Frequently Asked Questions
What is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.
B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama (with variations of many of them) ranging from the basic to advanced. This helps ensure that students progress gradually by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step. Iyengar Yoga is characterized by great attention to detail and precise focus on body alignment.
Iyengar pioneered the use of “props” such as cushions, benches, blocks, straps and sand bags, which function as aids allowing everyone to experience the benefit of the asanas than might otherwise be possible without several years of practice. Props make the postures accessible to both young and old enabling even injured, tired or ill students to gain he benefits of many asanas while supported, thus minimizing the risk of injury or strain.
How Many Times a Week Should I Practice Yoga?
Yoga is amazing— and if practiced even once a week can yield benefits for you.
Starting with one class a week will assist and improve balance, posture, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular health, digestion, mental focus and concentration, and lower blood pressure and stress levels.
The inner peace that comes from daily or frequent yoga practice can have far-reaching effects on your health. How often you practice yoga that is moving from one class a week to attending three or four classes a week combined with a home practice , rather than how many years you have practiced, determines the levels of well-being and relaxation you experience.
What Do I Need to Begin Yoga and prepare for class?
All you really need to begin practicing yoga is a little motivation. No special footgear is required because you will be barefoot. It’s nice to bring a towel to class with you.
All the yoga equipment is provided by Prana, including mats.
What to wear – loose, comfortable clothing e.g. shorts, t-shirt, trackpants
Food – It is suggested that food not be taken within 2/3 hours prior to class. Something light one hour before is acceptable.
Illness/Injury – Advise the teacher before class if you have any significant health problems.
Menstruation/Pregnancy – You must advise the teacher if you are menstruating or pregnant.
I’m Not Flexible—Can I Do Yoga?
Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga and this is not true. In fact being too flexible can be detrimental to your yoga practice. Attending the classes at Prana you will develop strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.
Will I have to do a headstand or handstand?
Handstands and Headstands are a daily part of your yoga practice when you are regular yoga practitioner. These asanas turn you upside down and give you a whole new perspective on life. Reversing the effects of gravity, these poses cleanse, soothe, nourish and energize your body and mind. Inversions require you to bravely conquer any fear of falling thus building confidence. Headstands and Handstands build your core strength by working the muscles in your abdomen and back. They also reduce strain on your heart, expand your lungs to clear breathing, and increase the flow of blood to your brain to both calm and rejuvenate your mind.
The Headstand or handstands are known to be some of the most powerful asanas practiced in yoga. At Prana from the beginner’s level to the more advanced classes you will be taught how to prepare your body and your mind for these asanas.
Will yoga help me in my sport? (Cricket/ Basketball/ Football..Etc)
Yes, yoga will definitely help you in your sport. Any sport improves with proper alignment, focus, health, strength and mental and physical flexibility. Yoga has the ability to do all that and more.
Sporting teams from cricket, hockey, rugby league, rowing and tennis have come to Iyengar yoga to assist the players in sharpening their concentration, increasing their mobility and in recovering from injury.
Can An Injury Be Treated With Yoga?
It is best to consult with your health professional before commencing or recommencing your yoga routine. The therapy class at Prana provides a supportive environment that can assist you to recover from an injury. Please discuss your condition with your teacher prior to starting your class at Prana.
Will Yoga Help me to Lose Weight?
Yes a regular yoga practice will increase your mindfulness about what you eat and help you to make better food choices. This will change the way you relate to your body. Yoga can be part of a healthy weight loss plan. Asanas tone, lengthen and strengthen muscles so that you will look sleeker and more sculpted. Stronger muscles have denser fiber and muscle mass that burn calories, even when you are at rest.
I Have High Blood Pressure. Can I do Yoga?
Yes if you are suffering from high blood pressure and or a cardiac condition you can practice yoga. Please inform your teacher before commencing the class as some asanas will be modified for you. Alternatively your teacher may suggest you enroll in the therapy class at Prana which offers specialized attention to your condition.
I am in Pain. Can I do Yoga Now?
Those suffering from chronic pain can also benefit from yoga. Advise your teacher of your concerns before class. Iyengar teachers at Prana are trained to modify and suggest alternative strategies (or asanas) to enable you to practice safely and intelligently.