Class Descriptions

IMG_0418Deep Rest Yoga

Conclude your weekend with 45 minutes of asana practice followed by 30 minutes of guided savasana meditation.This class is designed for anyone who wants to experience profound relaxation and learn more about how to rest very deeply.  People who seek recovery from busy work lives, stressful routines, and overstimulating environments will find this class especially well-suited to their needs and wants.

The 45-minute asana practice will progress through three easy stages, beginning with simple, ground-based relaxation poses.  Students will gradually work their way up from the floor into a middle stage which features energizing flow sequences and balancing poses that get students “up into the air.”  This middle sequence will be just hard enough to shift one’s breath and get one’s thinking centered on the process of being present.  Students will transition into the final pre-meditation sequence with a series of grounding, strengthening, hip-opening poses, after which students will begin a thirty-minute period of guided meditation in savasana. Throughout the extended savasana meditation, students will take time to notice each part of the body while hovering on the edge of sleep.

Hot herbal teas will be served for free afterward (please feel free to bring a mug).

Gentle Yoga

Breath-based and gentle, with some easeful warming and then mostly on the ground. Gentle Yoga is beginner friendly and incorporates the six movements of the spine. This class also incorporates use of blocks, bolsters and even chairs for students who have problems with transitioning to the floor practice.  Excellent choice if wanting a soft and relaxing body/mind experience. Read the Yoga description below for more general info on our yoga classes.

Kirtan

Call and response singing/chanting the healing sounds of Sanskrit mantras, vedic chants, and kirtan tunes. Chant books are provided and no experience is necessary.

Yoga

Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root word yuj which means “to yoke”. Any yoga that uses the body and breath as the principle instrument for practice is hatha yoga. Hatha means “sun and moon”.  The practices of hatha yoga, when practiced regularly and without obsession, do the necessary work of balancing and purifying the body mind system as an integrative whole. The practice directly addresses our very “sun and moon” which is code for our our psychological experience of duality. Tension is released, bad habits are dropped, depression lifts; and all you need to do is practice a little every day.

Yoga is an easy technology linked directly to the ancient knowledge systems from India, but too often it’s misinterpreted in America as exercise. Poses are taught indiscriminately, routines and sequences are given that aren’t appropriate for all body types, and so people get injured, frustrated, or worse, turn their yoga practice into their next unhealthy obsession.

At HoYS we believe you should take care of your exercise needs but it’s best not to put your exercise needs on your yoga practice. That way your practice can be fluid and changeful and adjust easily to whatever it is that’s going on for you in your life. Yoga is life practice! Not mere exercise. When we adjust our practice to suit our present condition, our practice can account for and address directly anxiety, depression, aging, injury, grief; and we can do the transformative work of developing intimacy with reality as it’s given. If we force the body and mind into a predetermined sequence without moving slow enough to intuit our edge, we’ll do nothing but perpetuate the deep broken colonialism that plagues our country. We’ll just keep forcing or manipulating our way in. At HoYS we teach the poses, it can be quite challenging, it might serve as exercise for you for a time, but we ask you to focus more on steadying your breath than achieving the pose. We honor the process of self discovery which is an unfolding.

All levels of strength and flexibility are welcome; there’s always an entry point to a pose and the teachers at HoYS are highly trained around the postures, the science of hatha yoga, the philosophy of Patanjali, and how to hold space for your process of self discovery to unfold. We love to say that you don’t need arms and legs to practice yoga, and we mean it! Everyone is welcome in this space. So long as you can breathe and be respectful of the process the people around you are having then you are welcome here. We’d love to destabilize the myth of “I’m not flexible enough for yoga” and help create a shift in consciousness around what yoga really is; a deep engagement with your breath, your body, and reality as it’s given in that moment.

Since we teach all levels classes, some students will stay at the first “edge” of the pose while other students will be progressing to more difficult variations. It’s important that you show up willing to listen deeply and move honestly without pushing. If you need to push, great, go to the gym for that! But when you come to yoga, know that it’s less about exercise and more about deep healing. If you want to start at the very beginning, consider joining our next Yoga Basics Course.

Yoga and Live Music

Yoga accompanied by the HoYS Kirtan angels.

 

Contact us at info.heartofyogaschool@gmail.com