B.K.S. Iyengar orginanally referred to his yoga as Patanjali yoga but it was his students who termed it Iyengar yoga. Iyengar began practicing yoga in an attempt to improve his own health. He studied with the famous guru Krishnamacharya, in Mysore, India, before teaching and developing his own method in 1936. Today Iyengar Yoga is taught all over the world and classes are characterized by their precision, with teachers giving lots of verbal instruction and actively correcting errors or misalignments.
Iyengar yoga includes more than 200 asanas and 14 types of pranayama. This systematized practice is broken down precisely in the Iyengar method in order to allow yoga students to progress from basic to more advanced postures. Iyengar builds strength, flexibility and body awareness through longer holds of asanas with the focus always on alignment. It is considered more accessible than more dynamic forms of yoga for beginners who are not used to such physical exertion.
Iyengar Yoga teaches that all students will eventually be able to perform the asanas perfectly with consistent practice. The idea is that as the yoga develops balance in the body, balance in the mind will also follow. This practice is thought to promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being.