Instructor: Yoga Sadhana Amsterdam
At Sadhana Yoga Amsterdam we teach Iyengar yoga. This style of yoga was developed during the 20th century by BKS Iyengar, one of the world’s foremost yoga teachers and practitioners. Iyengar yoga is characterised by its detailed instruction, attention to form, and intelligent sequencing.
For prices, please go to the website here. We want everyone to be able to afford our classes! For this reason, we work on a sliding scale for the drop-in classes.
Level 1 classes: These are the classes where we teach the basic actions that one employs in all yoga poses. You will learn standing poses (our bread and butter), mild forward- and back-bends, and some twists. We will introduce inversions in the form of supported shoulderstand. We recommend that you take a Level 1 class if you are new to Iyengar yoga, even if you are a regular practitioner of a different style.
If you’ve never done Iyengar yoga what might shock you at first is the amount of props we use. So many props! Props are very characteristic of Iyengar yoga, and their use is telling of the ability of this style to understand the limitations of the body and the mind and incorporate them into the practice.
We use props for a variety of reasons. The first is that our body might be in some way physically limited (for instance, we might be stiff in one particular direction), and a prop provides us the extra length, or support, we need for correct alignment in a pose. Another reason, is that our understanding is limited, and a prop can help us better grasp a particular action. The prop gives us the awareness, or the sensitivity, for a particular motion that our body should undertake. In this case we don’t use the prop for support, but for guidance.
In Iyengar classes we tend to stay in the poses longer than in other vinyasa-based styles. This is because (a) we believe that timing is necessary to reach the place where you can touch or inhabit a pose and (b) because when we are tired our body shows us where it begins to disengage. We won’t ask you to do a long plank because we like to see you sweat and suffer, but because that way you can see where your body starts to hang when your strength falters (your hips might drop to the floor) and what your thoughts tend to do when you are stressed and challenged (maybe you want to punch the teacher). Having said that, maybe you come to class and we make you quickly hop from one pose to the next, because at this particular time we want to get you moving. Every class is different!
Another thing that you might find surprising is that we always refer to poses in their Sanskrit name. Most of us Iyengar yoga teachers will stare at you blankly, confused, if you ask about “the phoenix” pose. This is not because we like to show off our Sanskrit (our pronunciation is probably terrible), but because that’s the name of the poses in our standard text, “Light on Yoga“. This is a book by BKS Iyengar that puts together pictures and explanations of over 200 asanas, and it is considered the most influential contemporary book on yoga.