Mind and Body Yoga came about as a result of Steffi asking me if I could create and lead a yoga class that would focus on relaxation.
With this in mind I have tried to create a class that leaves attendees feeling refreshed and relaxed, and I hope that for an hour they will disconnect from their (no doubt) busy days and find a deeper connection with themselves.
Anyone attending the class can expect the class to start with Sectional Yogic Breathing practice, leading on to full body limbering and then Asanas (Poses or pulling shapes as I call them!) before we practice full Yogic Breath (and possibly some other breathing techniques depending on time) and then take rest.
The class moves on a ten week rotation with a guided relaxation on every fifth week. That is to say that the Asanas/Poses will change every ten weeks but the breathing and limbering will stay the same (although different breathing techniques will be introduced and practiced).
Breath is the vehicle for the mind, and as the breath becomes calm, steady and controlled so the mind becomes likewise. Therefore there is a lot of emphasis on the breath.
The Asanas are selected so that there will always be full movement of the spine (the yogic energy storehouse) and hip and shoulder openers.
As well as feeling refreshed and relaxed attendees will hopefully leave the class feeling gently but fully stretched.
Of course “practice makes better” and so the “flow” (sequence of Asanas/Poses) will remain the same for 10 weeks at a time in the hope that attendees will learn it to a point where they can pay more attention to themselves (their own breath and body) than they do to me, and therefore also hopefully to a point where they can judge for themselves any improvements as they go deeper into the poses, deeper into calmness and a more profound connection to themselves.
Yoga is so many things that it would take a few pages to fully describe it adequately. Suffice to say it’s much more than just stretching as is the common misconception. If flexibility on its own was the measure of how good a yogi someone is then gymnasts, dancers and contortionists would be the best yogis on Earth.
What makes modern postural yoga different from just stretching is that the poses and movements are linked to the breath, and coupled with Drishtis (gaze points), lead the practitioner to a calm and meditative state. Postural yoga is a moving meditation and actually Asana/Poses and Pranayama/Breath Control are just two aspects of modern classical 8 limbed yoga!
Having said that, a regular practice of Asana and Pranayama is capable of bringing a lot of internal changes and there are many reasons why it is so popular!
It is important to remember though that one doesn’t have to be super flexible to “do” yoga or be a better yogi. If one is moving with breath and intention in a calm and mindful way then one is “doing” yoga.
Mind and Body Yoga takes place on a Tuesday night at TFD Gym from 7.30-8.30pm. I look forward to seeing you in class.