Established in 2002, Rose Yoga started in a small room connected to an acupuncture office in Medford, but expanded and is now located in Ashland’s Railroad District.
Rose Yoga offers classes in the style of B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world, The Iyengar style, which focuses on alignment and precision in the poses, adapts to the physical needs of each individual. It can be challenging, rigorous and/or calming depending on your ability and the classes you attend.
What is yoga?
The word “yoga” means to unite, join or yoke. Traditionally this implies that by practicing yoga your mind, body, emotions, intellect and spirit are integrated, bringing you a sense of well-being and mental/emotional clarity.
Yoga in the Iyengar style emphasizes standing poses in the beginning, which build strength and flexibility, coordination and balance. Students are also introduced to restorative, relaxing poses from the beginning to promote relaxation and calm the nerves. Gradually, seated poses, twists, inversions, and forward and back extensions are introduced as one’s yoga practice progresses.
B.K.S Iyengar certified teachers focus on precision of alignment in poses so students can build strength where they are weak, and nurture flexibility so they don’t rely only on more flexible areas of their body. This attention in the poses also engages the students’ intellect, so students gain increasing awareness of how they move, work and relax. From this springboard of awareness, the integration of the mind/body/intellect/spirit can enter.
And of course, the added benefits from an asana practice is better alignment, physical strength, flexibility and a sense of vitality and balance in one’s life.
What is an Iyengar certified teacher?
To become a certified teacher, an instructor must first have taught Iyengar-style Yoga for at least two years. Most will have apprenticed with a more senior teacher or completed a comprehensive 2-3 year teacher-training program. The instructor studies an assigned syllabus of poses and their benefits along with yoga philosophy and assigned readings, preparing for certification.
The assessment to certify covers a broad spectrum of topics—yoga philosophy, anatomy, the benefits of the poses, proper sequencing, etc. The assessment process is a weekend-long event where the instructor takes a written exam, performs the poses from the syllabus and teaches in front of a panel.
An Iyengar certificated teacher must go through this process twice in a three year period—with two different sets of poses and exams—to become fully certified. But they do not have to stop there! Teacher certification is a lifelong process. There are over a dozen levels of certification in the Iyengar tradition. Teachers, like their students, are lifelong learners of the intricacies of yoga.
What are props and why use them?
Props are simple objects—wooden blocks, blankets, chairs, belts—that help you refine your asanas (postures). Mr. Iyengar has been accredited with development of the use of props. They are not always used, but are helpful for many different reasons.
Sometimes they assist those who cannot do a pose without some support. At other times, however, the prop will help you notice areas of the body that tend to under- or overwork. For some examples of ways to use the props, visit our photo gallery.