Our yoga classes take a ‘viniyoga’ approach to hatha yoga inspired by the teachings of T.Krishnamacharya, his son T.K.V. Desikachar and latterly Peter Hersnack. It is THE mindfulness approach to yoga.
The term ‘viniyoga’ is found in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the key texts on yoga written over 2000 years ago. ‘Viniyoga’ relates to the appropriate application of yoga techniques to the individual, which is reflected in our style of teaching. Students are encouraged to work to the best of their ability but also to recognise their strengths and limitations. So, we generally offer alternatives for those who can work stronger in a posture or who need to modify their work because of an injury or specific condition.
Students are also encouraged to listen to their bodies and take rest whenever needed. We find this approach very accessible and appropriate for beginners and those with injuries, as well as those with more experience who might want to work more intensely in their yoga practice.
Our yoga classes are slowly dynamic, in that we move in and out of postures at the pace of our longest, deepest breath. Working slowly and mindfully can often be stronger and more effective than faster, mechanical movements. Further more, it allows the body time to feel the posture developing and to decide whether to accept what we’re asking of it, before injury occurs. Subject to our agenda, we may also hold the posture and deepen the work there using the breath and mindfulness.
The structure of the yoga classes typically involves asana (physical ‘posture’ work) and sequence work. We generally end the practice with a guided relaxation followed by pranayama (specific, seated, meditative breathing techniques). This works to further contain the mind, refine our focus and influence our energy to leave us feeling ‘sattvic’ (calm, clear and relaxed) in preparation for meditation should we choose to do any.
Within this structure we vary the content of every class, in terms of the physical work and the focus or theme, to keep things fresh and interesting.