The classical teachings of Yoga go back more than 5000 years. Contrary to popular belief, Yoga is not a religion but rather a system of health giving practices for mind and body.
The word "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means to unite or integrate, to join or yoke together, and it is about bringing the body and the mind into one harmonious experience. Yoga is a series of poses that help to build strength, flexibility and balance. It helps correct posture, alignment and the breathing techniques help calm the mind and connect the mind and body to create a happy heart and healthy overall body.
Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through yoga poses or postures, which all have specific physical benefits, and breath control. These poses can be done dynamically in succession to help create heat in the body (this is known as Vinyasa style) or more slowly to help with alignment. (Known as Hatha or Iyengar) Both styles increase stamina and flexibility.
Hatha Yoga classes
These classes are suitable for all levels and are a good transition after the beginners course. Hatha yoga combines postures with conscious breathing and focus to develop strength, flexibility and mental clarity. Students can expect to develop body awareness and explore varied postures in a mixed-level environment.
This is a flowing practice. Suitable for all levels. Beginners can start here and advanced students can be in this class at the same time. The class is not as fast paced as Vinyasa flow although the postures can be linked, there is still a lot of holding a pose for up to 10 breaths. Its a nice smooth mixed class.
Vinyasa Flow Class
Vinyasa stems from Ashtanga yoga, though the postures and practice is different. As the name states, Vinyasa Flow describes the smooth way that poses transition into one another, like a dance. The Sun Salutation sequence is a basic and simple example of Vinyasa Yoga. In every sequence of Vinyasa, all movements are performed on an inhale or an exhale. These classes are suitable for all people who have a small amount of yoga behind them. The class is dynamic and builds strength and flexibility.
Iyengar classes are characterised by the practice of asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing) with an emphasis on precision and alignment, planned sequencing, timing and the use of props. Mobility, strength and stability is gained through the asanas. This approach allows people of all ages and levels of health and fitness to enjoy the benefits that a yoga practice can bring - the capacity to face the physical, mental and emotional challenges of daily life with skill, vitality, and mindfulness.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Class
Ashtanga Yoga is a rather physically demanding practice. The postures or movements are linked to the breath in a physically flowing sequence. The class is based on the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga which is a set sequence that is repeated in each class. These classes are designed for people who have done Yoga for at least 2 months and are wanting to be challenged in a physical sense. They are designed to teach the fundamentals of the internal forms of Ashtanga Yoga - the sequencing of postures, alignment and breathing. Please note, this class is based on Ashtanga Vinyasa but will vary from time to time.