Each class is different, but as a general overview: we start by taking a moment and centring your awareness on your breath, the sensations of the body, an awareness of your emotional state (but without getting lost in the reasons behind it). An awareness of what you bring to the mat, both physical and mental, will help you better understand what you experience in the practice.
Once we move beyond more basic practices we will add an intent to each class: the intent helps to explore different aspects of Yoga, such as using your practice as a way to feel good about your capabilities, or to find pleasure in challenging yourself through Yoga.
Then we focus on strengthening the breath (a theme that will be woven into every practice), to better support yourself and bring a mindful awareness to your own practice. The breath serves as an anchor, helping to keep your focus on yourself, and to be aware of when your attention has moved beyond your practice.
Initial poses provide an introduction to the physical focus of the practice and a chance to gain a better understanding of how your body feels, to make note of any unexpected tension or imbalance in your body. It is important for you to recognise what you feel, rather than what you expect to feel (or what the teacher expects you to feel).
Within the first ten minutes we’ll engage the core, lower body and upper body before moving on to ‘sun salutes’, focusing on moving the whole body to the rhythm of your breath. Depending on the theme and level of the class you might have an optional inversion (like a handstand) before moving on to a sequence of progressively more challenging poses, or a series that engages with the body in a particular way, relating to the intent.
Towards the end of the class we wind down with some easier poses and move on to Savasana: a period of relaxation that may be accompanied by a guided meditation or some background music.
Each class offers the opportunity for challenge, healing and growth. While there is a progression through the academic year you do not need to attend every class – if you happen to miss a class just return whenever you are ready.
Hope to see you soon,