What is Yoga?
The word Yoga comes from the sanskrit (the language of ancient India where Yoga originated) word “Yuj" meaning to yoke, join or unite. In Yoga this uniting implies integrating all aspects of the individual – mind, body and spirit to bring about a happy and balanced life. Yoga is the scientific art of remembering our true nature, however, along the path of Yoga one gains health, happiness, tranquility and knowledge. What is commonly referred to as “Yoga" here in the West can be described by the sanskrit word “asana" which refers to the practice of physical postures and poses. However, “asana" is only one of the eight “Limbs" of Yoga according to Patanjalis “Yoga Sutras" written some 2, 200 years ago. The other “Limbs" of Yoga are more concerned with mental and spiritual well being than physical activity. The practice of yoga brings about a state of balance and harmony of the mind, body and spirit and allows us to become human be-ings rather than humans do-ing, as well as helping to remove dis-ease from the mind and body.
Benefits of Yoga
Many of us come to yoga for lots of different reasons, from gaining greater strength and flexibility, physical healing from injury, reducing stress or just to gain a deeper understanding of life. The beauty about Yoga is that anyone can benefit from it. As B.K.S. Iyengar quoted “If you can breathe, you can practice Yoga". There can be many benefits from practising yoga and to mention a few;- increased strength, stamina and flexibility, reducing stress and anxiety, increased concentration, increasing energy and vitality, increased self-esteem and posture is greatly improved. Overall most students describe a feeling of well being and balance with a regular practice of yoga in their lives.
Yoga Levels Explained
All levels: This class is a mixed ability class open to those who have never practiced yoga through to yoga teachers and intermediate students. The emphasis will be offering lots of options to cater for everyone in class. We practice yoga in a group but our own practice on our mats is a very individual journey.
Level 1: A mixed level class for those wanting a slightly gentler practice. A well rounded, basic yoga practice with emphasis on breathing and healthy alignment. Beginners are welcome, but it is suggested that you complete a beginners course first.
Level 2: A moderately paced class that introduces more challenging asanas (postures), sun salutation variations, inversions and backbends and breathing techniques. Not suitable for beginners.
Level 3: A more challenging class for those with an ongoing yoga practice. Assumes good grounding in the principles of asana and breathing. Advanced postures and methods of practice will be introduced. Not suitable for beginners.
Anusara Inspired Flow Yoga
Developed by John Friend in 1997, Anusara means “flowing with Grace" or “going with the flow". Anusara yoga is a Hatha yoga system that unifies an uplifting philosophy, epitomised by a “celebration of the heart" with specific alignment principles to promote safety and to empower all students to achieve their full potential. Anusara is an all-inclusive yoga in which each students various unique abilities and limitations are deeply honoured.
The Ashtanga system is an ancient form of yoga, passed down through the generations by gurus and teachers, most notably in the C20 Sri K Pattabhi Jois, who himself was a student of the great teacher Sri Krishnamacharya.
The Ashtanga Vinyasa practice is unique in connecting the breath with movement in a set sequence of postures (asanas). The practice generates heat within the body, which cleanses, purifies, stimulates and tones the internal and external bodily systems. The energising Ujjayi breath is fundamental to the practice, with the poses linked by the breath as beads on a thread. In addition, energy locks or bandhas are cultivated together with focus points, or drishtis. This dynamic form of yoga is one of the most popular in the West today and with practice becomes a moving meditation.
Baby massage is a wonderful way to enhance your relationship with your child. It encourages bonding and provides a time of mutual pleasure and togetherness. Studies show that massaging your baby improves their breathing, digestion, circulation and growth and provides a good source of sensory and muscle stimulation, which is beneficial to all babies. It may be particularly good for babies with special needs such as; developmental disabilities and Down's syndrome. Baby massage can also help mums suffering from postnatal depression. It is a lovely way to get your baby social life started in a relaxed and nurturing environment and can really help with common issues such as sleep, colic and wind. The course includes everything you need to know to massage your baby with confidence.
A non-strict dance conditioning class incorporating basic ballet barre exercises to begin, followed by a variety of pilates, dance movement and stretches. This class is a low-impact whole body workout and an excellent way to build strength, improve posture and increase flexibility in a nurturing and encouraging environment! All levels and abilities very welcome and exercises can be modified to suit each individual.
Kirtan is the best known Bhakti Yoga practice. It is a form of devotional chanting whose roots go back over 500 years to India and has the power to awaken the heart. By repeating simple mantras over and over, Kirtan is an effortless way to experience some freedom from the daily chatter of the mind, taking us deeper into stillness and silence. Bhakti Yoga is considered the easiest yogic path to master and the most direct method to experience the unity of mind, body and spirit. No prior experience is needed to benefit from this practice. All welcome!
Core Fusion Training
A non-impact strength workout suitable for all ages and abilities, targeting the core muscles (deep abdominals and back muscles). This workout uses an effective combination of Pilates-inspired mat based exercises as well as Swissball and light resistance (body weight, dumbells and dynabands) to challenge the whole body. Benefits include sculpted and toned muscles, improved posture, stronger pelvic floor muscles and improved strength and stamina to help with everyday demands on the body and with performance in other activities/sports and to limit risks of injuries.
Our Flow Yoga classes begin with a comprehensive, playful warm up and lead into a flow of physical postures designed to increase strength and flexibility. In the second part of the class, the practice slows down with more static postures, developing greater body awareness and balance.
This is a gentle flowing class with emphasis on the breath to release tension and re-energise. Suitable for all, including those recovering from injury or illness.
Hatha Yoga describes any of the physical practices of yoga. Traditional Hatha yoga is a holistic path, including moral disciplines, physical postures (asanas), purification procedures, yogic breathing (pranayamas) and meditation.
Tone & Stretch (LotteBerk®)
Created over 60 years ago by the German dancer Lotte Berk, the exercises are based on modern dance, yoga and physiotherapy. A fun and deceptively challenging workout designed to achieve a lean, supple and toned body. The classes are an excellent complement to Yoga and Suzy is also a qualified yoga teacher.
Performed at the ballet barre and on mats, this 60 minute workout targets all major muscle groups. Regular practise gives you trimmer thighs, lifted buttocks, strengthened abdominals and improved balance, stamina and flexibility. The exercises are performed to music. No prior dance or exercise experience is necessary and all fitness levels are welcome. Come and try out a class!
The class is open to all men from beginners to those with an established practice; from those who regularly play sport to those who do not do any other form of physical exercise. The class is a mix of movement with breath, longer held static postures and relaxation, with a specific focus on functional yoga for men's bodies. Regular attendance will grow your body awareness, strength & flexibility, and help you in releasing excess tension! And you will have fun.
Mum & Baby Yoga
6 weeks to Crawling. Mum & Baby yoga offers quality physical stimulation including flowing postures, holding, movement, touch, voice and deep relaxation. It induces a happy, carefree and lively parent-infant interaction which develops as the babies grow. The experience of movement combined with touch is probably the richest stimulation we can offer babies from birth. In yoga, this stimulation occurs through the mutual involvement of parent and baby, at a pace at which the baby can absorb and integrate it. As yoga postures induce deep relaxation in adults, so in babies they bring a state of deep contentment and promote deep sleep.
The classes are designed to be entertaining for the babies as well as the mums, so fun music, games and a light-hearted atmosphere are all the order of the day. As any new mum knows, babies are unpredictable creatures and each class is always very different to the next. One important aspect of the classes is that they are very laid back – mums can stop to feed or tend a crying babe at any time they need to, without fear of judgement or embarrassment. Mums are always amazed at the mobility of little bodies and the postures-for-two are a fantastic way to bond with a new baby – great for helping mums cope with difficulties such as postnatal depression. In fact, meeting with other mums also provides a great opportunity to compare notes about motherhood and other mums are often the most understanding and accepting of all of the feelings that come up in the postnatal period, even if those feelings are perceived as being negative by society in general. The classes are a fantastic support system and the tea and biscuits afterwards are often as important as the yoga practice itself.
Power Flow Yoga
A fast-paced and playful 45 minute yoga practice that incorporates traditional yoga postures and breathing with dance inspired movement. This class is not suitable for absolute beginners but for those who have a little or a lot of yoga experience.
14 weeks to Birth. Yoga provides many benefits – physical, mental and emotional that can improve the experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting. Postures and breathing practices are adopted to create greater ease and to support each stage of pregnancy. The combination of breathing and movement with awareness can be a great vehicle for self discovery and connection with your baby. Toning the muscles that support the pregnancy as well as increasing the elasticity of the birthing muscles are also benefits. Yoga during pregnancy provides a gentle, safe, fun and supportive setting for mother and baby. Classes will create space to connect with your baby, give time to honour yourself through the practice of yoga and to help you to prepare for birth share stories and meet other pregnant women. These classes will leave you feeling lightness and freedom of movement, more peaceful and at home with you and your baby.
Strong Mama Postnatal Strength & Recovery
These classes are open to all levels of fitness and new mums can also bring their babies along (pre-crawlers). The main focus is to strengthen and reconstruct the abdominal wall together with pelvic floor muscles strengthening. It is essential for abdominal exercises to be done correctly post-pregnancy in order to prevent permanent deformation or 'doming' of the stomach. New mothers will be guided through safe and specific core exercises also geared to maintain or restore pelvic stability, address specific postural issues and deal with post-pregnancy related aches and pains as well as strengthen and tone the whole body. More specific issues such as SPD (affecting the pubic bones alignment), postpartum Diastasis Recti (“Separation" of abdominals), post-partum hernia, prolapse etc. can also be helped, contained and improved following these exercises while the necessary adaptations will be carefully addressed in class.
Restorative & Yoga Nidra
This class will take you on a relaxing journey back home. Traditional tantra yoga focuses on breathing, relaxation and meditation. We will mostly work from a lying down position and slowly flow through our poses, approaching each one from a place of care and love for ourselves. We learn to let go of 'performing' and 'comparing'. This series (Tri-dosha Balancing Series) is designed to leave you feeling balanced, relaxed and grounded – yet able to connect with a wider awareness.
Yin Yoga is a cooling practice and therefore complimentary to any dynamic practice. Holding postures for some time whilst remaining still, and listening to the body to find its appropriate edge are a few qualities of this practice. Specific meridian lines of the body are stimulated by the poses, and can help remove energetic blockages thus encouraging the flow of prana. Yin Yoga is a challenging practice yet deeply nourishing physically, emotionally and energetically.