WHAT IS YOGA?
The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj", which means "to yoke" the spirit and physical body together. Yoga has evolved over thousands of years to embrace a wide range of styles and disciplines.
Yoga is a popular activity for householders, athletes, children, and seniors. Yoga can be modified to suit all levels of fitness. Yoga has been proven to lower blood pressure and increases strength and flexibility. Yoga energizes our bodies and calms our minds.
The word "Hatha" comes from the Sanskrit "ha," or sun, and "tha," meaning moon. The principle behind Hatha is uniting pairs of opposites: the positive and the negative, the sun and the moon. In Hatha, you can expect a slower-paced practice that focuses on breathing and learning poses. Hatha yoga is a great place to learn; however, intermediate and advanced students can also push themselves by holding poses deeper and longer. Expect simple breathing exercises and some seated meditation. Since Hatha can mean a lot of different things and classes will vary depending on your instructor, expect a bit of diversity when attending different Hatha classes.
The Hatha practice is where all yoga is derived from and is a wonderful place to start. You will learn basic poses, relaxation techniques and terminology that you will find in almost every other style of yoga.
Vinyasa means "breath-synchronized movement," and Vinyasa yoga is a series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa movements are smoothly flowing and almost dance-like, which explains why it is sometimes referred to as Vinyasa Flow or just Flow.
Vinyasa has both mental and physical benefits. Physically, sweat expels toxins and re-energizes your body. Mentally, the synchronized breathing relaxes your mind and helps to release any blockage of energy flow throughout your body.
Expect a class full of rhythmical flow combined with music connecting each moment with unifying pranayama (breath). Classes can be more meditative or focused on the natural movement of the body, almost like dancing through postures. A great transition from Hatha when you're looking for more of a challenge.
Practising yoga during pregnancy is a safe and gentle way of keeping the body strong and supple as your body adjusts to your growing baby. Adapting classic yoga poses and moving in a flowing, rhythmic way, your yoga practice will improve your posture, unravel tension and give you time out of your busy week to connect with your baby in a very special way. You will learn about the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and birthing, useful birthing positions and invaluable, practical breathing and relaxation techniques.
Attending a pregnancy yoga course also gives you the opportunity to meet other expectant mums from the local community.
POSTNATAL/ MUMMY AND BABY CLASS
This class welcomes mums and babies from 6 weeks (after mum had her 6 weeks check up) to pre-crawling. We start our class with baby massage and baby yoga
(fully dressed, dry massage, no oil used) and then move onto postnatal asanas , pranayamas (breathing exercise) and relaxation for mum!
In one session, baby receives a valuable and concentrated form of physical activity as well as 1:1 attention from mummy. Group relaxation is also mutually beneficial for parents and babies and enhances non-verbal communication and bonding between them.
Four main categories we focus on when we do baby yoga: relief, relaxation, stimulation and interaction.
And of course community time is important when mums can have a cup of tea and biscuits while majority of the babies are sleeping smoothly in the end of the class.