The postures in yoga are what made this practice famous. They can be taken as simple poses to stretch and strengthen the body, but they are also a gateway into a world of myths and fantastical stories from the vast heritage and culture of India. The split isn't just a split, it's Hanumans big leap to the island of Lanka to save Sita, Lord Ramas beloved. Being able to do a split doesn't only mean being flexible, it means discipline, determination, knowing oneself and being able to face new challenges, just like Hanuman did.
Correct alignment and breath is what makes people reap the benefits of yoga. I want my students to understand what the muscles, the bones and the mind are doing in the poses. I create a safe and sometimes fun, sometimes more focused, place where I guide you into discovering the subtle things about your body and if I am truly successful in the end we will learn more things about our Self. The Asanas- postures- are what makes yoga a physical practice. Of course it can be only a physical practice, it depends on your attitude towards it, but I do encourage my students to go a step beyond. When yoga was created, it only had 15 postures and the goal was to have a fit body in order to be able to sit for meditation. Since then it has evolved into a practice done by people across the world. I encourage you to be curious and come and explore with me.
Asanas will be explored also through the use of props making yoga for EVERY BODY. Beginners to advanced, there is always room to learn
One of yoga's many branches is being able to connect to the breath during this practice and be able to maintain a continuous focus, using the breath as a tool in your physical practice to be able to explore deeper, and using it as a tool to quiet the mind. This awareness of breath that we learn in yoga is helping us in activating the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for rest, digestion and energy conservation, quieting down the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for our "fight-and-flight" response which manifests as stress, tension and anxiety.
ALIGNMENT TO FLOW
Yoga is also an art. It's not supposed to be pretty, it's supposed to be intangible, but we do like to move our bodies and once we know how to flow into creating shapes we will find flow in our live also. Tap into the imagination and allow ourselves to move according to what our body is telling us with our breath as guide. I love flowing in my yoga practice and I like to teach my students how to access their ability to flow after learning the alignment.
Holding poses, whether in a flow to take a break or in the practice to activate and be aware of more subtle changes in the body, helps us to better understand what exactly is going on there. This can also teach us that in life when something comes our way and tips us out of our comfort zone we can stop, take a breath, hold some space while we figure our the best solution, being aware of the subtle changes (outcomes, consequences).
In life and in our practice in order to be able to live happily and "flow" with whatever changes come our way, we have to align. Align with our desires, with our principles and our belief system, figure out the conflicts and our limitations and then be able to flow towards a fulfilling and balanced life. Whether we are talking about anatomical alignment in the body or alignment in our day to day life, it is all for the purpose of living a happy, healthy and balanced life.
MEDITATION AND RELAXATION
What is meditation?
Meditation is being able to quiet the mind through focus, one pointedness or concentration.
To reduce stress and to develop better awareness, of yourself and of your surroundings. Meditation is hard to achieve, and it isn't a set rule for everyone, it is based on your own experience.
What we can do in our yoga and meditation practice is activate and increase this awareness, working with different techniques to aid concentration.
We need to learn to relax!
It is a crazy world out there and our lives turn crazier by the year, I'm not saying it's not fun, but it can overwhelming and not everyone is up for it all the time. That's why starting to live a bit more mindfully will benefit us and in return our environment.
The way I incorporate the practice of meditation/concentration into classes can be a guided meditation on the body, a breath and body focus or a philosophical theme applied to an asana class meant to initiate reflection.
All fundamental questions start with "Why", we should be able to find answers after we ask "How".
RESTORATIVE YOGA is another type of yoga which, as the name says, is meant to recharge our energy allowing us to deeply relax and allow ourselves to let go for a bit. It activates our parasympathetic nervous system and helps in maintaining a healthy immune system.