Yoga, which means “union” or “harmony,” is both a philosophical system and a science whose goal is the attainment of self awareness. Although ancient, yoga is not outdated. It has value for the modern world. Yoga offers us the opportunity to deepen our self understanding through physical movement, breathing and meditation. Today almost 16 million in the U.S. alone practice yoga.
On a personal level,Yoga is using breath to connect to body, mind and spirit. Coming to our mat we create a space to go within. Yoga is an opportunity to quiet the mind. Yoga is a spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical experience. It is a journey that is always new.
Principles of Practicing Hatha Yoga
- Consider Samasthi your true nature: calm, present, centered, balanced and clear.
- Pay attention to how each pose creates the challenge of finding your true nature amidst the problem it creates – and pay attention to how you pay attention.
- Cultivate vinyasa, the conscious connection of breath to movement in your body, paying close attention to the steady, rhythmic, balanced flow of your breath.
- Let your practice be primarily about your breath. Find the strained part of your breath and smooth it out. Lengthen (slow) the beginning and end of the inhale and exhale — the mid-part naturally goes more slowly. Complete each exhale. Complete each asana with completion of the exhale. Initiate movement into the next pose with the inhale.
- Expand your concept of vinyasa – just as movement into and out of poses is initiated with the breath, use the breath within each pose to refine it, tuning in to the small, subtle movements within the relative stillness of each held pose. Working within the pose, make smaller movements more often rather than large movements.
- Find your roots, work from your roots, and consciously cultivate expansion and stable extension from your roots.
- Cultivate balance: in your breath, between the front and back of your body, from the front of the foot to the back of the foot, between strength and relaxation, between effort and ease.
- Allow yourself to be guided from within by tuning in and listening to what your body is saying. You are ultimately your own best teacher.
- Allow yourself a sense of playfulness in the practice. While some moments or time periods in your practice might draw out deeply rooted feelings that result in sadness or melancholy, open yourself to a growing sense of integration, bliss and fun.
- Let your practice be your practice of moving into stillness and well being.
Chanting: We chant in Yoga in order to bring our voices together in community and experience the healing aspect of the vibration within our bodies. We chant the word OM (A-U-M) because it represents the sound of the Universe humming with energy. When chanting, take a deep inhale and let the sound come naturally on the exhale, letting it vibrate within you.
Namaste: Means that which is sacred in me sees, and honors, that which is sacred in you.
Check out this video of Basic Moves for Yoga. They are the foundation for optimal alignment.
Every month we offer a Free Intro to Yoga class that will get you acquainted with the studio. Our weekly schedule offers a wide variety of classes for the beginner. Choose a class appropriate for your fitness level- Yoga Basics, Gentle Yoga, Yoga to Heal/Relax, Beginner’s series, Level One classes and Restorative Yoga are suitable for beginners. Please note that an All Levels class is only appropriate if you have some yoga experience. Also offered is private instruction, a benefit for both the beginner and continuing student who desires personalized instruction.
The answer is most often yes. In fact, yoga is an excellent way to support the body in its healing process and often recommended by physicians. Modification of poses and skilled assistance will enable your body to find its way. Please inform your doctor or health care provider before you begin your practice, and be sure to let your teacher know what is going on in order for your specific needs to be addressed.
Yoga is a wonderful way to support your body and the precious being growing inside you. There are some precautions however, so you will want to let your doctor as well as your teacher know that you are pregnant, especially if you are in your first trimester. The benefits of a yoga practice for prenatal and post-natal students are almost countless. Check out our schedule for our prenatal class schedule.
Looking to touch your toes? Yoga can help you get there. However, you’ll learn much more along the way down. Inactivity, which causes one to lose flexibility, results in stiffness in both body and mind. Move more, as the more limber the body becomes the more space you create for vibrancy.
Yoga asanas (postures), when practiced correctly, require every part of the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of self to be a part of the yoga experience. Yoga will help you become flexible both in body and mind. The more you show up on your mat, the more you’ll experience the benefits of yoga.
Simple answer: YOGA will make you more flexible but you will get so much more from regular yoga practice than being able to touch your toes.
Yoga is an inexpensive, natural tool to help you:
- Strengthen Muscles
- Improve Balance
- Improves Immune Function
- Improves Posture
- Improves Lung Function
- Leads to Slower and Deeper Breathing
- Discourages Mouth Breathing
- Increases Oxygenation of Tissues
- Nourishes Intervertebral Disks
- Improve Return of Venous Blood
- Improves Joint Health
- Increase Circulation of Lymph
- Improve Function of the Feet
- Improve Proprioception
- Increase Control of Bodily Functions
- Strengthens Bones
- Condition the Cardiovascular System
- Promote Weight Loss
- Relax the Nervous System.
- Improve the Function of the Nervous System
- Improve Brain Function
- Activate the Left Prefrontal Cortex
- Change Neurotransmitter Levels
- Lower Levels of the Stress Hormone Cortisol
- Lower Blood Sugar
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Improve Levels of Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Thin the Blood
- Improve Bowel Function
- Release Unconscious Muscular Gripping
- Use Imagery to Effect Change in the Body
- Relieve Pain
- Lower Need for Medication
- Foster Healing Relationships
- Improve Psychological Health
- Lead to Healthier Habits
- Foster Spiritual Growth
- Elicit the Placebo Effect
- Encourage Involvement in Your Own Healing
- Be Present in Your Body
Bring an open heart, open mind. Some students find that they need a towel and water bottle. All props are available in the studio. Mat rental is provided for $1. Ideally you will purchase your own mat as you decide to commit to a regular practice. We encourage you to be aware of good hygiene, and refrain from wearing fragrances.