All group classes are 75 minutes, to allow adequate time to warm and prepare the body for movement.
The practice of yoga is a deeply inward experience. No two bodies are alike, nor is your body the same today as it was yesterday, or will be tomorrow. I will frequently offer variations of poses to accommodate different levels of experience and ability. Above all else treat yourself with honor and respect, and work at the level that feels healing to you. In yoga this is referred to as Ahimsa, or "non-harm." There will be opportunities to improve strength, flexibility and balance, however as I often advise students, I am simply making suggestions... you are your own best teacher. Always feel free to ask questions!
All classes end with a relaxation pose (Savasana) to allow your body to integrate the changes and subtle shifts you cultivated in your asana practice. In my opinion this is the most essential pose of the entire practice, as you will learn to gradually relax the mind as well as the body - eventually experiencing a deep sense of calm. Though savasana (pronounced "sha-VAH-sah-nah") appears to be a completely passive pose, experienced yogis will tell you it is often the most demanding. As we learn to focus our gaze internally and notice what is happening within our own bodies, minds and spirits, we may be overwhelmed by the seemingly constant fluctuations of the "monkey mind," the thoughts that flow incessantly from one to the next like a monkey swinging through the tree tops. It is important to note that RELAXATION IS A LEARNED BEHAVIOR. Over time and with practice, you will eventually cultivate the blissful experience of relaxation without sleep... and this is where the miracle of inner physical, emotional and spiritual healing can occur.
An essential element of any yoga practice is attention to the breath. Throughout your practice I will remind you to inhale and exhale through the nose, as smoothly and evenly as possible. Often when we are under stress, we unconsciously hold our breath (notice this habit the next time you are cut off in heavy traffic!) Unwittingly this habit of breath holding creates an inner atmosphere of tension and an increase in adrenaline and other "fight or flight" responses. Therefore it is easy to see how the state of mind can influence, often negatively, the state of breath. Stress = shallow or stopped breathing. What is also true is that the state of breath influences the state of mind. Don't we all instinctively need to "stop and take a few deep breaths" from time to time in stressful situations, somehow already realizing this fact? Your yoga practice is an opportunity to re-connect with the healing properties of the most simple human act... breathing.