Mondays: Gentle Empowering Yoga 11:00-12:15
Wednesdays: Gentle Energizing Yoga 11:00-12:15
More than a few times I’ve had people ask about the gentle classes I teach and when I describe it to them they often say ‘Oh I’m not a beginner’ or ‘I prefer a workout out’ or my favorite ‘It doesn’t seem like real yoga’…. So what is “real yoga” anyway? Well Yoga is whatever you need it to be, it isn’t just a certain set of poses or exercises, it isn’t just physical, so if all you think of yoga is, is the movement, or exercise, then you have missed many of the more important aspects of Yoga. Yoga is a lifestyle, yoga is breathing, moving, meditating, focusing, striving to be a better person, and living life in a way that honors your higher power. Guys I have written about Gentle Yoga, HERE, and about slowing down HERE… Read about it and then come back and we’ll talk about what you can expect in my gentle classes, go ahead, I’ll wait……
So now you know a few different things about Gentle & Slow style yoga, what can you expect in my classes. On Monday at 11 we do Gentle Empowering Yoga, this class is all on the mat, either sitting or lying down, sometimes moving with a flow style in that we combine the breath with movements, but not always. sometimes we stay in postures to allow the body to unravel, to release. We even do low to the ground (that’s what I call them) Sun Salutations, think hands & knees to Cat/Cow then knee down plank to chaturanga, to cobra, back to hands and knees, and then go again. But it is so much more than that, when you slow down and move with grace and ease, you move inward, you are not only doing the poses and movements but you become a witness to the changes you can make, the changes that happen along the way in this journey. Most people are moving so fast they can barely see what’s coming next (or at all) and they miss the micro benefits that happen when you begin to move differently.
On Wednesdays at 11 we do Gentle Energizing Yoga. This class has all the same elements as Monday, but we add standing poses. We do Warrior 1 & 2 sequences along with chair pose, standing forward bends and many other standing poses, along with challenging balance poses. This class could be considered the next level or an intermediate level, but that would imply the Monday class is a beginner class, nothing could be farther from the truth. Maybe you aren’t challenged to turn yourself into a pretzel or to produce enough sweat to slide off your mat, but maybe you’re challenged to think and feel your way in and out of the poses. Maybe the challenge is staying in the pose a bit longer or staying conscious of the breath while moving.
Both classes offer opportunities to build strength and gain flexibility while protecting your joints and encourage you to build not only your physical strength but also your self-awareness and confidence. Try slowing down, moving with grace, and trying to be a bit more gentle with yourself, and you may find that your practice is sweeter and that you are more at ease within yourself.