The Beginner’s class consists of a series of postures (asanas), breathing practices, deep relaxation and meditation, all of which have great benefits – physical, mental and spiritual, when done regularly.
How are Hatha Yoga and exercise different?
The Approach: Yoga is non-competitive. The goal is not only the final form but also the process to get there.
The Goal: while the physical benefits of yoga are many, yoga is not an end in itself but a means to an end: peace, wisdom and a deeper understanding of oneself.
The Mind state: The mindful attitude that keeps the mind always present to what is happening while holding the pose, in all the levels of our being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It is done gently and without pain or strain.
The Breath: while we use breath during exercise, in yoga besides using different breathing techniques, we develop “breath awareness”.
Class consists of:
- Centering and Chanting (The two chants we do are “Hari Om” to start the class and “Om Shanti” to end the class). Students are welcome to join in the chant if they feel comfortable. See the meaning of chant (LINK).
- Warm-ups (Sun Salutation) – prepare the body for the postures
- Standing or optional poses – develop concentration and calm nerves
- Backward bending poses
- Forward bending poses
- Inverted poses – reverse the pull of gravity on body and bring blood to the brain
- Twisting poses
- Deep relaxation – known as Yoga Nidra, tensing and releasing muscles while using visualizations
- Breathing practices – help calm and control mind in preparation for meditation
- Meditation – introduction to basic meditation techniques
You don’t need to be flexible or even fit to begin a Yoga practice. You will benefit from the poses even if you can’t do them fully at first, as long as they are done without strain.
Wear loose, comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat, if you have one, or you can borrow one from us. Avoid eating a heavy meal at least 2 hours before class. Generally, it is not recommended to begin asanas during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, you may speak to your instructor for further information. If you have any health conditions that may interfere with the class, please call us or email us to let us know before the class..
What is an asana?
"Asana is a steady and comfortable posture."
Definition by Patanjali: Sutra 46, Book 2