Iyengar yoga

Iyengar instructors put an emphasis on accuracy and alignment, often using props like blocks, pillows and straps.

  • All photos: HipJoint Yoga

All photos: HipJoint Yoga

HipJoint Yoga
(281 North 7th St at Havemeyer St, No. 7, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 917-497-1066, hipjointstudio.com). Single class $16--$17, packages available.
Type of yoga offered: Iyengar
Name of class: Level I Iyengar
Length: 90 minutes
What to expect: Methodically practicing poses, with lots of beneficial pauses to watch the instructor demonstrate
Level: Yoga newbies can do it.
The verdict: Our Level I class was in a rental studio that is also home to trapeze and capoeira classes, giving the space a creative, DIY feel. All the yoga sessions are taught by Lara Brunn, who comes off as knowledgeable and entirely trustworthy. Our poses developed from basic stretching to more involved movements. And there were a number of props available—bricks, folding chairs and ropes attached to one wall (which, unfortunately, are reserved for higher levels of practice). With Brunn’s good instruction, and encouragement, we were all doing impressive shoulder stands halfway though the class. I came feeling tangled and left smoothed and limber.—Emily Jacobson

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York
(150 W 22nd St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 11th floor; 212-691-YOGA, iyengarnyc.org). Single class $18--$25, packages available.
Types of yoga offered: Iyengar yoga levels I-IV, women’s, breast health, restorative, HIV-positive, sutra study group, prenatal, gentle, pranayama, continuing education for Iyengar teachers
Name of class: Iyengar Yoga Level 1 with Matt Dreyfus
Length: 90 minutes
Level: Yoga newbies can do it.
What to expect: Dreyfus demonstrates almost every posture on a small stage, and goes around the room to correct students’ postures. The class proceeds at a slow pace, with frequent demonstrations and meticulous attention to the body’s alignment.
The verdict: This is a great class for those who are new to Iyengar yoga, a practice based on the teachings of the 91-year-old yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, author of the classic yoga treatise Light on Yoga. The airy, modern studio has large changing rooms and provides all necessary equipment. The class (and Iyengar Yoga in general) incorporates a lot of props —more advanced Iyengar classes may even involve suspension from ropes. You’ll be challenged but not exhausted in this beginners’ class—don’t expect a vigorous workout, but your heart rate will rise as you hold and adjust the poses per the instructor’s detailed directions. Dreyfus is patient, attentive, methodical and true to B.K.S. Iyengar’s classic teachings and techniques—no surprise there: He has studied with the master himself in India.—Shayna D. Skarf

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Kundalini practitioners are big on meditation and spirituality, which they combine with breathwork and postures.

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