Yoga first began almost five thousand years ago and at that time the importance was more on the divine aspects of the yoga discipline. Today, many of the styles of yoga nowadays have very little in common or the physical development or exercise of the body. Once the yoga practice developed, it went from only for the few people who dedicate their entire lives to studies of the spiritual body to those who want relief from stress. As our lives have become dedicated to work and family, the practices changed and many new styles have developed.

Yoga on the ball
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One of those new pieces of yoga equipment was the yoga ball. Almost certainly, the ancient gurus did not see the need for yoga equipment or a yoga ball. This vinyl yoga ball was probably not part of the initial study of yoga. It wasn't until the last half of the 20th century that the yoga ball began appearing for sale as part of yoga equipment.

Iyengar Yoga was developed out of Hatha Yoga, and the emphasis was not on the perfect pose. Vinyasa flow was what Hatha yoga emphasized. The vinyasa flow is the transistion from one position to the next position in a series. Hatha yoga makes the fluid movements as important as the yoga pose itself. Iyengar Yoga, however, makes the yoga pose more important.

The Iyengar yoga teacher helps the yoga student find the perfect alignment of each yoga pose, which is then held for a quite a long time when compared to other styles of yoga. To make this easier for beginning students and especially for those whose strength or health is impaired, Iyengar Yoga uses yoga equipment like the yoga ball.

Yoga Ball Benefits

The yoga ball can helps keep a leg elevated for extended periods in a balancing pose. The yoga ball can also be used to perfect the arch of a yoga student's back. In another pose, the yoga ball can also be used to support a sitting person's weight.While the use of yoga equipment like the yoga ball make Iyengar Yoga easier for those people without the balance or strength they needed to achieve the perfect poses by themselves, it can also help the expert increase his ability to achieve more difficult poses. The yoga ball or other yoga equipment can also assist the expert hold very difficult poses for a greater length of time without the chance of injury.

The few pieces of yoga equipment used in Iyengar Yoga are easy to find. A yoga ball is available in a selection of colors and sizes. Besides the yoga ball, there are other pieces of yoga equipment such as bricks for support and straps for bound poses. Other yoga equipment can include blankets that are rolled up for support for your back or used for comfort in holding a sitting pose. While Iyengar Yoga does not have the benefits to your cardiovascular system as some of the other types of yoga, it does offer muscle development and strength, which can be aided by the use of yoga equipment.