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Alignment and Form ©

Intensive Iyengar Yoga Training
BKS Iyengar Yoga Centre, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

Iyengar Yoga – Universal Principles



  • Pose and repose – learn to pause after actionDo your actions on the exhalation – there are exceptions

  • Observation, action and reflection – be mindful of how you move

  • Foundation or base first – start from the ground up

  • Increase awareness as your practice evolves

  • Balance stability and mobility in every pose or action

  • Move your awareness from the periphery to the core, then from the core to the periphery

  • Centralize and decentralize – change your base to make it wider or narrower to help bring greater freedom and stability to your experience with yoga

  • Oppositional forces and opposing actions also being stability

  • Sequencing, timing, intricacies are key – pay attention to these as they can have a powerful effect on your experience

  • Focus on your center of gravity and sense of direction as you practice

  • The weak part is the source of the action – use yoga to strengthen areas and to relax tense ones

  • Observe cause and effect – ask yourself  “what if”, “what if I did it this way?”  “what if I tried it that way?”  “what am I doing?” and  “why am I doing it?”

Schoemanshoek,Iyengar yoga centre,south africa

An exploration of the legendary asanas and principles

of BKS Iyengar in a fun – playful – and creative way



  • Explore the practice of possibility and cultivating variability in your practice 

  • Show yourself what sometimes we think is not possible – is possible

  • If we think about it in a different way – we practice it in a different way

  • Exploring variations of poses – we don’t get stuck in stabilizing in one joint configuration or have one way to do the pose

  • Life is unpredictable – life has unexpected things happen

  • Your practice, especially if we have a playful practice, exploring variability helps us to become more resilient

  • Resilience is your ability, your capacity to adapt and absorb the various stresses and strains from living life

  • It’s often the unexpected ones that really throw us, but if we are practising things differently, exploring possibilities within ourselves, then we are better able to handle the unpredictable as it happens in life – rest assured it probably will

  • We hope you will continue this exploration, stay curious and playful in your practice

  • Give yourself the opportunity to practice the poses in different ways, to vary your focus 

  • Do different types of practices  

  • Sometimes you stay low on the ground and it's exploratory. 

  • Other times you may go outside and practice in a totally new environment and see how that changes your experience.

  • Open yourself up to the practice of possibility and maybe, hopefully, cultivate deep resilience in your heart body and mind

David Jacobs, BKS Iyengar Yoga Centre, Oudtshoorn
BKS Iyengar Yoga Centre, Oudtshoorn, South Africa
BKS Iyengar Yoga Centre, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

How much more is there to learn?


  • The more we study, the more we develop a deeper passion and appreciation for yoga as an evolutionary practice.

  • Understand that all bodies are unique and the practice must take this into consideration

  • When the group of students and teachers is like-minded - the study will refine and deepen your own yoga practice.

  • Hopefully, you will gain a thorough and practical understanding of the basic asanas, including their alignment principles based on anatomy, as well as adaptations, variations, modifications with the use of props enabling you to practice with more clarity and confidence. 

  • Experience anatomical realities  - experiment to understand how the body moves, stabilizes and how this affects the asana, or how the incorrect actions of the asanas affect the body. 

Restorative yoga, david jacobs
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