Are you new to yoga? experienced? somewhere in between? Yoga really is for everyone, young, mature, middle aged, children teens or even if you are pregnant.
As iconic yoga guru Krishnamacharya said, “if you can breathe, you can do yoga”
What is yoga?
Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely. There is a magical quality that makes yoga different from Western ‘workouts’; yoga gives you true fitness and brings inner-strength, clarity and calm.
Speak to us today or book a class online at HealthHub, which covers Yarm, Eaglescliffe, Stockton on Tees, Ingleby Barwick and Middlesbrough, where we have a number of specialist Yoga Instructors who will advise on a personalised course of treatment.
History of yoga
It is estimated the that least 5,000 years ago (possibly much longer), the early yogis in Northern India drew on their deep experiences and formulated practices for man to achieve and maintain a state of balanced existence, health and wellbeing. Although the Sanskrit word yoga is commonly interpreted as ‘union’, it’s primary meaning has been that of practices for the cultivation of the highest awareness at all levels of the human being. There are many ways to practice yoga including meditation, study, self enquiry, chanting and hatha yoga.
A unique type of exercise
Every time you step on to your yoga mat, you connect to and become part of an evolving and powerful, ancient tradition. Yoga is the ultimate exercise and method of self-improvement.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga offers a myriad of benefits physically, mentally and emotionally to help us live our lives to the fullest.
Health maintenance + illness prevention
- decreases blood pressure
- lowers the pulse rate
- massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner which prevents disease
- improves circulation by gently stretching muscles and joints and massaging the various organs
- transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body
- flushes out toxins from the system
Weight reduction + muscle toning
- strengthens and tones the core
- increases muscle definition throughout the body
- stimulates flaccid, weak or lazy muscles to shed excess flab
- increases metabolism so fat is converted to muscle and energy
Mental + emotional benefits
- reduces level of stress hormone, cortisol
- strengthens nervous system, reducing long-term stress levels and anxiety
- increases neurotransmitter dopamine, which lifts the mood to create a feeling of happiness and harmony
- gives the opportunity for introspection and inner-awareness
- Can be used to wake up the body and increase alertness as well as aiding in relaxation and sleep.
New to yoga
This is the start of an amazing journey
Taking your first step onto the yoga mat is an exciting new beginning. Whichever style, course or class you choose, we believe that the only way to start yoga is with the highest standard of teacher in the best environment. Building a solid foundation is the most important part of your yoga practice.
Where to begin?
A gentle beginners class is the ideal (but not the only) way to begin your practice. You will be alongside other beginners, discovering yoga in a safe and fun space. The practice builds week by week, providing a solid foundation and inspiring you for classes or to move into the next level.
Can’t make the Beginners Course?
If Beginners Course times don’t work for your schedule, then a mixed ability class would be the best place to start and your teacher will be able to guide you through offering you any modifications you might need. The time you spend at beginner level establishes the foundations of your practice. Many experienced students take a gentle class out of choice as working with the ‘fundamentals’ of yoga practice is always challenging. Take your time – practice and patience are essential. Challenge yourself, but never strain yourself. “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory” Pattabhi Jois
What to expect in your Yoga class
A warm welcome and a big smile, get settled sitting on your mat, unless it is a Power yoga class you will be begin sitting down taking a moment to clear your mind and focus on what you want to achieve in the next 55 minutes, which could be just getting through it, or stretching your hamstrings out, as yoga is unique to the individual leach persons practice and aims will be different.
Beginning slowly by gently warming the body up with mindful movements on the mat before coming to a standing position where you will begin the heat building portion of the practice involving a number of sun salutations, followed by groups of postures (asana) to stretch, strengthen, balance and mobilise the body. Before we reach the end you will start to come back to the floor to take some restorative postures before taking Savasana, (corpse pose/laying down) which is a practice of gradually relaxing one body part at a time, one muscle at a time, and one thought at a time. When you do this practice day after day, it conditions the body to release stress and can improve your sense of physical and emotional well-being. Victoria will then finish with pranayama (a breathing exercise) and a short chant.
What do I need?
Mats are provided but you will probably want to bring your own or buy one, a yoga block and strap is very helpful with alignment whatever level of yoga you practice, something warm to put on for savanasa, please only wear yoga socks with grips for your safety, comfortable clothes and a sense of humor.
Victoria is happy to chat to anyone before they attend class if they wish to discuss anything or if it’s their first time and they are a little nervous. Don’t worry do Yoga.