938:

BKS Iyengar was credited by Time magazine as being one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the 20th century.

If you want to be inspired here's BKS Iyengar practising 39 years later:

And 53 years later(!) in 1991, practising backbends at his Institute in Pune (where I went to study in 2007):

The Iyengar Yoga System of Teaching

Learning is through a carefully graded and systematic programme of asana (posture). Pranayama (breath control) is gradually introduced once students have a firm foundation of yoga practise. Yoga practice both relaxes and energizes the body and mind and brings vitality, flexibility, strength, concentration,self-confidence and mental calm. Yoga is suitable for all types of people and all levels of fitness.

Practicing Yoga helps you overcome and prevent many stresses, strains, aches and pains. It promotes a firm foundation for health and well-being.

The Iyengar Yoga system of teaching is methodical and progressive, emphasising detailed correctness and absolute safety. When necessary, it uses supports called 'props' that allow students to progress in their practice of postures safely at their own pace, to suit their body. Beginners work in a basic way on simple postures according to their capabilities. As they develop they then move on to more refined ways of working as well as to more complex postures.

Iyengar Yoga Teachers

Qualified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Certification MarkAll Iyengar yoga teachers are trained to rigorously high standards. After training regularly with a qualified teacher for a minimum of three consecutive years, candidates undertake a two year teacher training programme followed by the Introductory level assessment. Once qualified, teachers must continue training regularly and complete professional development training each year in order to maintain their membership of the Iyengar Yoga Association UK. In this way the care and precision that characterises Iyengar yoga is maintained.

These high teaching standards are part of the reason Iyengar Yoga is the most widely performed method of yoga worldwide. The teacher Certification Mark shown here is the guarantee of this quality.

I do ask that Private Tuition students pay in advance please.

It is really helpful to me if you could use the first method (Online Bank Payment), but cheques are also fine.

 

Online Bank Payment

Please use the following:

Details

If you enter your name as a reference I do not need any more details.  If you are unable to enter your name, please email me when you make the payment to let me know who you are and what the payment is for. Many thanks!

 

Cheque Payment

For those who need to pay by cheque, please make cheques payable to “Life Long Ltd” and send to:
Nick Long
Little Court
Grib Lane
Blagdon
North Somerset BS40 7SA.

One of the great fallacies is that you need to be flexible to do yoga.  The most referred to book describing yoga (the "Bible" if you like!) is BKS Iyengar's "Light on Yoga" which describes 200 yoga postures, and nowhere does he mention flexibility.  Iyengar Yoga opens joints up keeping them healthy, and builds strong and supple muscles. A side benefit is that this leads to more flexibility.

Being inflexible is a great reason to come to yoga class.  It means you will be less likely to injure yourself and you will improve.  Don't forget, yoga has nothing to do with what other people are capable of - it is a practice for oneself.

Yes.  There are men in the classes.

More and more men are beginning to realise the benefits of Iyengar Yoga. For instance it has been taught on a weekly basis to all of the Manchester United football team to increase overall fitness and minimise injuries in the players. England Rugby players (including one in the World Cup winning squad) have used Iyengar Yoga to help resolve injuries and the English Cricket Board also recommends it.

The postures are a challenge to all. Yoga pays no regard to colour, creed or sex: all can take part.

"A lovely, friendly class. First class instruction from a dedicated follower of yoga. You always leave feeling happier than when you arrived."
Jo, Winscombe

Many students start practising with back pain, or other common ailments, and they find yoga helps.

Please ensure your discuss any injuries or health problems with Nick before you attend the class (or before the class if you are a regular student with a temporary condition). For more serious conditions, a specialised remedial yoga class may be more required.

Yes, but if you have not done any yoga before, you should wait until your 14th week and attend a specialised pregnancy yoga class at an Iyengar Yoga centre (pregnancy classes are offered in Bath and Bristol).

You may join at any time up to the 28th week. Only students with Iyengar yoga experience may join after the 28th week.

Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach.  It is best to leave at least three hours after a main meal, or two hours after a snack.

Wear clothes that allow you to move freely. Avoid anything baggy or too long - it’s good if you and the yoga teacher can see your knees and feet. Most people wear shorts or leggings and a T-shirt.

Yoga is always practised in bare feet.

If you are a beginner and wish to try out yoga classes before purchasing a mat, Nick will provide a mat for your first two or three classes.

Regular students should bring their own yoga mat, as a minimum.  Ideally regular students should also have their own equipment and it would be appreciated if they could bring it to the class. Recommended equipment would be:

  • a cotton yoga belt
  • four or five foam blocks

and optionally:

  • a cork brick
  • a blanket
  • a bolster.
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  • Paying for private classes

    I do ask that Private Tuition students pay in advance please.

    It is really helpful to me if you could use the first method (Online Bank Payment), but cheques are also fine.

     

    Online Bank Payment

    Please use the following:

    Details

    If you enter your name as a reference I do not need any more details.  If you are unable to enter your name, please email me when you make the payment to let me know who you are and what the payment is for. Many thanks!

     

    Cheque Payment

    For those who need to pay by cheque, please make cheques payable to “Life Long Ltd” and send to:
    Nick Long
    Little Court
    Grib Lane
    Blagdon
    North Somerset BS40 7SA.