What Is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient science originating in India many thousands of years ago. It has been passed down through the generations, finally becoming popular in the West in the last century. Yoga means to unite or yolk. It is the uniting of the body with the mind and the soul. The purpose of yoga is to still the wandering mind and return it to a calm and serene state. Both medical science and the yogic world know that there is a link between body and mind. The practice of yoga makes the body supple and relaxed and in turn relaxing the mind, using physical postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation.
Types of Yoga
With ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon,” Hatha Yoga is commonly translated as the yoga that brings union “of the pairs of opposites.” Sometimes Hatha Yoga is also translated as the “forcefull yoga”, because it requires a lot of physical effort. Hatha yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga, which is part of the reason why so many definitions of Hatha Yoga exist.
It is the branch of yoga that concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas ), breathing techniques (pranayama ), and meditation (dyana ) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind. There are nearly 200 hatha yoga postures, with hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and to promote circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. Hatha yoga postures also stretch and align the body, promoting balance and flexibility.
Kundalini is one of the oldest forms of yoga – it has been practiced by the Upanishads in India since 500 B.C..Kundalini, “the yoga of awareness,” opens your heart, builds strength and releases the energy located at the base of your spine.
Kundalini yoga focuses on breath and movement and challenges its students both physically and mentally. Kundalini literally means “coiled” and is represented by a metaphorical coiled snake at the base of your spine. The purpose of Kundalini practice is to uncoil your snake and release that energy within. Health, strength, fitness and overall happiness benefits are included. Expect to dance, jump, hold long poses, and breathe deeply and repeatedly – no two classes are the same! It is great for beginners as it has the flexibility to push past your comfort zone as well as offering the ability to go at your own pace.
YIN YOGA :
Yin Yoga is based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang, which are opposite and complementary principles in nature. Like two sides of one coin, one cannot exist without the other. Most forms of yoga are dynamic, active, heat-building practices designed to work the muscular half of the body, the “yang” tissues. Yin Yoga allows us to work the other half, the deeper “yin” connective tissues of our ligaments, joints, deep fascial networks, and even our bones. Yin Yoga asks us to hold the poses with awareness and mindfulness – it can be described as a deep stretch that is softened, rather than muscled, into. Yin Yoga is the perfect complement to a regular practice of active asana. This practice has been shown to improve range of motion and flexibility, increase circulation, and improve joint mobility. The poses also stimulate the different meridians or energy channels in the body, bringing balance to the internal organs and improving the flow of chi or prana.
Yoga nidra, also known as ‘psychic sleep’, is a deep relaxation practice from the Indian yoga tradition. The technique could be described as a lying down form of meditation that uses the whole body as a focus of awareness.
Practitioners say that with regular practice, yoga nidra, like meditation, can have profound physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.The theory behind yoga nidra is that it works on something called our body of energy or life force. In India this energy is known as prana, and in China it is called chi. Yoga nidra aims to enhance and balance this energy.
VINYASA FLOW :
Vinyasa style practice emphasizes a continuous flow of movement using sun salutations, dynamic breathing and long holdings. Each part of the body (inside and out) is explored and worked in a deep and mindful way. This practice builds strength, tones and detoxifies. Vinyasa is a fun and creative practice requiring focus and dedication. This class moves at a quick pace; therefore, some Yoga experience is helpful prior to starting this class.
Yoga for pre and post Pregnancy:
Pre Natal Hatha Yoga is specifically designed to create flexibility and stability in the hips for carrying your child during pregnancy preparing you for childbirth. Post Natal Hatha Yoga is designed to help you strengthen the areas that have weakened during childbirth re develop your core strength & provide much needed relaxation.
Children’s & Teens Yoga:
Children’s Yoga is designed to be a fun session that allows your child to explore their physical being through stories and imagination whilst also teaching them how to calm themselves and take control of their own mind and body. Teen Yoga is designed to understand how the teenage body struggles with hormones and irregular bone to muscle growth Teens often find that their bones are growing at a much faster rate than their muscles and become extremely stiff which can result in pain and injuries.
Who can do yoga?
The answer is anyone, Yoga has no ego and there is no competition. You do not need to be physically flexible to practice yoga although flexibility is a common side effect! Yoga is a way of being and a way of interacting with society, yoga is to live in the present moment with a mindful and loving attitude to yourself and others. Yoga is for everyone!