Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. It normally encompasses a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility and breathing.
The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago and has been adapted in other countries so that there is now a wide variety of schools of yoga with modern yoga being practiced worldwide.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. Most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to improve strength, flexibility and balance and there is some evidence that regular yoga practice may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, low back pain and depression.
VINYASA FLOW YOGA
‘Vinyasa flow yoga is a style in which one posture transitions into the next while connecting each movement with the breath.
This class generates heat and creates a challenge but is for everybody at any level. You can expect to improve your strength, endurance and flexibility and reduce stress. Each class closes with deep relaxation.’
Cost for 1 block of yoga in our custom made studio is: £36,
Cost of online participation from the comfort of your own surroundings: £28
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is an active, dynamic yoga style, following a set sequence of postures every time.
If you have never done yoga before but you are generally fit and active, and if you want a class which offers a bit of challenge, then you are welcome to try Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.
It may feel unfamiliar, and that you’re not sure what you are doing – don’t be put off! We were all newcomers once. If you stick at it, you will probably see changes within your practice (and yourself) in a few weeks. You start to learn the sequence, and then the flow can develop.
Ashtanga is popular with all sorts of people, people who like the feeling of a good workout enjoy this form of yoga, but you don’t have to be sporty to start Ashtanga! Regular practice of Ashtanga Yoga will:
- build strength and stamina
- improve flexibility
- help you learn to use your breath more effectively
- develop/improve mental focus
Hatha Yoga is the teaching of traditional, classical postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (and all forms of yoga) comes from Hatha Yoga, but follows a specific posture sequence and one type of breathing.
The Hatha Yoga class moves at a much slower pace, and includes some different postures and breathing practices.
There is also time in the Hatha class to work on quiet sitting/mindfulness/meditation.
The benefits of Hatha Yoga can include:
- better posture
- reduced stress
- improved strength and flexibility
- more effective breathing
- better mental focus
If you are a complete beginner, and/or if you are looking for a slower-paced, more general class, then Hatha Yoga is very suitable.
FAQ’s, General Points for Yoga Classes
- Mats – Do buy a yoga mat, rather than a fitness or pilates mat, as they are different . A yoga mat has good grip to help stop your hands and feet slipping, rather than being thick or padded for comfort. We sell excellent quality mats in the clinic
- Clothing – loose comfortable clothes you can move in are best, and bare feet
- Towel/blanket – for Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga it can be helpful to bring a towel as you can get a bit sweaty. Also, for relaxation at the end of any yoga class (the best bit where you get to lie down) it is nice to have blanket or rug to cover up with, and stop you getting cold)
- Eating – try to avoid eating for at least two hours before a yoga class. Ashtanga Yoga in particular can be vigorous, with lots of forward bending, which is more pleasant on an empty stomach
- Water – it is best not to drink water during the Ashtanga class. The practice is designed to build heat in the body – if you get hot and sweaty, you’re doing something right! So if you drink water while practising, you “put out the fire” and are working against yourself. You should drink water before and afterwards, of course
- Pregnancy – please tell the teacher if you are pregnant. If you are new to Yoga it may be best to enrol in a pregnancy yoga class
- Injury/illness – if you have an injury, tell the teacher as it may be helpful to modify certain poses. If you are feeling unwell, discuss it with the teacher – ia yoga class may not be what you need!