What is Yoga?

yoga class

Yoga means unity or oneness.  This unity spiritually refers to union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.  On a more practical level, yoga is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions.  This is done through the practice of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) meditation and other techniques.

When we practice the different techniques we focus our mind on the present moment.  We stop living in the past and future and come into the Now.  Now is where we are in a natural state of being.  With no attachments or judgement about the present moment.  We simply are.  This is Yoga.  We are fully immersed in the present moment.

Types of Yoga

Try all the styles and teachers and see which style resonates with you.  Remember, you don’t need to be flexible or fit to practice yoga.  Yoga is for everybody and every body.  All you need is your breath.  It’s not about the poses!  Discover your body and make a new best friend.

Hatha Yoga:

Hatha yoga is a general name for any style of yoga that teaches physical yoga.  In the West, we refer to Hatha yoga as a more gentle and slower style of yoga.  Almost all styles of yoga practiced in the West is Hatha yoga.  Hatha yoga is a gentle introduction to the most basic postures.  You won’t work up much of a sweat, but you will feel more relaxed, more in tune with your body and heightened awareness.  Practice Hatha Yoga if you are a beginner, pregnant or if you are recovering from an injury.

Vinyasa Yoga:

Vinyasa means conscious placement; being aware of each movement and linking your movement to the breath.  Simply put, Vinyasa means flow.  Classes are choreographed linking different poses together allowing the practitioner to transition smoothly.  Each class is different.  If you don’t like routine and like to work up a sweat, then you will enjoy Vinyasa!  Teachers play music and the energy in this class is quite high.  You will leave your mat feeling elevated, alive and vibrant.  Vinyasa classes are both challenging and fun.

Budokon Yoga:

‘Budokon’ means ‘The way of the Warrior Spirit’.  It’s inspired by Martial Arts and created by Cameron Shayne.  Expect a challenging yoga class that includes fluid, mindful movement and animal locomotion.

Yin / Restorative Yoga:

These classes are a delicious way to unwind and relax shattered nerves.  A lot of props are used in passive poses so that the practitioner can completely relax.  The body can now experience the pose without exerting any effort. After this class you will feel rejuvenated. This builds a lot of flexibility as the practitioner goes deeper into the pose.  This class is recommended once a week to balance your Vinyasa (yang) practice.

Ashtanga Yoga:

Ashtanga Yoga is a vinyasa style of yoga; linking the movement with the breath.  Sri K Patthabi Jois introduced Ashtanga Yoga to the west in the 60’s.  Ashtanga is an 8-limb yoga, including moral codes, self purification, postures, breath control, sense control, concentration, meditation and absorption into the universal consciousness.

Kids Yoga:

Kids yoga classes are 30 minutes long.  The postures are weaved in with a story, making it fun and more interactive for the kids.  There might be drawing and singing, and a lot of animal noises in class.  Kids yoga enhances concentration, improves flexibility and boosts confidence.  Kids yoga are aimed at children from 3 – 11 years old.

Pregnancy Yoga:

Research have shown that woman that do yoga during pregnancy experience an easier, as well as a shorter labour. Pregnancy yoga teaches moms to be present and go with the flow, so that they can handle the birth process however it may turn out. Calm mommy = calm baby.  Pregnancy yoga will help you to realize your potential and help you savor and enjoy this time in your life.

Acro Yoga

Acro Yoga is the combination of  yoga and acrobatics.  This practice cultivates trust, playfulness and community. Let your inner child free and join us on Friday nights from 6pm.  This is a social class, laughter is encouraged. You don’t need a partner.  You don’t need any yoga or acrobatic experience.  Everybody can do Acro Yoga!  Play in a safe environment and be surprised by what you can do!

Here are a view videos to give you a better idea…

Read more about other benefits of yoga and how yoga heals.