What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a system of spiritual and physical wellbeing which when practised regularly brings the mind, body and spirit into balance or union. Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago in India and has been handed down through generations. The benefits of a habitual yoga practice include development and maintenance of physical strength and flexibility, greater movement to your muscles and joints as well as improving your balance and posture and creating a feeling harmony and union in the mind and body. Yoga is also an excellent way to help calm and focus your mind and enhance your ability to deal with stress and stressful situations. Yoga is also recognised for helping aid peaceful sleep. Yoga is also credited as facilitating the rehabilitation of sports injury sufferers and those who experience arthritis and other restricted joint mobility aliments. There are many different forms of yoga some more gentle and some more physically demanding, but all have the common outcome of increased wellbeing and wellness when performed frequently.

 

Styles of Yoga

There are many different styles of yoga which have developed over the years each with their own particular benefits. At POW Yoga, we offer classes in the following styles:

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga, also known as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga was developed and popularised by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and is based on series of sequences which grow in difficulty with continued practice. This form of yoga is very energetic and vigorous and uses the synchronisation of movement with the breath to create a flow between a series of asanas (or postures). This style of yoga will generate heat in the body through continuous movement so expect to sweat out your toxins as you move through the series.

Dynamic Yoga

This class has been created to focus the mind with dynamic, flowing yoga poses, unlike Ashtanga, this class is based on a more free flowing use of asanas. It is a heat building and physically demanding class. Dynamic yoga will help you to cleanse and strengthen your body. You will sweat on your mat too!

Hatha Yoga (Gentle Hatha Yoga)

Hatha or physical yoga is the basis of many of the other styles of yoga. Hatha yoga uses physical postures or asanas to build strength and flexibility in the body whilst also promoting wellbeing by working the internal organs and calming the mind. Asanas or postures are held whilst using the breath to allow the body to relax deeper into the postures allowing you to gain the maximum benefits from the poses. Hatha yoga is the most well know form of yoga and it includes the most commonly known yoga poses.

Hatha Flow

Hatha flow uses the elements of hatha linking asanas together with the flow of the breath to create a more fluid and challenging hatha class. This will leave you glowing with the joys of wellbeing.

Hot Hatha

Hot hatha is Hatha Yoga performed in the heated studio. Temperatures range from 35 – 40c. Yoga performed in this heat is closer to the conditions in the home of yoga and allows the body to gain the ability to stretch deeper into the postures increasing working of the muscles whilst also promoting strength building. Taking a class in the heat will add a greater cardiovascular element and allow the body to sweat out toxins, boost your energy and encourage weight loss.

Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy Yoga classes are designed to help expectant mothers prepare for the birth of their babies. These classes use breathing techniques and posture work to help mums to be learn how to cope with their changing physicality. Using yoga during pregnancy allows mum, and therefore baby to be calm and relaxed during this important time and can offer useful techniques to assist with the delivery of your baby.

Post Natal and Baby Yoga

This class is suitable from 8 weeks post-natal until 8 months when the baby becomes mobile. This class is for mothers who have had a caesarean section. Post Natal and Baby Yoga or mum and baby yoga is an opportunity to help mum and baby connect and get movement bac after delivery.

Vinyasa Flow

Vinyasa flow is based on the teachings and wisdom of world renowned Shiva Rea. These classes create beautifully flowing yoga movement sequences which open and tone the body whilst providing a basis to really strengthen giving you a dance like quality of movement to your practice.

 Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is a style of yoga which is created to work deeper into your body by holding the asanas or poses for a much longer period of time (for up to 5 minutes) which allows you to work beyond the muscle into the connective tissue, ligaments and joints. Yin practice focuses on exercising these areas which may not be worked so deeply in a more active practice. Even though the idea of being more still in a Yin class than you would be in a dynamic class; you will find that holding poses for a longer period of time will definitely challenge you. The benefits of Yin practice are an elongation and strengthening effect on the muscles, ligaments and joints allowing for greater movement and opening of the body. Yin practice is a perfect complement to a more dynamic practice to give the body perfect balance.