What to expect in my yoga classes….
There are many forms of yoga. What I practise in my classes are combinations designed to relax, stretch, strengthen and tone the body and mind. The emphasis is on the breathing and the movements – ‘the asanas’ as they are known in yoga. Movements are performed in a relaxing, slow motion with very few repetitions. No strain should be felt and the practice sessions leave you feeling relaxed and energized, not drained.
There are hundreds of different yoga postures. Many of them require astonishing dexterity of the spine and limbs that only happens after many years of practise. These are often the forms we see advertised – and knowing we can’t possibility do those, we never begin. This is such a shame as many such postures are impractical and unnecessary for the average person. They are not an intrinsic part of yoga, especially the yoga I practise here. The movements I teach are easily adaptable to the typical individual who will gain flexibility and strength by regular practise – starting exactly at the point that they are now.
Life is breath. You can live for weeks without food, days without water or sleep, but only minutes without breathing. Therefore, the single most important thing we do is breath. Most people have a habit of shallow breathing, using only the upper parts of the lungs. As we focus on deep, slow breathing in class, that practice carries over and out of class, becoming a new habit. Deeper breathing gives us more what Yogi’s call ‘prana’ or ‘life force’ or ‘vital energy’. The prana that comes from deeper breathing improves the quality of our blood, complexion and general health. Anxiety and tension decrease, concentration and focus grow stronger.
Tension is tightness or squeezing that occurs mentally, emotionally, or physically. Great amounts of energy are wasted in this squeezing, tightening and contracting. So, with constant tension, you feel tired and worn out all the time. In yoga, we decrease tension and allow everything to flow more smoothly – be it thoughts or muscles – with movement, stretching and breathing. These are the keys to relieving tension and allowing energy to be free flowing. If you feel better physically, you will also feel better emotionally and mentally. True relaxation needs to become a way of living every day, rather than something that happens in just given moments (like class). After practising yoga for a time, the habits developed will help you walk through each day with less tension and stress.
I look forward to meeting you at one of my classes very soon and helping you reap the benefits of yoga !