“If we use our time on the mat to practice staying with our experience, breathing and opening to each new sensation, whether pleasant or unpleasant, this skill will automatically be there for us when we encounter difficulties in everyday life.” - Donna Farhi Bringing Yoga to Life
Our studio style is inspired by the work of renowned international teacher and author, Donna Farhi. Most of our teachers undertook their basic training in the studio’s own teacher training course, but have also pursued their professional development in different ways. So each of the teachers on staff will have a point of difference and a foundation of similarity. One of those foundations of similarity is safety. We do not judge, the culture of the studio is non-competitive, and above all, teachers are well trained to put your safety first.
The practice of "āsana" (pronounced aasunnu where u is always as in up and aa is like a in bask), or postures, is one of the techniques of Hatha Yoga which also includes mindfulness, measured breathing and stilling the busy mind. (Hatha is pronounced hut - ha)
Each of our postural classes will offer you the opportunity to stretch, grow strong, become more focussed and will build your physical skills. But most importantly you will grow into an inner peace that will serve you well in whatever you meet in life.
We encourage you to visit the various classes on offer to discover what works for you best right now.
Each class will conclude with a period of deep relaxation called “śavāsana” (pronounced shuvaasunnu). This time will be longer in the 90 minute classes and short in the 60 minute classes. This is the time that pushes the reset button for the whole brain. It consolidates all the body and mind’s learnings from the session. Many students like to quip that they come to yoga for śavāsana!
Many people have heard of various types of yoga, by names such as Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yin Yoga, and so on, and we often get asked, so what sort of yoga do you teach?
We do not align with any particular style or brand of yoga and just call what we offer "Hatha Yoga". In truth, all of the styles mentioned above could be called "hatha yoga" if we take the definition of Hatha Yoga to be yoga that has postures as part of what it does.
In the history of the development of yoga, Hatha Yoga is a relative newcomer. Texts that refer to yoga date back many thousands of years, but the earliest hatha yoga texts date to around the time of the Norman Conquest. What makes it different to the earlier strands of yoga are the physical practices, including but not confined to postures (āsana).
Hatha Yoga developed from Tantra Yoga but also took elements that were not from Tantra.
Hatha Yoga traditionally included:
Hatha means forceful, and the practice was intended to use body practices to force an energetic shift towards a transcendental union - yoga means union - with the Divine, whatever you conceive that to be.
The meaning of Hatha Yoga has shifted over the years and now embraces practices taht are more gentle.
Hatha Yoga at Yoga Spirit Studios will usually include at least the postural work, some gentle breath work, meditation and perhaps an introduction to bandha and mudra.
Hatha Yoga itself was a develpment that took much from earlier practices of Tantra Yoga. The word Tantra has become abused in recent times so I encourage you to find out more in out blog post on Tantra, "The Truth about Tantra". Tantra developed techniques that work with the energy body, and took a body positive approach which at the time was something completely new. In that sense our yoga is completely Tantric!
Our style of yoga is gentle and accessible. It is not gymnastic yoga at all. And even if a pose or practice is a little chalenging for you, there is always a modification available to make it right for you. All of our teachers are well-trained to offer such modification. yoga class at Yoga Spirit Studios will not necessarily have everyone on every mat doing the same thing. You are in charge of your own practice.
If you have never done yoga before or are returning after a long break we recommend starting here. There are six classes, which you attend at the same time on the same night of the week for six weeks. Find a Beginners Course.
Wear stretchy clothes that will move with you but take care that if you lift up a leg or hang upside down that the clothing will not expose more than you meant to. Our studio encourages modest clothing, as well. We do not over-heat the environment but keep it comfortable so practising in a bikini is not necessary.
We leave shoes at the door so easy off and on shoes are plus.
If you would like to bring your own mat that is fine however the studio is well equipped with mats and other equipment that you may require. We suggest bringing a sarong, towel or other cloth to place over shared equipment that your face and head may contact. If borrowing a studio mat please wipe it down afterwards using the spray and paper towels provided.
In these COVID restrained times we must ask that you bring your own equipment. WE are used to teaching with a full range of equipment. A yoga mat is of course essential. We very much encourage you to bring something to raise the buttocks to make sitting on sitting bones possible (it's what they are for). Such an item - perhaps a large towel - can also double to place under the head in śavāsana. You will also find a bolster handy, as it is often difficult to lie down on the back without something under the knees to release a tight lower back.
When you are pregnant you have special needs. It is best to practice with a teacher who has done post graduate studies in prenatal yoga. In a general class the teacher's attention would need to be divided, giving the person who is pregnant a different class to the one planned for the rest of the class. For that reason we do not allow pregnant women into general classes. Please join a prenatal class instead.