What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental well being. The main components of yoga are asanas or poses (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.
The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways. Yoga is now commonly practised by people of all ages throughout the world.
Why should I start practising yoga?
Yoga is one of the most effective methods of stress relief. Research published in peer-reviewed journals and a recent BBC experiment found that a six week programme of yoga reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure while increasing emotional well being and resilience to stress.
You do not need to be bendy to do yoga! Numerous studies have found yoga to be effective in banishing aches and pains. Practising yoga helps you gain awareness of your body and its capabilities.
What should I wear for a yoga class?
Wear something comfortable that you can move easily in, leggings/loose trousers and a t-shirt or vest top will be absolutely fine. You will need warm clothing and/or a blanket for the relaxation (as your body does cool down quickly afterwards).
I am new to yoga, which classes would be suitable for me?
We offer a specific Beginners Yoga course on Wednesdays from 6pm - 7pm. All other classes are mixed level, and some are more dynamic than others. If you're new to yoga you might also want to try a Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga class which are slower moving classes where poses are held for longer and plenty of modifications are offered.
If you fancy something with a bit more movement, a Gentle Yoga or Hatha Yoga class might be more suitable. We would encourage you to try a few different classes to find what works for you, always listening to your body and not over exerting yourself.
All our teachers strive to offer appropriate modifications for beginners, and you are very welcome to take breaks when you need to and go at your own pace. It’s always worth letting the teacher know when you arrive that you’re a beginner, don’t worry you won’t be singled out, it’s just useful for the teacher to know.
If you have any medical issues you may need to check with your GP or another health professional such as a physiotherapist before starting your yoga practice.
Some Different Types of Yoga
Hatha Yoga: Is typically a safe, slow gentle form of exercise involving asanas (poses) and breathing techniques. Hatha is a powerful tool for self-transformation physically and mentally, especially for the beginner just starting out.
Vinyasa Yoga: A style of yoga where asanas (poses) are strung together to form one fluid sequence of movement. Vinyasa means to move with the breath. Vinyasa is a style of yoga with focus on transitions and movements, with less time spent in stationary poses.
Power Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga): A challenging and highly-structured form of yoga, set sequences of asanas are linked together by a Vinyasa sequence. This is class is fast paced and focusing on stamina, strength and flexibility, and suitable for those who have done the class before or already have yoga experience.
Yin Yoga: Known as the antidote to modern life, this is a slow gentle form of yoga where asanas are held for several minutes. You get to work to your 'edge' both physically and mentally. Good for beginners to unwind taut muscles and allow the mind to 'let go'.