There are many different styles of yoga and many different reasons why a person is attracted to practicing yoga .All reasons are equally valid and that is what makes yoga so accessible to so many people. For some it may be purely for the physical benefits of yoga;to condition, tone and lengthen whilst others are more interested in a deeper connection with the mind,body and self. The different aspects of yoga are broken down into eight limbs and include a physical practise , breath work,meditation, personal and social observances ,for example how we use our energy in relationship to others and ourselves.
My classes are a combination of Hatha and vinyasa yoga.Each class will vary from week to week depending on what areas we are working with . The class will always start with some breath work which has many different benefits to all the various different systems in the body and the mind.We will then move into some gentle salutations and then some stronger standing postures followed by core work and floor work .The session always finishes with a 15-20 minutes of relaxation and yoga nidra. All classes are designed for all levels and abilities.
Hatha yoga has been prevalent since the 15th century in India and is also known as Hatha Vidya or the science of Hatha. It is believed that through Hatha yoga, one can purify the body and make it fit for meditation. Hatha comes from two words – Ha stands for sun and Tha is the moon. So it’s two forces – the active and masculine force of the sun and the feminine and receptive energy of the moon – that join together to purify the body.
Vinyasa, which is also known as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, has its roots in the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript compiled by a sage. Vinyasa means a dynamic concentrating posture. This type of yoga flows between the traditional static yoga asanas. Vinyasa is about linking the movement of the postures to the breath. Vinyasa yoga gives a lot of importance to the journey between the postures; while Hatha yoga is about the postures only. Vinyasa yoga has a series of postures, each flowing into the other. Ujjayi breathing is part of Vinyasa and Hatha yoga.
Vinyasa is derived from Hatha yoga, though the postures and practice is different. Both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga make the body more supple and strong; improve breath work; calm the mind; and, prevent diseases. Both these forms of yoga are work towards the same goal – fitness of the body and the mind, though the way they achieve this is different.
- Vinyasa is fast paced, while Hatha yoga is slower.
- Vinyasa yoga is about a series of movements, each linked to another. This is similar to the Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar. Postures with a series of movements have greater effect on the cardiovascular system, unlike the effects of hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is about individual postures, rather than flowing movements.
- Hatha yoga is good for beginners, who are new to yoga and are learning yoga postures. Since the pace of hatha yoga is gentle and slow, it is easier for beginners to learn the postures, the breathing techniques and the principles of yoga. Vinyasa yoga, on the other hand, should be attempted by people who already know yoga.
Cultivating mindfulness is the key to overcoming suffering and recognising natural wisdom; in ourselves and in others. It helps us to become aware of our reality, moment by moment, and teaches us to be unconditionally present.
Mindfulness, paying non-judgemental attention to our experience, doesn’t reject anything and instead of escaping from our experience we learn to deal with it. When we are mindful, we start to show up for our lives, we don’t miss them being mentally distracted by wishing for things to be different.Instead if something needs to be changed we are present enough to understand what needs to be done. Being mindful is not a substitute for actually participating in our lives and taking care of one anothers needs. In fact the more mindful we are,the more skillful we can be in compassionate action.
The techniques involved in practicing mindful meditation are explained in detail in my classes and will be discussed in more detail in my blogs.