B.K.S. Iyengar has studied the therapeutic aspects of yoga based on his own experience and from working with patients seeking healing from various conditions. The therapy classes in RIMYI are famous worldwide for their healing effects. Getta Iyengar, daughter of B.K.S and senior teacher, focused on woman’s health and continued her father’s therapeutic efforts. Advanced Iyengar Yoga senior teachers are building on the knowledge of the master and training the new generation of teachers.
See below few examples of Iyengar Yoga books focused on health aspects of the yoga practice.
Yoga therapists from all over the world have founded The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), as a platform to promote yoga therapy worldwide. IAYT is organizing Yoga therapy trainings, conferences and is owning the certification program.
“Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and well-being through the application of the teachings and practices of Yoga.” – IAYT Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists
“Yoga is by definition therapeutic. In the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, it is stated that: Yoga not only prevents suffering:
— heyam dukham anagatam; Chapter II, Sutra 16 (The pains which are yet to come can be avoided)
But cures it:
— tatah klesha karma nivrittih; Chapter IV, Sutra 30 (Then comes the end of afflictions and action)
According to Patañjali’s definition, all practitioners of yoga are undergoing a form of therapy, whether it is for a spiritual ailment, a mental misapprehension or a physical illness. In the practice of Iyengar yoga, the therapeutic and meditative benefits are derived through a progressive system involving the sequencing of the asanas (poses) and pranayama (yogic practice involving breath control), attention to the alignment and technique of the practices and the timing in the practices. In the example of the treatment of physical and psychological illness and disease, the therapeutic branch of Iyengar yoga often employs sophisticated props to help the student/patient along the path.”- Therapeutic Healing In Iyengar Yoga – Marla Apt
“Yoga therapy is a self-empowering process, where the care-seeker, with the help of the Yoga therapist, implements a personalized and evolving Yoga practice, that not only addresses the illness in a multi-dimensional manner, but also aims to alleviate his/her suffering in a progressive, non-invasive and complementary manner. Depending upon the nature of the illness, Yoga therapy can not only be preventative or curative, but also serve a means to manage the illness, or facilitate healing in the person at all levels.” – TKV Desikachar & Kausthub Desikachar