All courses are drop in.
Applying the basics of alignment and safety, we will explore the great variety the IYENGAR Yoga method has to offer – and get fit in the process! Seven main topics will be rotated weekly. With regular attendance you will develop all-round physical fitness and awareness.
For more information please consult ‘What is Iyengar Yoga?’
Standing Poses are the ‘bread and butter’ of asana practice as they teach the basics and offer the potential to teach almost everything else. These poses are especially helpful to our health because in our lifestyles we spend too little time on our feet, consciously aligning our bodies with gravity and being grounded. Standing poses ground and give confidence.
Forward Stretches stretch the back side of our bodies. Most of us feel this in our hamstrings. Forward stretches elongate the back muscles and calm us down.
Inversions, such as hand, head and shoulder stand provide ‘a different perspective’ and free energy.
Twists massage the internal organs and have a detoxifying effect. They also allow the disks between the vertebrae to release waste materials and rejuvenate with fresh nutrients.
Backward stretches elongate the front of our bodies, open the heart chakra and make us feel good!
Regenerative practice is a mix of active and passive poses held longer with less intensity and an especially quiet mind. This is especially useful during hectic times.
Pranayama are breathing exercises teaching us to get to know our breath. This is a very important aspect of Yoga practice as it teaches us to connect the outer world with the inner body.
do not eat for at least two hours before class. Wear comfortable clothing, arrive a few minutes before the class starts and advise Richard or substitute teacher of any health issues which might affect your participation.
What is Yoga?
The term Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or union. Traditionally, Yoga is a method joining the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness. Physical and mental exercises are designed to help achieve this goal, also called self-transcendence or enlightenment. On the physical level, Yoga postures, called asanas, are designed to tone, strengthen, and align the body. These postures are performed to make the spine supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the organs, glands, and tissues, keeping all the bodily systems healthy. On the mental level, Yoga uses breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) to quiet, clarify, and discipline the mind. Yoga utilizes the mind/body connection. That is, Yoga practice contains the central ideas that physical posture and alignment can influence a person’s mood and self-esteem, and also that the mind can be used to shape and heal the body. Yoga practitioners claim that the strengthening of mind/body awareness can bring eventual improvements in all facets of a person’s life.
What is IYENGAR Yoga?
IYENGAR Yoga is an inspired and innovative approach to the classical Eastern discipline. It is particularly relevant to our Western culture as the basic principles of movement which it advocates are compatible with current developments in the field of physical therapy, kinesiology and other modern bodywork disciplines. IYENGAR Yoga is meditation in action. In the Iyengar system, special focus is placed on developing correct body alignment. Without attention to form, exercise can reinforce habitual misalignment. We tend to stretch from our more flexible areas and rely on our better developed muscle groups for strength. Iyengar Yoga encourages weak areas to strengthen and stiff areas to stretch, thus awakening and realigning the whole body. As the body moves into better alignment, less muscular work is required, and relaxation occurs naturally. Pupils learn through a carefully graded and systematic programm of asanas called sequencing. Pranayama (breath control) is gradually introduced once students have a firm foundation of asana practice. Yoga practice both relaxes and energizes the body and mind and brings vitality, flexibility, strength, concentration, self-confidence and mental calm. Yoga is suitable for all types of people and all levels of fitness. The system of teaching is methodical and progressive, emphasizing detailed correctness and absolute safety. When necessary, it uses supports called props (such as mats, blankets, walls, bricks, straps, chairs and others) that allow students to progress in their practice of postures safely at their own pace, to suit their body or psyche. Beginners work in a basic way on simple postures according to their capabilities. As they develop they then move on to more refined ways of working as well as to more complex postures. The self is explored through discovery and release of physical tension patterns and psychological resistances. As practice continues, a student’s ability to relax and concentrate generally improves markedly, and his or her inner awareness is enhanced. IYENGAR Yoga has been developed over a period of fifty years by B.K.S. Iyengar, author of Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, The Tree of Yoga and, more recently, Light on Life. B.K.S.Iyengar who, at age 92, lives in Pune, India, has been a representative of Hatha Yoga over the past 65 years. During this time he has worked out precise details of Yoga positions and established new ones. For him the body is a never ending source of potential experiences of awareness and thus a never ending provider of realizations about himself. He insists on intensive effort from his students and it is probably this characteristic of his style which appeals to many achievement oriented people from the West. Today his style of instruction ranks among those taught most.