I went to experience an Iyengar yoga class at the West End Yoga Centre, the only centre in Brisbane that exclusively teaches Iyengar yoga.
Iyengar Yoga is named after B. K. S. Iyengar, a famous Indian Yogi. Its focus is on precision and alignment. The Iyengar style differs from your more common Vinyasa yoga, in that it uses props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets as aids in perfecting yoga poses. These props both mould correct postures and are beneficial in minimising the risk of injuries. I had a chat to one of the centres teachers, Camille Jeboult about the yoga style and future dreams for the centre.
“As an Iyengar studio we have been open for about 6 months, as a yoga precinct this space has been here for 6 years. We are all passionate about what we do and when we get time off, we usually continue practicing yoga together for fun, we travel to India and visit senior teachers to continue our practice,” said Camille.
The West End Yoga centre has three main levels of yoga practice; a Beginners Level, Level 1 and Level 2. This allows participants to practice the foundations of yoga and prepare for more complicated poses. Iyengar was not the flowing style of yoga I had been used to in the past. There is a real focus on perfecting your stances and not doing anything that could be harmful. This is one of the things I missed when first starting yoga. Usually as a beginner you attend a class and are thrown in the deep end, not knowing the poses and trying to copy the person next to you.
“Not to knock the other yoga styles, but if you are constantly moving, sometimes you don’t get to properly know where your body is at. I often come across people who have accidentally injured themselves by this constant movement.
“Our goal is getting the posture to be integrated so there is no disparity within the body. It is very difficult to get perfect alignment, it is a lifelong endeavour. We are very interested in keeping people safe. There is a very therapeutic feel to this particular yoga style. We can rehabilitate using this method.” said Camille.
“Our rigorous training and dedication to our craft really provides people with the best care. These days you can do 100 hours and become a yoga teacher, our association does not let that occur. We need to train for years before they say we are ready to teach,” said Camille.
These are great classes for beginner’s and people wanting to know the ins and outs of yoga practice. Yoga helps calm the nervous system, lowers stress and improves circulation. Sessions at the West End Yoga Centre range from 45min-90min.
Words by Sarah Clarry