Iyengar yoga is a type of Hatha yoga and was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. Based on the eight limbs of yoga as described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, it emphasizes the precise physical alignment of the body within particular postures.
Iyengar yoga is a disciplined system with carefully planned and timed sequences. Often, props, such as blocks and belts, are used to ensure students can practice the postures with correct alignment and safely develop their yoga practice over time.
According to the Iyengar Yoga Institute, unlike more experiential approaches where students are encouraged to independently «find their way» to the asanas by imitating the teacher, an Iyengar Yoga class is precise, with misalignments and errors actively explained and corrected. It states that the style «emphasises precision and alignment», and prioritises correct movement over quantity, i.e. moving a small amount in the right direction is preferred to moving more but in other directions.
Postures are held for a relatively long period of time compared to other schools of yoga; this allows the muscles to relax and lengthen, and encourages awareness in the pose. Props including belts, blocks and blankets are freely used to assist students in correct working in the asanas.