SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF YOGA:
Increases self and body awareness
Improves flexibility of muscles and range of motion of joints
Pranayama (breathing practises) calms the mind and develops lung capacity.
The yoga styles below are all styles I have gone to training for ver the years and that I am certified to facilitate.
I took both of my hatha yoga trainings with the Integral Yoga Institute in NYC whose founder is Swami Satchidananda, a disciple of Sivananda Saraswati. He first came to the States in 1966 at the request of the artist Peter Max and eventually stayed, teaching yoga and giving spiritual talks in NYC. He opened the Woodstock festival in 1969 with the message of harmony, acceptance and peace he is renowned for ("Truth is one, paths are many") and in 1986 he opened the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS) in Yogaville, Virginia.
Integral yoga classes combine the various branches of yoga encouraging a holistic form of practise through a sequence of warm up exercises, classical surya namaskar (sun salutation), standing/balancing postues, backbends, forward bends, cooling inversion, twisting postures, yoga nidra, pranayama and meditation. The postures are held for a few breaths to help the body open gently and with the breath as well as allowing time to align/adjust in the postures efficiently and consciously).
Integral Yoga Mission:
The goal and the birthright of all individuals is to realize the spiritual unity behind the diversity throughout creation and to live harmoniously as members of "one universal family". This goal is achieved by the maintaining of our natural condition as:
a body of optimal health and strength,
senses under total control,
a mind well disciplined, clear, and calm,
an intellect as sharp as a razor,
a will as strong and pliable as steel,
a heart full of unconditional love and compassion,
an ego as pure as crystal, and
a life filled with supreme peace, joy and bliss.
Bikram yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury after his guru, Bishnu Gosh, asked him to travel the world and spread the benefits of yoga. Bikram Choudhury developed a sequence of 26 postures (the sequence never change allowing the students to refine each posture a bit more every class) practised in 40 degrees celcius temperature and 40% humidity. While these specific conditions help the muscles and connective tissue stay warm and flexible, they also demand great concentration and focus of the mind. The heat makes the body sweat, detoxifying and purifying not only the physical body but the mind as the student learns to confront and embrace thought patterns that the heated environment may bring up. The 26 postures were designed so that anyone of any age, sex, background etc... could practise them.
Bikram Yoga Motto:
“You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from the scratch once again.”
VINYASA FLOW YOGA:
Vinyasa flow yoga training is the most recent training I have undertaken, with Frog Lotus Yoga International in their Suryalila yoga retreat centre in Andalucia, Spain. It was created by Vidya Jacqueline Heisel who has been practising, studying and teaching yoga for over 40 years and began her teaching career in India and eventually all over the world. Vidya has studied various styles of yoga and has incorporated some aspects of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Forrest and Kundalini yoga in Vinyasa Flow yoga. The sequence generally starts with a focus on pranayama, followed by a thorough warm-up of all major joints, dynamic vinyasa flow, inversions such as handstand and forearm balance, backbends, forward
bends, twisting postures and ends with a cooling inversion such as headstand or shoulder stand into savasana. The term vinyasa is usually associated to the specific flow between adho mukha dandasana (plank pose) and adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) but its broader meaning is the coordination of each breath with each movement throughout the practise in order to develop a greater control of the body while it moves from one posture to the next.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga:
Well thought out thematic sequencing and the use of hands-on assists and adjustments help the students refine their practise and develop mindfulness in the movement.
IT'S YOGA-ASHTANGA VINYASA YOGA & THE ROCKET®
The It's Yoga system was founded by Larry Schultz in 1989 in San Francisco. Larry studied and practised the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga series for 7 years under the guidance of Pattabhi Jois before adapting the series to make it more accessible to the Western body and therefore creating The Rocket. The Rocket routines allow the student to progress through the same postures found in the classical Ashtanga Vinyasa series without the strict tradition that one can only move on to the next pose only after having mastered the previous one. However, although the sequences may vary, the core postures remain the same as well as the emphasis on using the bandhas, breath and drishti to deepen one's practice and quiet the mind. And despite its progressive approach, the It's Yoga system is deeply rooted to the Ashtanga Vinyasa lineage; always honouring K.S Krishnamacharya and Pattabhi Jois. The It's Yoga system starts the weekly practice on Sunday with the traditional Primary Series, Rocket I routine on Monday, Rocket II modified on Tuesday and Rocket II on Wednesday followed by a more gentle Modified Primary Series on Thursday before ending the week with the energetic Rocket III routine. Rocket I focuses on legs, shoulders and abs while Rocket II concentrate on arm balancing, back and hips. Rocket III is the 'Happy Hour' of It's Yoga, combining postures from both Rocket I & II.
It's Yoga Purpose Statement:
The Mission of It's Yoga is to share the love of the practice. By facilitating classes, trainings and workshops based in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Method as taught by Larry Schultz, the founder of It's Yoga, we are dedicating to keeping Larry's living legacy alive. Through the lineage of Krishnamacharya, Pattabhi Jois and Larry Schultz, It's yoga introduces the Eastern practice of Yoga through a modern Western perspective. With the world recognised It's Yoga Teacher Training and Rocket routines, the It's Yoga family is committed to supporting lovers of Yoga to manifest their vision through a daily and practical experience of the ancient system of Ashtanga Yoga.
I like to think of yin as the twin sister of her yang brother. While yang strives on active movement, creating heat and stimulating our masculine sun energy, yin is about settling into stillness and allowing everything to just be. It connects us to our feminine moon side in long held poses which allows us to listen and observe. The muscles of the targeted area of the body are fully relaxed so that the deeper connective tissues around the joints can be stimulated and open therefore improving joint mobility and increasing their range of motion. Mentally yin yoga is a great practice to develop self-awareness and identify thinking patterns which may be harmful to our inner well-being. It is a journey inward which develops patience, compassion and acceptance.