07941 550617 01458 898816
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.
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 a lesson summary after the class.
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.
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 arthritis for its gentle way of promoting flexibility and strength'.
This NHS page states that you don't have to be young, fit or flexible to practise 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'.
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.
A balancing pose which helps to strengthen the leg muscles, and stretches the back muscles between the shoulder blades.
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).
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.
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.
Do get in touch if you have any questions about these classes - online or face to face, or about Yoga generally, I will be pleased to help.
Updated September 2021 © J Wheatley 2021
Yoga Somerset Cranhill Rd Street BA16 0BZ
07941 550617 01458 898816