What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice which originated over 5,000 years ago in the hot climes of India. The practice of yoga has endured through the ages and still provides many health and physical benefits today. Patanjali, an Indian sage, wrote the Yoga-Sûtras which created the philosophical foundation for the yoga that is still practiced today. Yoga is the practice of connecting breath and movement, the practice of meditation and guidelines for living.
The postures used in yoga are called Asana in Sanskrit and give us the much-needed flexibility and range of movement that our bodies crave in a world when we are so often hunched over our computers and phones.
Increasing the connection between breath and movement allows us to gain greater focus and experience a greater sense of calm.
What do I need to start doing yoga?
Yoga is beneficial for everyone, all shapes and sizes, young or old, levels of experience and flexibility. The practice of yoga provides everyone increased strength, movement, flexibility and breath awareness.
Yoga is not a competition or a performance, that is why it is called a yoga practice. Our attention is brought to our own bodies, our own sensations and our own awareness.
All you need to do is to get on a mat. It is recommended to drink plenty of water before and after your practice and to wear loose-fitting or stretchy clothes.
Come along and try it for yourself!
What are the benefits of yoga?
Increased flexibility and range of movement.
Development of strength and muscle tone.
A sense of vitality and energy.
A more balanced metabolism.
Enhanced athletic performance.
Protection and recovery from injury.
Improved focus and concentration.
Greater self-awareness and acceptance.
Better balance and core strength to protect you from falling.
A sense of calm.
What to expect in your first yoga class
You will be introduced to some new poses which can be modified to fit your needs. Yoga is more than just meditating and breathing and can provide as challenging a workout as you need. You will be surprised how quickly your strength and flexibility will increase and poses that you experienced as challenging in the beginning, become accessible and enjoyable.
As your teacher, I will be your guide in and out of the poses and will provide adjustment cues to help you find ease in the pose.
Breathing is essential and will help you go deeper into the poses. Breath control and awareness are an important part of yoga, so don't forget to breathe!
Classes will start with a thorough warm-up to prepare yourself for the poses, you will be introduced to some different poses or "asanas" (in Sanskrit) and modifications and cues will be provided for more ease and comfort.
In classes, you may be introduced to a sequence of movements called "sun salutations". This sequence serves to warm up and align the body at the beginning of your class.
At the end of the class, you will have a period of relaxation called "savasana" where you can enjoy lying on your mat and relaxing after the physical practice.
You will leave this experience feeling invigorated and refreshed.
I have a health condition, can I do yoga?
If you have a health condition, be sure to tell me ahead of the class and I will be able to suggest some alternative poses or modifications. Poses should feel challenging but not painful, the most important thing is to listen to your body and respect your limitations.
In most cases, yoga can actually help with many health conditions including back pain, chronic anxiety or stress, depression, chronic injuries, heart disease, sleep disorders, osteoporosis and arthritis among others.
How often should I do yoga?
The benefits of yoga can be experienced very soon after starting your consistent practice. Even with one hour a week you will start to see the results! In the beginning, it is recommended to do yoga once or twice a week.
Yoga can be practised every day by alternating stronger styles with more gentle styles of yoga such as Hatha or Restorative/Yin Yoga.
I'm pregnant, can I do yoga?
Yes. Yoga is beneficial for soon-to-be mothers, however, there are some precautions that must be taken and some postures that must be avoided. It is highly recommended that you seek out specialised prenatal yoga classes.
There are many expert yoga teachers in this specific area.