Yoga is different for everyone. It is often described as an ancient system to balance the mind, body and spirit. For some, it is simply a form of physical excercise and for others a more spiritual practice of meditation and self awareness. Dating back more than 5000 years, yoga was traditionally a meditation practice. However, sitting for long periods of time required physical movement to allow for lengthier meditation. Once asanas were added, it was discovered that there were numerous benefits, which are constantly being studied today.
Hatha uses movement/postures (asanas), breathwork (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) to bring balance and unity to the mind, body and spirit. Ha-tha literally means sun & moon. Generally this refers to the balance of opposing energies in the body - sun which is Yang, energetic, warm, masculine, right-side, and moon, which is Yin, calm, cool, feminine, left-side.
Most "styles" of yoga, are Hatha based (ie. Hot Yoga, Bikram, Ashtanga, Yin, etc.)
~ The quality of your breath affects the quality of your life ~
Hatha Yoga - My training is Hatha based in the Iyengar tradition, which emphasizes proper alignment using props such as blocks and straps to help accommodate any special needs, prevent injury and assure maximum benefit. My interest is becoming more therapeutic based. Therefore, at the beginning of a class, I may spend time with a new student so that I can find ways to best assist their practice.
Classes are designed for beginner and intermediate students and encompass a variety of styles with a strong emphasis on pranayama. I often tailor my classes to suit the general mood or energy of the students. On a full moon we may play with moon-salutations or end a Flow class with restorative poses! I also encourage feedback because, being not just an instructor but a student of yoga myself, I feel this is an important way to continue learning.
For me, Yoga is not just about the postures. I strongly believe that it is accessible to all, regardless of age, body type or mobility.
Bliss Yoga - Bliss Yoga is a combination of Restorative Yoga and Massage. Imagine a nurturing class incorporating gentle movements to calm the nervous system, and therapeutic poses to produce a deep state of relaxation, while receiving the healing benefits of touch through simple massage. Suitable for ALL levels Beneficial for conditions related to stress and illness
Prenatal Yoga - In my prenatal classes, I encourage postures and breathwork that facilitate a healthy, happy pregnancy and labour. During a typical 8 week session, I may offer partner yoga where the expectant mother can bring her companion to practice the breath-work, postures as well as simple massage techniques that can be beneficial during labour.
Parent/Baby Yoga - As a mom, I know the importance of being part of a group of other parents who can offer support, advice and their own “mommy moments”!
Classes are designed to gently stretch, strengthen and relax areas of the body affected by parenthood, meet other parents & share experiences plus bond with your baby using songs, physical movements and simple infant massage all while in our poses!
Children's Yoga - Designed for children to enjoy the many benefits of yoga through simple postures, breath work, creative play, games, song and dance.
By practicing yoga even just once a week, a child can build self confidence and self-esteem plus increase focus & concentration.
Some other benefits that yoga offers children: *improves posture, balance and coordination *develops self-discipline and self-control *helps kids relax *encourages a cooperative spirit *regulates weight and balances metabolism *stimulates whole-brain function
Parents are encouraged (but not required) to join in on the fun!
Warm/Hot Yoga – Similar to an all-levels class, a warm/hot class is a detoxifying practice consisting of yoga postures that help to build strength, flexibility and stamina. The room is heated between 90-105F. This class is appropriate for beginners and experienced students as postures can be modified to suit the individual.
Flow Yoga – Hatha Flow links the postures with movements that "flow" with the breath. It incorporates a variety of postures to challenge and invigorate and builds strength, stamina and focus. The physical practice will create heat in the body, helping to detoxify and improve the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
The class begins with warm ups and ends with relaxing poses such as in Yin or Restorative so that the body and mind can integrate and be relaxed.
Yin Yoga - Yin Yoga is often referred to as a quiet practice. It utilizes floor postures typically held for 3-5 minutes. It is considered “passive stretching” as opposed to contracting muscles, and is designed to gently stretch the connective tissues. This practice helps open and release the lower body ( hips, pelvis, lower spine) and upper body (neck, shoulders and front/back of upper spine) and compliments the more active or muscular styles of Yoga (Yang).
A Yin practice helps relax the body, release physical and emotional tension and quiets the mind, making it a great way to prepare for meditation.
Restorative Yoga – Similar to a Yin practice in that postures are floor-based and held for lengthier periods. However, contrary to Yin where you may feel the “stretching", Restorative poses use many props (bolsters, blankets, straps, blocks) to allow the body to relax and open in a way that you won’t feel it. Receive the benefits of a complete practice that incorporates all movements (forward and back bends, inversions and twists) and ends with Svasana.
In this day and age, we are surrounded by stimuli that wreaks havoc on the nervous system and puts us in a constant state of “fight or flight”, without even realizing it. When the body is able to fully relax, healing begins, both physically and emotionally.
This class is suitable for all levels, and is beneficial for all ages, stages of mobility and/or illness. In the case of illness, please consult your health care provider and let me know so that I may be better able to assist you in your practice.
Partner Yoga – The word yoga literally means “union" or “to yoke” – and what better way to experience that than with a partner! Classes are designed to be fun and incorporates the more familiar poses that can be done together (2 trees are better than 1) and not so familiar (airplane anyone?). Bring your spouse, a friend, a parent, even your child!
Kate and her husband having fun at our Valentine's Partner Yoga Workshop!