Yoga

BELIEVE in Yoga Classes

Satsung – Philosophical Theme

Classes begin with an introduction to a specific theme in yoga philosophy. The Yoga Sutras, classical texts, and contemporary writings inspire each satsung. Dedicating each class to a yogic theme allows the mind to expand and an oportunity to set an intention for the practice. This yogic theme is exlored through the breathing, movement, and postures, and allows for an integrated mind-body experience as well as an energetic connection between teacher and fellow students.

Anatomical Focus

Each class is dedicated to a particular body part and is integrated with the philosophical theme of the class. Bone to bone connections are discussed for proper alignment to allow for development of muscle strength and expression of flexibility.

Pranayama – Breath Practice

Pranayama refers to practice of controlling the prana, often described as vital energy or the life force. Various techniques of inhalation, exhalation, and breath retention are explored during each class. Each pranayama technique has different effects. Some energize the body through creating heat, while others calm the systems and restore groundedness.

Meditation

Pranayama allows the mind to be stilled for meditation. Meditation may be practiced seated or throughout the movements of the class. During meditation, the mind and body can be freed from identification. Wandering thoughts are common during meditation and the practice invites the mind to sit through the discomfort, to be with what exists, and to live in the present moment.

Asana – Postures

The asanas are often thought of as the main component in a yoga class. Asana practice includes moving through postures in a wide range of positions: seated, lying down, standing, forward-bending, back-bending, twisting, and balancing. The asanas are taught in a sequence, with alignment points based on the anatomical focus and philosophical theme. Asana practice often begins with a breath practice and a warm-up, followed by sun salutations, flow sequences, standing poses, balancing poses, backbends, and seated poses. Asana practice ends with cool-down stretches followed by deep relaxation in savasana.

Based on level, beginners classes focus on the fundamentals of moving the body through space, intermediate classes incorporate more flow and alignment points, and advanced classes integrate vigorous flow and playing with balances. Both Sanskrit and English names of the postures may be referred to, and knowledge of the asanas will expand over time. Props such as blocks, blankets, and straps may be used to modify positions or to guide into postures. Adjustments and massage may be given during asana practice to help align the body enabling its maximum capabilities.

Relaxation

After allowing the body and the breath to move through the postures, each class ends in a deep relaxation. In savasana, the work is let go, the efforts are acknowledged, then dedication toward the philosophical theme is revisited, and the entire being reaps the benefits of the practice. The deep relaxation of savasana is the ultimate way to take care of the body and to give gratitude for sharing in the practice.

To learn more about the practice, click here.

To read more about yogic philosophy and words of inspiration, click here.

For the group class schedule, click here.

For information on private yoga lessons, click here.