What is Yoga?

Yoga is the ancient practice of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation that originated in India. It is a wonderful form of exercise that builds strength, stamina and flexibility. Focusing on the breath allows the practitioner to become more internally focused and offers a respite from busy schedules and the demands that make up daily life. All things yoga help us to find balance in our daily lives, physically, mentally and emotionally.

What is Hatha Yoga?

There are different styles of yoga; you may have heard of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Hatha, power yoga and also dynamic yoga. Although an essay could be written on the topic, in brief, Hatha yoga is the practise of classic yoga poses, which are common to most styles of yoga. The word Hatha is made up of two words, 'Ha', meaning sun and 'Tha', meaning moon. This represents the seeking of balance in all things, including life, the physical body, mental thoughts.

In my classes I teach classic yoga poses in a flowing style. The classes are different each week as I aim to introduce new poses and new ways of looking at familiar poses.

What happens in a Yoga class?

In my Yoga classes, I usually start with a breathing exercise to bring awareness back to the breath. This is followed by gentle warm ups to mobilise the major muscles in the body. We then move on to some stronger postures, which are usually connected in a flowing sequence. The ninety minute classes always end with a relaxation, at least fifteen minutes. The 60 minute classes end with a slightly shorter relaxation. You will go home feeling gently stretched and chilled and should sleep really well that night!

I am not very flexible, should I be doing Yoga?

Yoga is suitable for everyone! No need to be be flexible as each posture is taught in a way that you can find your own level to work at. Indeed you are encouraged to listen to your body and to work at your level only.

Is yoga for women only?

I'm not going to lie, it's mostly women you find in a yoga class. However I do applaud the men who come along, and there is certainly no law against men attending. Everyone benefits from having yoga in their life. I know it may seem a bit daunting to come into a class, but trust me, everyone just gets on with their own stuff and does not look at other people in the class. If you are at all unsure I would suggest trying one class, see what you think and then decide if it is something you wish to continue with.

What happens in a relaxation and meditation class?

There will be no physical yoga poses. The class lasts for 60 minutes. We start by getting comfy, usually in a seated posture on the floor or on a chair. From there I will guide you through an exercise to help you breathe more deeply, relax fully and allow the mind to focus on whatever the theme of the class is. If you are coming to this class, make sure you are wearing warm comfortable clothing and if you would like to bring cushions, blankets or anything else to enhance your physical comfort.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Stilling the mind, reducing tension and stress, better sleep, improved focus and concentration.

There are many different types of meditation. Mindful meditation is quite popular at the moment, the objective of all kinds is the same.

What do I need to bring to a Yoga class?

Please bring a non slip Yoga mat to class. If you don't have a yoga mat no problem as I usually have a couple spare t borrow or sell, just let me know. Wear comfortable clothing that you can easily stretch in. No shoes are required as you will work in bare feet. It is also a good idea to bring a cotton blanket, you may get a little cold during relaxation. Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach.

Where do I get a yoga mat?

Non slip yoga mats are widely available on the internet and in most sports shops. I recommend getting a thick one, 6mm is good and it must be non-slip. At the moment I have a stock of eco-friendly mats available from www.ecoyoga.co.uk . They are seconds but very good quality and cost £xxx (TBC) each.

What is restorative Yoga?

During a restorative Yoga class you may only practice three or four postures and stay in them for up to twenty minutes each. We use lots of props (bolsters, blankets and foam blocks) to make sure every part of your body is fully supported so that you can completely and totally relax. A guaranteed way to escape your busy life for a short while and leave you feeling blissed out for the remainder of the day. I do not teach restorative yoga in a class setting, it is usually something that will be done in a small group class or a private class.

Is there an age limit?

You need to be 18 or over to attend one of my classes. However young people of 16 and over can attend provided they are accompanied to the class by a guardian or parent aged over 18. This is to comply with my insurance requirements. If you want to know any more, please phone me.