What is yoga?
Yoga originated thousands of years ago in northern India as a philosophy incorporating physical, mental, and spiritual practices.
The word yoga is from the Sanskrit word yuj which means “yoke” or “union.” Today we define yoga as the unification of mind, body, and spirit.
Hatha yoga is the yoga of physical discipline and is the most commonly practiced type of yoga in the United States. The focus of Hatha yoga is to unite your mind and body through the use of poses, awareness of your breath, and relaxation/meditation techniques. Vinyasa (flow) yoga is a form of Hatha yoga where movement (poses) are synchronized with the breath.
Yoga has numerous health benefits including: improved strength and flexibility, pain reduction, improved circulation, reduced stress, and increased body awareness.
Yoga classes and sessions are often referred to as ‘practice.’ In yoga, we do not strive to be perfect, we only aim to be the best we can be or do at that time.
PREPARING FOR YOUR YOGA CLASS
Clothing should be comfortable and close-fitting, but also non-binding. Yoga is done barefoot so that you are better able to feel the mat or floor beneath your feet. Wearing socks may cause you to slip.
There will be yoga props available for your use including straps, blocks, and blankets. These props are used by some people as aids to make poses more comfortable.
The only equipment that is used regularly is a yoga mat, also called a sticky mat. They come in various thicknesses. Thin mats allow for maximum stability, while thicker mats provide extra cushioning and are best for those with knee discomfort. Some mats will be available for your class or session, but if you practice yoga on a regular basis, it is recommended that you have your own mat.
It is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Allow at least 90 minutes after a meal before beginning your yoga session. However, make sure your body is properly hydrated; avoid caffeine and alcohol before practice. Bring a water bottle with you if you wish to hydrate during practice.
What should you do during your yoga practice?
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING
The breath not only delivers oxygen to your body, but also helps you to relax and clear your mind. The focused breathing at the beginning of your practice brings you into the present moment. If you notice that your thoughts slip into the past or future during your practice, then bring your awareness back to the present, to your breath and to your body.
You should listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel during practice. This is the essence of mind/body awareness.
Know your range of motion and flexibility. Every body is different and the same body is different at different times. Know your limits especially if you have any medical conditions or injuries. You should confer with your doctor before starting yoga (or any fitness program) especially if you have any health condition that limits your participation.
Classes are offered on a regularly scheduled basis in a small group setting of 3-4 people. Private sessions are available by appointment only and are limited to 4 people. They are perfect for individuals, couples, families, or a small group of friends who wish to practice together.
11AM-12:15PM Gentle Yoga
6-7:30 PM Vinyasa Yoga
6-7:15 PM Gentle Yoga
9-10:30AM Vinyasa Yoga
11AM-12:15 PM Gentle Yoga