Practicing yoga helps to increase strength and flexibility, reduce stress, improve posture and generally tends to make you feel better in your body & mind.
Yoga isn't just physical exercise: as we are coordinating postures with the breath, the practice grows to become a moving meditation, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and improving mental well being. It is a way to learn meditation and deep relaxation techniques.
In the original Indian system of yoga, as defined by Patanjali in the yoga sutras, there are 8 limbs to yoga. In the western world, we usually start with the third one: asana - or physical practice as our body is our most tangible way to experience yoga benefits, however I strive to incorporate the teachings of the remaining limbs into my own practice and into my instructions.
In life and in yoga, I believe we need different things at different times, so I enjoy practicing and teaching different styles of yoga depending on energy levels, mood, physical conditions and desired outcomes.
Vinyasa flow yoga: A strong workout to de-stress, blow off some steam and reconnect to your body. This type of practice is based on astanga and vinyasa yoga styles, it consists of a dynamic sequence where static poses are held for a maximum of 5 breaths and are linked together with vinyasa moves (a fluid flow of poses moving with each breath to keep the body warm and the heart rate up). Poses can be adapted to all levels.
Astanga yoga Mysore style: Following the astanga primary serie sequence, everyone will move at the rythm of their own breath, starting with sun salutations and slowly progressing through the poses, with focus given to memorizing the sequence as well as finding the correct alignment for the pose. As a teacher, I will mindfully watch your practice, offering individual alignment cues and hands-on adjustments.
Self-practice adds a new dimension to yoga, as it requires focus to follow the sequence without getting distracted or prompted. It also allows you to set the pace you need for the day, as soothing or challenging as it may be.
Gentle hatha yoga: A slower pace practice, which works best for groups of very mixed levels as we ease into poses gradually moving from an easier option to a stronger one, so that each person can find what works for them.
Yin yoga: in a yin practice, gentle stretches are held for a few minutes at the time. This is a more passive approach where we set the body in comfortable positions and let gravity and time do the work as we are encouraged to focus on releasing tensions.
Yoga nidra & guided meditation: A way to completely relax. Taking some time to settle the body into a comfortable position (seating or lying, using props such as blankets and pillows), so that the body can be completely relaxed, and the mind sets to follow gentle instructions allowing a deeper awareness of the self. Guided meditations can be about mindfulness, healing, loving kindness, stress-release or simply deep relaxation.
Partner & Acroyoga: a fun practice creating connections between people. The focus can be on a therapeutic calming sequence, involving stretches and massage with a partner; and/or a dynamic practice where partners move into acrobatic poses (basic acroyoga poses are accessible to everyone!) supporting each other and developing trust. It is a playful practice which works great for friends, couples and parent/child. Laughter is guaranteed !
Both practices allow to deepen the connection with each other, allowing for non verbal communication and developing a deeper bond.
Yoga for athletes: dedicating oneself to a sport is a wonderful way of life. However, many sports place very specific demands on the body, so some muscle groups develop a lot of strength while other are less stimulated. Building strength without working on flexibility and mobility can eventually lead to discomfort, reduced performance or injury. In these classes, the emphasis is on balancing strength and flexibility, and supporting the joints to help increase performance in your main activity.