Class overview

Every Body is different - respect yours 

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga dates back to around 6AD in the Upanishad scriptures

Ha = prana or life (body) force and tha = the mind(mental energy)

Yoga = union

Hatha Yoga is therefore 'union of body and mind energy'.

 

Hatha is a great place to start your practice to develop confidence and strength, also to integrate within other sports to maintain flexibilty.

 

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga differs in that it strings the asanas/poses together in a series of flowing movement led by the breath which requires greater pace and stamnia.

 

A Vinyasa class may be the perfect starting point for you if you wish to experience a more stimulating class increasing body heat, cardiovascular challenge and strength. Or may become an option to weave into your practice when you wish to change it up a little. 

There is no 'right or wrong' your body will tell you if you pay attention. 

 

Mindful Meditation & Yoga

Meditation again comes in many forms. Likewise, forms of Mindfulness taught today are generally secular; drawn from traditional Buddist teachings and constructed as to be understood in todays' frantic society.

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn defined mindfulness meditation as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. 

 

Whether practicing Mindful meditation or mindful movement the principles can be integrated into your practice and gradually into your daily life.

The breath is the perfect initial focus of attention for the mind to cultivate this practice, always present, yet always changing.

Mindful Yoga brings attention to breath, body and mind moment to moment to bring greater consciousness/awareness to enhance contentment, acceptance whilst reducing both physical and emotional unease. 

Integrating Traditional and Modern life

There are many types of Yoga.

 

Far too many to be explored here with the respect they deserve. If yoga becomes part of your life you are likely to naturally gravitate towards a style that suits your nature and I can suggest styles that may support this for you even if I may not teach them myself.

 

Ashtanga Yoga was my original passion, this started a journey that changed my life; however, as I have aged I have adapted my style to suit the changes my body requires me to respect. This is why my classes now focus on Vinyasa and Hatha, yet there are days when I love nothing more than returning to this energising practice.

 

 

The first Limb of the Eight Limbs of Yoga is associated with the Ethics and Attitude in which Yoga (and hopefully life) is practiced. These are classified as Yama's and Niyama's.

The Yamas:

Ahimsa: Non-violence non-harm

Satya: Truthfulness

Asteya: Non-stealing

Brahacarya: Non-cheating

Aparigrapha: Non-possessiveness

 

The Niyama:

Sauca: Purity, clearness

Santosa: Contentment, acceptance

Tapas: Perseverance

Svadhaya: Self study and reflection

Isvarapraidhana Contemplation of True Self/Unchanging reality)

Hatha Yoga was be practiced as preparation for higher states of consciousness - originally through meditation.

 

Yoga aims to create balace between the felt-self and the neuro-motor self; balance within the Autonomic nervous system, biomechanical and biochemical systems.

 

Achieving a 'higher state of consciousness' may feel like a tall order; but integrating Mindfulness with the physical asanas/poses and breath-work is not so daunting. 

So this is the focus of my classes. While the theories of Yoga underpin the practice the experience aims to be one of exploration.

Exploring the natural patterns of your breath, body and mind as you move ...or sit through the practice. It your choice whether you increase ease or challenge.

Keep it light, fun and safe.

 

Asanas are the physical postures. These are just one aspect/limb of yoga, although the best known. 

The changes you see within your physical muscular flexibility are due to the changes within your nervous system.

So it is not how hard you pull on your hamstings or how deep you go into a backbend but how you approach your practice (Ahimsa....without harm) and learn to utilize the breath with your movement.
Everyone’s body has it’s own history of lifestyle and trauma; emotional, physical and mental. These traumas are held and visible in our body through our individual alignments, weaknesses and strengths.
When practicing asana yoga, you move the body through a range of postures that stretch and contract the muscles.

However, learning to recognise  where you might be over-compensating, where muscles, tendons (and mind) are overworking is the real challenge of Yoga. Using the physical practice to re-balance the physiological and psychological systems.

 

The Breath-work (Pranayama) is the effective ‘bridge’ between body and mind. Just tuning into your natural breath pattern is the most powerful toolfor devloping greater awareness. The breath wil reflect your physical, emotional and mental state very clearly - stop and just notice how you breathe when you are anxious or angry and then again when you are calm or blissed.

 

Exercises which exert control of the breath can likewise alter your emotional and mental state. 

Learning Pranayama can enable you to alter your physiology, thus your mood and attitude. 

Other elements / limbs of Yoga are interwoven with the Asana and Pranayama practices.

Thes include Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)....try doing 'tree' with your eyes closed, it's so much harder!

Learn how dependent and reactive we are to external stimuli. Being led by your senses is not always a good thing so try practicing sense withdrawal and alterations of sight and sound, touch, smell and taste (try a chocolate meditation).  

Dharana (concentration) is enhanced through the practice of balances, focused attention when an asana is difficult or seated Yin practices requiring patience, self-compassion and awareness of mind patterns.

Dhyana (meditation) is brought in for just a few minutes in some Yoga practices such as Hatha and Vinyasa but is integral to Yin and Mindful Meditation classes (coming soon).

Samadhi (bliss-state)......well, we're all hoping for that one to last longer than it does, but when it is present in your life wherever you experience it just remember it, you can draw on this later.

 

Finally within a traditional approach the balanced system of body and mind focused on ‘purifying’ the body through cleansing practices known as ‘shatkarma’ (neti, dhauti, basti, kapalabti, trataka and nauli). If you research these you may be pleased to hear I do not ask you to practice Shatkarma in class!

 

 

 

 

Class Times

Our business hours

Tuesday19:00 - 20:15
Wednesday19:00 - 20:00
20:15 - 21:30
Currently online by invitation - enquire via email julia@buckingham-yoga.co.uk

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