What IS Yoga?
In Sanskrit, the Ancient language of India, Yoga means to 'yolk' or 'unite'; interpreted as the joining together and unification of body, mind and spirit, ultimately leading one to liberation, freedom and pure enlightenment.
Derived from the ancient Indian Sages many thousands of years ago, it is a complete science of life. It is the oldest personal development system in the world, encompassing body, mind and spirit, and promotes right living through the understanding of our essential nature, providing the tools we need to be able to live in harmony with ourselves and our environment.
What is HATHA Yoga?
This is the one question I get asked the most!
Put simply, Hatha Yoga uses the physical body through postures (Asana), breathing techniques (Pranayama), muscular contractions (Bandha), hand gestures (Mudra); concentration (Dharana) and relaxation and meditation (Dhyana) to restore, heal and purify, thus creating equilibrium, harmony and balance in body, mind and spirit. It really is as amazing as it sounds!
Living in today's fast-paced, frantic and demanding society, we need yoga now more than ever. Everybody at every age should "do" yoga!
The benefits extend far beyond the physical body, but this is where we start.
Yoga regulates, tones and maintains the major bodily systems including the endocrine, cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems.
It improves flexibility, builds muscle and bone strength, perfects the posture, strengthens cartilage and joints, supports the spine, increases circulation, boosts immunity, regulates blood pressure, lowers blood sugar, improves balance, conserves energy, tones the entire body, strengthens the heart, and above all, balances the entire physical body keeping it in radiant health and excellent condition.
Life seems to pull us in every direction and our poor senses are on constant overdrive. We need to acknowledge and move past the emotions, thoughts and stresses distracting us and holding us back, and connect with our true selves by quietening and stilling the mind.
Yoga gives us the opportunity to take respite from the daily rush; to stop and breathe; and provides our minds with space, freedom and peace. From this peace and stillness within the mind we are better able to focus, concentrate and apply ourselves in our day-to-day lives, living more peacefully and efficiently, and helping us better deal with the strains and stresses that do occur in life.
Believe it or not, Happiness is our birth-right, and yet many of us are just going through the motions of life without actually fully experiencing and appreciating the beauty that is both within us and all around us. Yoga delves deep into the self to provide an emotional, energetic and spiritual experience, nurturing the soul and clearing the path towards self-realization, and ultimately, Happiness.
There is so much to say about the benefits of yoga that it's easier to feel the effects by attending a class. As Swami Sivananda says;
"An ounce of practise is worth a tonne of theory!"
Do I have to be flexible to practise yoga and attend a class?
No not at all! It is a common misconception that you need to be flexible to do yoga. I have come across countless people that have wanted to try yoga but have talked themselves out of a class for this very reason. The beauty of yoga is that it works for everyone at every level. Whether you are just starting out, or a seasoned practitioner, there is a yoga path for you.
Are Glow Yoga classes suitable for beginners?
Yes, absolutely! The classes are suitable for all abilities - from complete beginners to more advanced practitioners. Asanas are modified to accommodate everyone. Beginners are provided with the correct guidance and gentle encouragement to find themselves present in, and working with each asana, and those more experienced are challenged with more advanced modifications to further themselves into with each breath.
As yoga is an internal practise, your own journey and no-one else’s, there is no need to feel any kind of pressure or competition from the rest of the class, it’s YOUR body and YOUR practise.
You will feel and see the difference as you practise week by week, as your limbs become more supple, your back more flexible, your bones stronger, your muscles longer and your mind more quiet and peaceful.
What should I expect from a class?
The classes are taught in a relaxed, informal and friendly manner, so you can feel at ease throughout your practise.
Classes start with guided relaxation, breathing and gentle stretches, followed by a series of Asanas (yoga postures) that work on the entire body, and ends with guided relaxation and meditation.
What do I need to bring?
Just yourself! Of course if you have a yoga mat, bring it along, but mats and blankets are provided
What should I wear?
Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and ideally a warmer layer and socks for relaxation.
Do I need to prepare for the class?
Just be prepared to leave your worries behind you!
It’s not recommended to eat anything heavy 2 hours before class.