What is yoga?
On a deeper level it is the profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul, so in other words – DE-STRESSING and finding inner peace and contentment.
On a physical level yoga will:
- Improve strength and flexibility
- Assist with weight loss
- Increase energy levels and mental clarity
- Improve circulation and digestion
- Build core strength
… just to name a handful of the benefits.
There are many different yoga styles. Below is a description of a selection of the styles Julie Stephens teaches, along with the specific benefits of practising each style.
Yang/Yin – this is a well rounded class which incorporates both strengthening and stretching. It is suitable for beginners who have done a little bit of yoga and for those who have completed my 6 week beginners yoga course.
This yoga style is the co-ordination of movement with breath to flow from one asana (pose) to the next. Ashtanga, Baptiste Yoga, Jivamukti and Power Yoga could all be considered Vinyasa yoga.
A Vinyasa Flow class has a specific sequence of poses, which are commonly used: Downward Dog into Chaturanga (plank) to Upward-Facing dog to Downward Dog again. This is a great way to build upper body and core strength.
Much emphasis is placed on the breath and, generally speaking, upward movements correlate with inhalations of the breath, and downward movements with exhalations.
“Ha” relates to the sun and “tha” relates to the moon. It is the yoga of balance.
Hatha is more of an umbrella term used to describe a gentle yoga style. The class is slow and gentle and is designed to align and calm your body and mind in preparation for meditation.
My beginners’ classes could also come under the Hatha umbrella, as the focus is on a slow and gentle yoga style. There is likely to more instruction within these classes, with a focus on the breath and fundamentals of building a safe, supportive practice. This class style is suited for those of you who haven’t had much yoga experience and would like to learn the fundamentals of yoga to stand you in good stead for the rest of your yogic journey. It is a valuable class if you are working with specific injuries and need to know how you can use props to support these injuries.
I run these classes in six week blocks, so bookings are essential. Please contact me on: 0221 987 348.
The advanced class is taught in a more traditional way, as we begin each class with sitting meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques). Then we begin to explore inversions, bird poses, drop backs etc. This is a good option if you would like to take your practice to the next level.
This class is taught from 9am – 10.30am every second Saturday. View the schedule here.
A true blend of balance, core strengthening and flexibility, this class combines the meditative, detoxifying qualities to help you deepen your yoga practice. Set to motivating music, you’ll focus on yoga postures that open the shoulders, hips and spine while strengthening your core and upper body.
If you are after a great whole body stretch, then this is the class for you. This class will give you the opportunity to stay in each asana (posture) longer to enable you to move deeper into the stretch and therefore increase your flexibility.
This class is designed to focus on every aspect of strengthening your core muscles, which will improve nearly every pose, creating a sense of balance and ease. Without a strong core, the majority of asanas you do are vulnerable as a result of instability and misalignment in the lower back.
In these classes, close attention is paid to the anatomical details and the alignment of each posture, as Iyengar Yoga is the practice of precision.
Asanas (poses) can be held for long periods and often modified and supported using yoga props. This method is designed to systematically cultivate strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness, and can be therapeutic for specific conditions. B.K.S. Iyengar founded Iyengar Yoga, which is a great yoga style if looking for precision.
“Yoga of action” is a form of yoga based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism. Karma yoga is the process of achieving perfection in selfless action. It is primarily the practice of selfless service to humanity without hoping for merit, fame or glory. This tendency for a human being to have attachment to ‘reward’ from action is termed in the Bhagavada Gita: the ‘fruits of action’ – meaning whatever one might gain from action, especially from the observation and applause of others.