Yoga benefits body, heart, and mind. It is a practice that purifies, strengthens, detoxifies and aligns the body, combining the benefits of Yoga and Exercise.
Classes consist of:
Breathing – We learn deep breathing techniques, calming our mind and nervous system as we learn how to use the diaphragm efficiently to get more oxygen in our blood stream and to every cell in our bodies. The deep breathing method removes stress, and calms our mind while energizing our bodies.
Topic of the month – Each month there is a topic about health — it could be on food and nutrition, exercise, yoga, stress, any hot topics, herbs and oils, or anything of benefit! At the beginning of class we talk briefly about the topic and encourage group participation.
Sun Salutes – These warm up the body and get the blood flowing. They can be gentle and therapeutic, or more active and heat building depending on what you need. It is here that we set the rhythm and mood of our yoga session, establishing the relationship between movement and breath.
Standing Poses – These begin the opening process in the external body; develop strength and balance. Standing poses are a balance between being strong and steady and lengthening and releasing. Standing poses feel good and release the tensions associated with everyday living.
Seated Poses – The seated poses are known as yoga therapy. It is a healing process of cleansing and toning for the body, mind, and nervous system. The asanas are arranged in a sequence designed specifically to detoxify the organs and make the body healthy. Many practitioners have found it to assist in their healing process, whether it is mental or physical.
Inversions – Inversions are empowering by nature and bring vitality to the practitioner. Inversions are good for improving blood flow in the body, balancing our hormones and endocrine system, and aiding in the removal of toxins from the organs.
Relaxation – The return to stillness. In this place of stillness you will find the revitalizing and nurturing effects of the relaxation pose. Allow yourself time to absorb the energy; relish the stillness. Here is where your body relaxes and allows the toxins and tensions dislodged by the practice to be carried off and eliminated. This pose is just as important as all the other poses.
There are several elements that are unique to the way we practice yoga and set it apart from other forms. These, although some are considered advanced yogic techniques, are important to establish early in your practice. They will help you experience more yoga in your yoga:
- Vinyasa—movement and breathing synchronization. Moving our body in synchronization with our breath builds heat in the body while it helps calm the mind. Vinyasa keeps our practice smooth and flowing. More info at https://www.befitbodymind.org/2011/08/february-2006-vinyasa/
- Breathing. We use a specific audible breath during the practice. This type of breath helps us to utilize our diaphragm to breathe proper, steady, and deep. This relaxes the nervous system and energizes the body. More info at https://www.befitbodymind.org/2011/08/october-2007-breathing/
- Bandhas or pelvic floor and abdominal stabilization. Bandha helps calm our nervous system as they stimulate the vagus nerve encouraging one to become ‘parasympathetic dominant’. They also move energy (aka blood, lymph, neurons, etc.) in our body, support the spine, and increase our mindfulness. Bandhas only require a fraction of effort, creating stillness and support in the abdomen. Bandhas support good breathing and help us move effortlessly by giving us a feeling of lightness. More info at https://www.befitbodymind.org/2011/08/july-2011-bandhas/
- Drishti or gaze point. The eyes are trained to gaze softly at a particular spot on the body. This is to help us keep our meditative mind by not looking around the room and comparing ourselves. Having a soft and steady gaze point help us improve our concentration, while relaxing the eyes and increasing the blood flow to the optic nerve. It also keeps the neck properly aligned in the poses, and in some poses, strengthens the neck. It is important to keep a soft, hazy, not quite in focus gaze. Drishti is for mind control. More info at https://www.befitbodymind.org/2011/08/august-2011-drishti/