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What to expect at our yoga classes

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.

How we run our yoga classes

Our yoga classes run in terms of six weeks, with one week off in between.  Yoga is an ancient tradition and a discipline and was never intended to be a practice that you dipped in and out of. The only way to truly benefit from a yoga practice (whether it be physical or mental) is to practice on a regular basis which is why we book people on for 6 week terms. However, we recognise that in the real world, people are not always able to attend every class in a term. Therefore we always try to be as flexible as possible.

So, if one week you can’t make the regular yoga class you’ve booked up for, as long as there is space, you are most welcome to transfer to an alternative class. This helps ensure that students don’t miss out on the continuity of their practice or lose out financially.

What do I need to bring to the yoga class?

We have plenty of yoga mats at our venue in addition to yoga blocks and blankets for relaxation at the end, so all you need to bring is yourself and an interest in yoga! We recommend that at some point you buy your own mat; a small investment, which represents an intention to practice regularly and besides it’s much nicer than using ones that other people have been trampling over! They’re available in some High St retailers as well as online but do make sure that you buy a proper yoga mat as opposed to a padded ‘exercise mat’ which might be more comfortable but won’t be as practical!

Please wear something comfortable (no jeans!), so you can move freely. Ideally all classes take place barefoot.  Do avoid eating a big meal up to 2 hours before the class. St Andrew’s Church Hall is a warm environment with central heating for our winter months and lots of windows for our summer heatwaves! However, at the end of a yoga session you’ll be lying down in relaxation so you might think about bringing socks and something warm, as it’s important that you remain comfortable.

Individual yoga tuition

Individual, one to one tuition is available for those who either have specific issues to address through yoga or would like to deepen their yoga practice.

Read more here

Bespoke yoga groups

By arrangement, we can also run bespoke classes for groups in your workplace or for your sports team etc. Please contact us to discuss your needs.