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How do I begin to study Iyengar Yoga?
Absolute beginners are advised to start in an Introductory or Beginner class.
Those with some experience of other styles of yoga should come to a Beginners class first, where teachers can recommend a more suitable class if appropriate.
Where do I find a Iyengar Yoga class?
All Iyengar yoga teachers in Sheffield are part of SADIY and are listed on this website. See our Iyengar Yoga Teachers page for details.
To find a Iyengar class close to you, at a time that suits you, with a particular teacher or with the appropriate level or specialisation please check our Yoga Classes page.
To check or look for additional Iyengar Yoga classes in the UK please go to the Iyengar Yoga Association (UK) website where you will be able to search for a teacher or a class in your area.
What should I expect when I come to classes?
In a yoga class you will be introduced to the postures of yoga, known as asanas, which include standing, sitting, inversions, forward extensions, backbends, twists, abdominal and recuperative postures. These asanas not only tone the muscles, tissues, ligaments, joints, and nerves, but also contribute to maintaining the smooth functioning and health of all the body's systems. They both strengthen and calm the body and mind and help recover from fatigue, overcome weaknesses and deal with the stress of daily life. The practice of these asanas brings vitality, flexibility, strength, balance, concentration, self-confidence, and mental calm.
At the beginning of each class there is a settling time, the class will then proceed through a combination of demonstrations and instructions. Our teachers are experienced and fully qualified to help students with their progress. They will show you, verbally instruct you, and may also physically adjust your position to help you get the correct alignment or support you in the pose.
Each class ends with a period of relaxation.
Typically, each class put the emphasis on a particular groups of asanas, working in a focused way to energise and relax specific areas of the body.
Everyone can practise yoga. Whatever your age, background, flexibility, fitness, shape, gender, etc., you will be welcome and, with the guidance of your teacher, you will work within your own capabilities, which will improve with regular practice.
What should I wear for classes?
Wear comfortable unrestrictive clothing to class. Shorts or leggings and a T-shirt are best. To adjust your body alignment your teacher will need to see your knees and ankles. You may want to bring with you an additional sweater, socks, a blanket to keep warm and a small light cloth to cover your eyes during relaxation at the end of the class.
Yoga is always practised bare feet. Please ensure that they are clean, and any verruca or open wound is well-covered.
For your own safely and comfort of others please wear clean clothes, avoid jewellery, chewing gums and wearing perfume in class. And, of course, switch off your phones!
What equipment would I need for yoga?
You will use a mat and sometime also some other props such as blankets, bolsters, belts or chairs.
For most classes, you will need to bring your mat, some teachers may provide equipment, contact the teacher direct to check.
Can I eat and drink before a yoga class?
Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach, so leave at least 4 hours after a main meal, or 1 hour after a light snack (e.g., a cup of tea or soup).
Typically it is recommended that you don’t drink water during the class. Yoga does not create a great thirst while practising.
After practice you can drink but you should wait a little before eating a full meal.
Yoga Benefits and Suitable Classes
What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga builds strength and stamina, improves flexibility, muscle tone and posture and calms the mind. Regular practice develops awareness and concentration and promotes general wellbeing. There are numerous documented health benefits.
What should I do if I have an illness or injury?
Many students start practising with back pain, or other common ailments, and they find yoga helps. You will be expected to complete a health declaration on your enrolment form. All information you provide will be treated with strict confidence – it is only required to ensure your own safety.
Mainstream yoga classes are not suitable for people with certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases or other heart problems, epilepsy, cancer or benign tumours, diabetes, Meniere's disease, detached retina, AIDS, MS and ME. For these conditions, a specialised yoga therapy class maybe appropriate. Ask your teacher for advice.
If you are pregnant, if have recently been ill or have had an operation, if you are menstruating, if you have had a recent injury or your medical condition has changed, please inform your teacher before the class as some of the postures must be avoided or adapted during this time. Appropriate instructions will be provided to you.
If you have a fever or are contagious avoid attending classes until you are feeling better. Home practice will be safer and more beneficial at that time.
If you have difficulties or experience pain, dizziness, breathlessness or light-headedness in any of the postures, please tell your teacher. Adjustments may be needed to continue the practice comfortably and safely.
What should I do if I am menstruating?
If you are menstruating please inform your teacher before the class starts as some of the postures must be avoided or adapted during this time. Appropriate instructions, alternatives poses and/or support will be provided to you.
What should I do if I am pregnant?
Please inform your yoga teacher immediately you become pregnant.
If you already attend classes and gets pregnant, you are welcome to continue with your classes providing there are no complications with your pregrancy. If you are not sure or new to yoga please talk to your teacher who will be able to advice.
It is recommended to take a break from attending classes between your 10th and 14th week.
Stiffness is not an issue. The practice of postures (asanas) increases flexibility.
Equally, possibly more, important benefits of yoga, however, are increased physical strength, balance and endurance - as well as mental and emotional wellbeing.
More about Yoga
Yoga, or more properly Hatha Yoga, is an ancient art which helps to promote a sense of physical and emotional well-being. It is one of the oldest systems of personal development in the world.
Yoga practice both relaxes and energizes the body and mind and brings vitality, flexibility, strength, concentration, self-confidence and mental calm.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of the classic Hatha Yoga as practised, researched and taught by B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the most respected and best-known yoga teachers in the world.
B.K.S. Iyengar has written a number of definitive yoga texts including 'Light on Yoga', and 'Light on Pranayama', introducing Hatha Yoga to the West, where it became known as Iyengar Yoga. Until his death, at the age of 96, he continued to play an active role, delivering yoga classes and training teachers at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. His son, Prashant, daughter, Geeta, and granddaughter, Abhijata, are renowned teachers who carry on his work.
Iyengar yoga is one of the most respected methods of yoga, considered unique for its approach it focuses on the correct precision and alignment of the body. It is a carefully graded and systematic teaching programme that makes yoga very accessible to everyone, even those with injuries or illnesses. It allows yoga students to progress and practise safely.
Iyengar yoga teachers train for many years to rigorously high standards to get their certification, and thereafter engage in continuous professional development, to ensure their own practice and teaching ability meet the exacting requirements of the Iyengar method.
See our Iyengar Yoga page for further details.
How do I know that my teacher is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher?
All of the teachers listed on this site (see our Iyengar Yoga Teachers page are certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers.
The Certification Mark is a registered trade mark awarded to teachers who are approved members of the Iyengar Yoga Association (UK).
The Certification Mark
Only properly trained and certified teachers who have maintained their professional development are legally permitted to use this logo. To check or look for additional Iyengar Yoga Teachers in the UK please go to the Iyengar Yoga Association (UK) website where you will be able to search for a teacher in your area.
More about SADIY
Sheffield And District Iyengar Yoga (SADIY) is a group of Iyengar yoga teachers and students in and around Sheffield who work together to support students and teachers, organise yoga events, publish a regular newsletter and promote Iyengar yoga through its website and Facebook page.
For additional details or to join us please check our About SADIY page. You do not need to be a member to attend the classes or workshops organised by SADIY but your contribution will help the group grow and better meet the need of the Iyengar yoga community in the region. You will also receive our newsletters, get access to our library and may get a discount on some yoga events we may run!