The therapy of Yoga

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured,” BKS Iyengar


According to the International Yoga Journal, “Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions and involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional and spiritual pain, suffering or limitations.” Woodyard, C. (2011).

Four principles underlie yoga’s healing system according to Desikachar and collaborators. The first principle is the human body is a holistic entity comprised of various interrelated dimensions inseparable from one another. The second principle is individuals and their needs are unique and therefore must be approached in a way that acknowledges this individuality. The third principle is yoga is self-empowering; the student is his or her own healer. Yoga engages the student in the healing process and a greater sense of autonomy is achieved. The fourth principle is that the quality and state of an individuals mind is crucial to healing. Read more: Desikachar K, Bragdon L, Bossart C. The yoga of healing: Exploring yoga’s holistic model for health and well-being. Int J Yoga Ther. 2005;15:17–39.

Iyengar Yoga

The life and work of Sri Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (BKS) Iyengar are a living  testimony of the therapy of yoga. At a very young age, Guruji was a victim of malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis, these diseases marked his body and wellbeing. “My arms were thin, my legs were spindly, and my stomach protruded in an ungainly manner,” he wrote. “My head used to hang down, and I had to lift it with great effort.” At the age of 16, he was introduced to yoga asana practice by his Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya which steadily improved his health.

At the age of 18, with the encouragement of Krishnamacharya, Iyengar moved to Pune to spread the teachings of yoga. He spent many hours each day learning and experimenting with various techniques, using his own body as a model to develop the style of yoga known as Iyengar Yoga. Among the many styles of Hatha Yoga, Iyengar is recognized for an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance asana and breath control. Students are encouraged to use props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, to aid in performing postures correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain. Through the use of props and mindful practice of asana, specific problems can be identified, corrected or assimilated.

iyenga collage

“Body will prove to be an obstacle unless we transcend its limitations and remove its compulsions. Hence, we have to learn how to explore beyond our known frontiers and interpenetrate our awareness and how to master ourselves. Asana is ideal for this.” BKS Iyengar

Therapeutic Inspiration at the Barcelona Yoga Conference

The life and system developed by Iyengar have deeply influenced many yoga teachers and practitioners worldwide that today utilize Yoga Therapy to treat various ailments, diseases, and disorders. Several styles and practices have been developed inspired by the teachings and systems developed by Iyengar Yoga.

At the Barcelona Yoga Conference, you will be able to practice Iyengar Yoga with renown teachers Nikki Costello and Jordi Marti.


And don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the teachings of Therapeutic Yoga in the Post Conference event with Tiffany Cruikshank, the founder of Yoga Medicine, a thorough, anatomically based training system developed by Tiffany that informs & trains teachers all over the world to work more powerfully with their students.

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