What is Yoga?
Yoga is the union between the body, mind, and spirit. That’s the origins of yoga . It is a place of discovery and connection with your own body that encompasses balance, proper stretching techniques, breathing, meditation, centering the mind and spirit — that’s yoga in its real form. However, you’ll find that every type of yoga has a slightly different definition or interpretation.
I have never done yoga before. What should I begin with?
Even if you consider yourself athletic and sporty I recommend that you attend a couple of private 1:1 sessions with me before joining a group class. These will give you a better sense of what yoga is about, what some of the most common postures are and how to practice safely and how to practice for your bodies needs.
What style of Yoga should I do?
There are many styles of Yoga, it's worth trying out a few but some may not be suitable for you and your body if you have limitations, illness or injury.
Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that can be done while sitting. Some poses can also be done standing using a chair for support. Chair yoga can improve your flexibility, concentration and strength, while boosting your mood, and reducing stress and joint strain. Chair Yoga is accessible to everybody of any age.
Hatha Yoga derives its name from the Sanskrit words for sun and moon, and it’s designed to balance opposing forces. The balance in hatha yoga might come from strength and flexibility, physical and mental energy, or breath and the body. Hatha is a blanket term for many different ‘styles’. All Yoga is Hatha Yoga, but over the years different styles and brands have been created. To be considered hatha, classes must include a mix of asana (poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation.
Hatha is for: Anyone looking for a balanced practice, or those in search of a gentler type of yoga. This is great for beginners to build a solid foundation and strength and awareness of breath and connection to the body.
Gentle Yoga is appropriate for anyone interested in yoga who might be concerned about the level of fitness required. If you are getting into shape, tight and stiff, or prefer just a gentler yoga practice, this is the class for you. Poses are sequenced to ease your body into a more active state. Emphasis placed on breath awareness and modifying the poses to suit your needs. Health benefits include stress reduction, improved circulation, lower blood pressure, increased balance and flexibility, a calmer mind, and improved sleep.
All levels and abilities welcome, ideal for beginners and seniors!
Vinyasa - also called “flow yoga” or “vinyasa flow”. The word “vinyasa” translates to “place in a special way,” which is often interpreted as linking breath and movement. You’ll often see words like slow, dynamic, or mindful paired with vinyasa or flow to indicate the intensity of a practice. The poses are synchronized with the breath in a continuous rhythmic flow, the flow can be meditative in nature, calming the mind and nervous system, even though you’re moving. Vinyasa yoga is suitable for those who can get up and down off the floor with ease and have a certain level of fitness classes can be suitable for those that have never tried yoga as well as those who’ve been practicing for years.
Vinyasa is for : Anyone who wants more movement and less stillness from their yoga practice.
Ashtanga - consists of six series of specific poses taught in order. Each pose and each series is “given” to a student when their teacher decides they have mastered the previous one. This is a very physical, flow-style yoga. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is often taught as “led” classes in the West, where the first or second series is taught from start to finish over the course of 90 minutes to two hours. There is traditionally no music played in ashtanga classes.
Ashtanga is for: Anyone who likes routine, want's to see progression in certain poses or enjoy a more physical demanding practice.
Yin a is a slower style of yoga in which mostly floor based poses are held for a minute and eventually up to five minutes or more. It’s designed to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility. The practice focuses on the hips, lower back, and thighs and uses props like bolsters, blankets, and blocks to let gravity do the work, helping to relax. While other forms of yoga focus on the major muscle groups, yin yoga targets the body’s connective tissues.
Yin also aids recovery from hard workouts. Adding a deep stretch and hold , yin can be extremely beneficial to a strong body. Holding poses longer benefits the mind as well as the body, providing a chance to practice being still. This is a beautiful practice that honours stillness, This style of practice is a great balance for vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga.
Yin is for: everybody! a great compliment to dynamic classes, those who need to stretch out after a tough workout, or anyone interested in a slower-paced practice. (one of my favourite styles!)
Restorative Yoga - Often similar to Yin. This form of yoga uses props to support the body. The goal is to completely relax into poses, which are held for at least five minutes but often longer. This means that you might only do a handful of poses in a class, and it’s perfectly acceptable to drift into sleep during them. Though all different types of yoga can aid stress relief and brain health, restorative yoga places its focus on down-regulating the nervous system. Restorative yoga can benefit those who need to chill out and de-stress, and it can also be used as part of your rest-day self-care.
Restorative is for: Anyone who needs to de-stress, those dealing with pain, and someone who struggles to relax. Again very complimentary to dynamic yoga (also a favourite of mine!)
What if I’m not very flexible?
It does not matter... simply be present and work with the body you have. It does not matter how far or deep you can go in a posture, you will benefit simply from trying your best, not pushing too hard and embracing the new feelings in your body. As long as you can breathe you can do yoga. Over time with a regular Yoga practice your body will become more flexible.
Should I eat or drink before I come to class?
It is recommended to refrain from eating for at least 2 hours before a class, but it’s a good idea to drink water right up until the start.
What do I wear?
It’s important to be comfortable and have freedom of movement for all yoga classes. Shorts or leggings with comfortable sport top is what most people like to wear. Yoga is done barefoot (unless it’s a super cosy class like Yin Yoga) so there is no need to worry about shoes either.
What is a course, and what is a class, and then there are workshops …?
A ‘class’ is a self-contained unit. It enables you to come and join the practice whenever you want. Or buy block packages for discounts and ensure a regular commitment each week.
A 'course' involves progression from week to week and are run in 4/5/6/7/8 week blocks. It’s advisable to take all the units of a course in order to get the most out of it.
A 'workshop' or 'retreat' involves a deeper look into one topic and can be self-contained or part of a ‘series’. Workshops/Mini Retreats can last from a few hours (in which case they are like a longer class) to a few days (in which case they are more like a Retreat), depending on the topic and the depth at which the topic is studied.
What equipment do I need?
You will need your own yoga mat and any yoga props you wish to use such as blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters.
I’m new to yoga. What’s the etiquette?
Arrive on time, at least 5- 10 minutes prior to class. Classes start on time. Secondly, feel free to take a break at any time during class by sitting or lying quietly on your mat.
What if I have an injury or condition that might affect my ability to participate?
While yoga has been proven to benefit conditions ranging from sports injuries to chronic illnesses, please do let me know if you have a condition you might need to work around. Try to tune in to your body and listen to how you feel. This will help you become aware of what your body is telling you. Yoga rewards dedication and hard work, but it is equally important to rest and recover when you need to. If in doubt always consult your GP.
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If you have any further queries please contact Bex