The Hatha practice is where all yoga is derived from & it is recognized as a gentler style of yoga. You can expect a slower-paced practice that focuses on breathing and learning poses. Hatha yoga is a great place to learn; however, intermediate and advanced practitioners can also work deeper into their postures. Expect some pranayama (breathing techniques), some seated meditation and (depending on the teacher) some mantra. Since Hatha can mean a lot of different things classes vary depending on the teacher & their own practice & studies.
This will be a slow paced class, a time for treating the body, mind and soul to tender loving care. We will work all the smaller joints of the body we sometimes don’t take time to care for and move through some yang postures to increase the stream of prana. You will leave grounded, connected and calm.
There is a smooth flowing edge to this hatha class. One asana will link to the next and the breath will carry you through. As you let the breath flow the body will begin to flow too!
This integral system is a combination of the most powerful techniques of Hatha, White Tantra, Raja, Bhakti, Mantra and Kundalini yoga to bring about complete transformation of the individual at a physical, emotional, mental & spiritual level. A carefully selected sequence of asanas are practised to open and cleanse the seven chakras. While hatha postures are practiced Transformational yoga is much more than the physical body; pranayama (breathing techniques), mantra (chants) & meditation are an essential part of this yogic system. These techniques work simultaneously to purify & energise the chakras & balance the subtle prana energies. The effects of this practice bring equilibrium & serenity into the physical body, emotions, mind & soul.
Yin Yoga is our Divine Feminine. It is our balance. It is a doorway in to meditation. It is a strong connection to our true and higher self. It is surrendering to all that IS! It is letting flow to let go!
Yin Yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasize internal heat and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin poses are in a sitting or lying position where gravity can do most of the work. We disengage and relax our muscles and our minds. Essentially, we surrender by suspending the body and the minds’ urge to control, grasp to, judge or classify experience. We just observe. Activity is slow, steady & stationary, with a sense of core softness and surrender. Yin can be quite challenging due to the long duration holding in the postures (anywhere from one to twenty minutes).
By stressing and compressing connective tissue, such as the ligaments, bones & joints of the body that are normally not touched so deeply in a more active style of asana practice, for extended periods of time, we maintain healthy range of motion in the body, even as we age.
You need to experience this to really know what Yin Yoga is all about. After you have experienced it, even just once, you will realize that you have been doing only half of the asana practice.
Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience.
It is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings in a detached manor, without judging them or yourself good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Care of the body is a daily task. The mind too needs regular care, training and love. With freedom from suffering as the goal, knowing, training, and freeing are the three Buddhist ways of caring for the mind.
YIN & MINDFULNESS
By sitting in your Yin poses and using mindfulness techniques you will begin to develop a relationship with your whole self you never knew was possible. You suddenly become aware of a sensation you didn’t know existed, yet it may have always been there. You may have a memory rise up, something you haven’t thought of in years. You may feel something in your heart you didn’t have time to feel before. You become more mind, body , heart and energy aware. Yin and Mindfulness are a wonderful doorway in to a meditation practice as you move gently toward a meditative state.
There is a grounding earthy edge to this yang class in line with Nicola’s teachings. Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience. In this alternative asana practice you will connect with your physical body in an appreciative manor, accepting where you are at, in this moment, allowing your breath to guide your body through a centering journey.
Ashtanga is a system of yoga passed on to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The traditional method of ashtanga is a dynamic & vigorous practice that involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of asanas (postures)—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, a balanced nervous system and a calm mind. This will be a modified variation of the Ashtanga system, based on the day’s energies; it will be a yang practice with a yin approach. The teaching in Ashtanga Light is soft and strong with a light heart bringing feminine balance into a masculine practice. Plenty of options and modifications available and encouragement to listen to your body and work within your own limits in this present moment.
Restorative Yoga focuses on relaxing the body in restful postures using props. Note that ‘rest’ is different than sleep. Rest provides the body an opportunity to renew and heal. Look at restorative yoga poses as “active relaxation.” By supporting the body with props, we alternately stimulate and soften the body to move toward balance. Some poses have an overall benefit while others target an individual part, such as the lungs or heart. All create specific physiological responses which are beneficial to health and can reduce the effects of stress-related disease.
In general, restorative poses are for those times when you feel weak, tired, fatigued, or stressed from your daily activities. They are especially beneficial for the times before, during, and after major life events: death of a loved one, change of job or residence, marriage, divorce. In addition, you can practice the poses when ill, or recovering from illness or injury.
Meditation is a wonderful metaphysical practice that fosters a blissful state of being, heals and relaxes, provides mental clarity and helps you to tap into your true nature. Meditation can be silent or guided and truly it can be anything at all! Our early morning meditation sittings will be silent and unguided we can simply sit together to connect. Incorporating a regular meditation practice in your life will help you connect to the power of the Divine that resides within.
Meditation can remove stress and replace it with a dose of inner peace. It’s one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress, promote peace and to help us fully connect. It can be uncomfortable to meditate alone sometimes so our guided meditations will walk you step by step through a meditation to help you find a calm and peaceful state.
Mantra means sound. Mantra can have a beneficial effect on the health of the whole body and is an extremely powerful tool in Mental health. Mantras don’t always have particular meanings; they are simply vibrations of consciousness. Vibration heals at a deep cellular level. Mantra/Sound will set the right kind of ambiance within this physiological, psychological framework and also in the atmosphere around us.
Mantra is a process that reduces daily stress and increases mental health. It provides a means of achieving this through a simple focused activity that slows respiration, improves concentration, and induces calm. We will sit together and shift to a higher state of consciousness; we can elevate our vibration through sound alone!
Yoga Nidra is sanskrit for ‘Yogic Sleep’, it is a powerful technique in which you learn to relax consciously. It is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. During the practice one appears to be asleep but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness. Lying in Shavasana and following the voice of your teacher a state of deep profound relaxation is reached by turning inwards, away from our experiences. Prepare to float home ready for sleep or get on with your day in a new fresh way!