I decided that the best thing to get me settled in Amsterdam would be to find a local yoga class.
I’ve been practising yoga quite a lot recently (particularly in Bali) and I’ve promised myself that I would continue with it once I was settled.
I did a bit of research on different yoga classes in Amsterdam. There are certainly a lot to choose from!! Being a creature of comfort, I decided to narrow down the search and look at classes which were relatively close to my new home in the east of Amsterdam. I came across the BKS Iyengar Yoga school. Their website resonated with me because it had an authentic feel to it and I was intrigued as I had not previously heard about Iyengar Yoga.
Iyengar is one of the oldest forms of yoga and a form of Hatha yoga. A number of different props are used in Iyengar since emphasis is given to alignment and precision in every posture.
Iyengar Yoga marks itself as different from other types of yoga as;
- Iyengar Yoga can be practiced by all.
- The emphasis is given to precision and alignment in all postures.
- The use of self designed props such as wooden gadgets, belts, ropes helps the practitioner to achieve perfection in all the postures.
- The aspect of “sequencing”. An “Iyengar Yoga” practitioner is aware of the sequence in which different groups of asanas have to be performed.
I’ve been practising yoga (on an off) for 10 years, recently I have had found myself getting a little frustrated. I typically go to large classes where yin, bikram or ashtanga are practised. Whilst I enjoy the flow of the classes, I feel like I’m not making enough progress with the positions, there doesn’t seem to be enough connection with the teachers to the students either (unless the class is small).
I found the BKS Iyengar yoga classes to be a real eye opener and unlike any I had been to before. With the use of props, I was able to really go into deeper postures- downward dog against a wall is a lot harder than it looks!
I really liked that the teachers were quite clearly knowledgeable about the body, and would come up with alternative postures for those who had injuries or were menstruating. There was a clear teacher-student connect and I found that in both classes all students were given enough attention to really work on our positions and alignment.
I feel like this is the sort of style of yoga where I will really push myself to go what I feel I am capable of. I can see how it will help with posture, breath and overall fitness. I will definitely be going back to this class regularly! I’ll update you on my progress.