Yoga can mean very different things to different people. In literal terms, the word yoga derives from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to yoke’ or ‘to join’ and refers to the principle of connecting the mind, the body and the breath.
Traditionally yoga has been used as a way of life, a guide to being a better human and a pathway to opening your mind and breaking free from mental restraints. The physical act of yoga – the yoga classes we know and love – being just one part of the practice of yoga. However here in the UK yoga is primarily used as a form of physical and mental exercise, offering a release from the stresses of modern life and anxiety management and a way to get physically fitter, stronger and more flexible.
Like anything in life, practice makes perfect, and building up a regular yoga practice is really important if you want to experience any real and lasting benefits. These can include…
- Improved flexibility
- Increased muscle tone and strength
- Longer, leaner muscles
- Aiding weight management
- Detoxifying the body
- Improving spine and joint health
- Encouraging better posture
- Healing former joint or spine injuries
- Improving circulation
- Managing feelings of stress and anxiety
- Promoting better sleep
- Encouraging relaxation
- Discovering an inner calm
Many people arrive at yoga worrying that they aren’t flexible enough for the practice….but that is exactly why you should start practicing yoga! There are many different forms of yoga out there to suit your needs, whether you are looking for something more meditative and restorative or something more dynamic and physically challenging, and it’s simply a case of finding the right class for you.
A good yoga class will have you bending, stretching, twisting, contracting, releasing, strengthening and most importantly…breathing. The breath is the key to everything we do in yoga and is vital to the practice. A good yoga teacher is able to understand your individual needs as a student and modify your practice accordingly.
The truth is that yoga really does suit any age, gender, body shape or fitness level, and with regular practice and a little guidance from your teacher, you’ll be able to form your very own yoga practice to suit both your physical and psychological needs.
Scroll down to discover some of the different styles of yoga Susie teaches…
When first starting out on your journey in yoga, all the breathing, stretching, aligning and moving can seem a little bit daunting. Yoga Basics classes take things slow, teaching you all about breath control whilst guiding you through different asana (poses). Greater explanation will be given during your practice and we’ll work at your pace. It’s a great class for beginners, those recovering from injury and anyone seeking something a little slower from their practice. That’s not to say its easy…Yoga Basics classes have an emphasis on building strength in the body and you’re guaranteed to discover muscles you never knew existed!
Click here to book in for a Yoga Basics class.
Or officially known as Vinyasa Flow. The term ‘vinyasa’ means ‘to synchronize movement with breath’ and in a Vinyasa Flow class you will be guided through a sequence of postures using your breath as your guide. Vinyasa movements are fluid, smooth and free-flowing, with each movement assigned to an inhale or exhale. Vinyasa flow is more a more dynamic and physically challenging practice, and can be deeply meditative. It’s fantastic for aiding flexibility and building strength in the body. This class is open-level so is suitable for both beginners and the well practiced-alike – it’s perfect for anyone seeking a stronger physical workout from their practice.
Click here to book in for a Flow Yoga class.
A hot yoga class is just that…hot! It is typically practiced in a very hot and humid temperature, up to around 40 degrees. The concept was created by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s as a way to replicate the conditions of hot, humid India. The benefits of practicing hot yoga include increased flexibility, detoxification of the body and healing former injuries, all whilst creating a dynamic cardio workout. The original Bikram sequence contains a set series of 26 postures, however many variations of the original sequence now exist, including Absolute 50, the series Susie trained in. Susie can be found teaching at Sweat Studios in Milton Keynes.
Yin yoga is inspired by ancient Taoist tradition of yin/yang theory and focuses on passive, floor-based poses that target deep in to the connective tissues in the major joints of the body. Poses are typically held for 3 – 5 minutes which allows you to access and open tissues deep inside the body. The aim is to increase the health and flexibility of the joints, whilst creating a feeling of release. Yin yoga is also a fantastic way to study the basics of mindfulness meditation and quieting the mind. It is the perfect complement to more dynamic forms of yoga and is both challenging and deeply restorative. Susie doesn’t currently teach a weekly Yin class – if you would like to see this on the schedule please email her at email@example.com.