My kind of Yoga
I often say that I teach classical Hatha Yoga. When I say this, I want people to understand that the yoga I teach is: unbranded, with familiar postures, not too much â€œvinyasaâ€ or moving about, will contain some breathing exercises and some meditation. I believe that there is no â€œone size fits allâ€ and the yoga should be â€œtailored â€œ to suit the individual. Preferably, this is done through one to one sessions, with the relationship evolving over time. If in a group session, I like to provide alternatives (easier and harder) to allow all ages and abilities to access the class. In any-case we should all approach yoga with a little less ambition and a little more stillness.
At my local gym, and sometimes in yoga classes, I meet people who binge exercise! They feel that they haven't â€œdone enoughâ€, and go at their exercise like there is no tomorrow. As a result, they overwork their muscles, strain or even injure themselves. They soon find themselves avoiding their next session/s and, when they eventually go back, they feel the need to â€œmake it upâ€ by overworking again. This guilt-cycle is as abusive relationship with your own body! You can break this habit by saying yes to less. Approach your session peacefully, slow your breathing, be mindful and conscious of your whole body. "Do" less. But do it every day.
Asana, the postures and sequences we â€œdoâ€ in a yoga class, make up just 1/8th of classical yoga. It's importance is just to prepare the mind/body for meditation. There are many physical benefits to yoga asana practice: strength, stamina, slim/athletic appearance, smooth complexion etc. But these side-effects are actually a distraction from yoga's real gifts and actual purpose: inner peace. Achieving the deeper and more sublime levels of inner harmony and contentment will not come from exercise alone, no matter how gracefully, mindfully or breath-synchronized you make it. The real rewards come from incorporating all eight limbs of Hatha yoga and journeying into the hidden depths of our own psyche.
I have two different styles of class which I like to alternate. The first is a fun, toning class with lots of balancing postures, it has some physical intensity and some technical challenge. The second is an intensive stretching class that is designed to release tension in the chest and shoulders, hips and back, there is less fun and more of a personal inner journey. The two styles compliment each other very well and show the wide range of experiences possible in a yoga assana class. I am currently developing a third style based on glandular health and detoxification.