Yoga classes and individual tuition in Somerset

01458 898816 - 07941 550617

What is Yoga

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline which originated in India. There are many different schools and styles, and one of the most well-known types is Hatha yoga, on which these classes are based.

Anyone can practise yoga independent of age, gender or ability. You can practise yoga virtually anywhere; you don't need any special equipment.

In the West yoga has became popular mainly as a system of physical exercise; however Yoga in the Indian tradition also has meditative and spiritual elements.

The poses or postures in yoga are also known by the Sanskrit term Asanas and are one of the most recognised aspects of yoga classes and practice. Other aspects include breath and energy control (pranayama), concentration and meditation, diet and lifestyle, and relaxation.

What to expect from a class

The main element of my yoga classes is a series of poses, chosen to benefit students or to deal with particular physical  or other issues. A typical yoga class will begin with a short relaxation incorporating a breathing practice, warm up exercises,
followed by a variety of postures (asanas), and a final relaxation. Meditation and Mindfulness techniques may be included.

Students receive either a lesson plan (1-2-1 students) or lesson summary (drop-in group classes).
Group classes are one and a quarter hours, while 1-2-1 classes are normally 1 hour, although may be longer by agreement.

Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing – a T-shirt and tracksuit trousers or leggings are ideal - plus you may want an extra layer or two to put on during the final period of relaxation.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can aid in reducing physical and emotional tension or stress; it can improve concentration and awareness; it can also help with insomnia and improve sleep quality. Yoga builds strength, increases flexibility, and some forms improve stamina. It can bring about a sense of peace or relaxation, helping one to remain calm in difficult circumstances. Yoga can improve breathing and have a positive effect on respiratory function.

According to the NHS website:
'most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance.  There's some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.  Yoga is popular with people with arthtitis for its gentle way of promoting flexibility and strength'.This NHS page notes that you don't have to be young, fit or flexible to practice yoga.  It notes that yoga does count as a strengthening exercise, although
most forms of yoga aren't sufficiently strenuous to count as 'moderate activity'.

Yoga Poses - Asanas

There are many different yoga poses and variations of particular poses, and the names for them can vary depending on the school of yoga. I always include the sanskrit name (if known) as well as the English version, because the word Sanskrit means 'perfect', and each sanskrit word perfectly describes the pose or practice to which it refers. If you have any questions about which yoga poses might be good for you (and which might not be so good) do get in touch.

The US magazine Yoga Journal has a directory of yoga poses, as does the British Wheel of Yoga. Wikipedia also has a lot of information about poses.  Some suggested books also cover yoga poses.

Eagle pose - Garudasana

A balancing pose which helps to strengthen the leg muscles, and stretches the back muscles between the shoulder blades.

Triangle pose - assisted - Trikonasana

In this pose, I am helping to stabilise the student by supporting her hips, and making sure the upper arm is vertical (some students with neck or shoulder problems may have difficulty with this aspect of the pose).

Triangle pose - Trikonasana

Gives a good lateral stretch to the spine, which is a movement that most people don’t do very often in daily life. Also helps to strengthen the legs.

Cow's Head pose - arms only - Gomukhasana

Here I am helping a student to bring the hands closer together while supporting her upper arm.  The aim is to get contact of fingers to fingers or hand to hand, and to encourage greater shoulder mobility.

Shoulderstand - assisted Sarvangasana

I am supporting this student's back with my knee/lower leg, while carefully lifting her legs to enable the spine to extend upwards rather than to collapse.

Warrior 2 pose - Virabhadrasana II

This pose is all about alignment. Gives a feeling of strength and stability.

Do telephone 01458 898816 or 07941 550617 or use the Contact form on the Home page.  If you have any questions about these classes, or about Yoga generally, I will be pleased to try and help.