These classes are for beginners and students with some experience. Students learn breathing (Pranayama) techniques and practice fundamental yoga poses which nourish the mind and body. These poses or asanas, help to maintain healthy postural habits on and off the mat. Students learn to safely deepen and strengthen their yoga poses by using belts and blocks as well as cotton blankets and bolsters. Students are invited to consider bringing their own blocks and belts as well as mats to class.
This class is for experienced yoga students. Correct postural alignment is reviewed to help each student feel the energy or prana of their yoga practice. The intention is to develop and prepare the body to try more challenging poses and to increase physical flexibility and strength. This class supports various degrees of ability and modifications are offered to suit students' needs.
In this class, expecting students are guided to feel safe, comfortable and confident as they enjoy a gentle Hatha yoga practice. Students learn to use props such as blocks, belts and blankets to safely deepen their yoga asana flow. All expecting yoginis are invited to pay close attention to their breathing patterns to monitor their practice and to honour their body's wisdom. Sound and meditation techniques are regularly introduced to help expecting students fully relax, surrender physical tension and feel more balanced.
Whether students are well experienced or new to yoga, the All Level class is an ideal choice. Stephanie adjusts and modifies the program to suit students' needs.
Yoga Class Components
At the centre of yoga practice is the spine. The spine can move gently in six directions: side to side, lateral and forward and back. Ultimately, there is opportunity to elongate the spine safely when alignment adjustments are highlighted by the teacher. An aligned spine is a sure path to perfect health.
Pranayama (Breathing) Practices
All classes, regardless of the level, help students be more aware of their breathing patterns. Learning to control the breath is an integral aspect of all yoga practices. There are many different breathing techniques, for example Alternate Nostril Breathing "Nadi Sodhana" which balances your whole being; the Ocean Breath "Ujjayi" which assists in one-pointed focus and concentration or the Skull Shining Breath Kapalabhati Pranayama which is activating and highly cleansing. These particular Pranayama practices are often demonstrated in Stephanie's classes.
Meditation Moments with Hand Mudra Teaching
Mindfulness Meditation Moments are 2-4 minutes of meditation teaching during a yoga class. Students also learn how to incorporate a hand mudra (a Vedic hand gesture) and mantra to help focus the mind.
Mantras or Chanting
Periodically, students are invited to use sound to help strengthen the Self during a yoga pose. Often, Stephanie offers a soothing chant or world instrument during Savasana to charm the mind into stillness.
Prana (Energy) Chakra Insights
The teaching of yoga poses can help students understand how the subtle energy body affects everyday life, core beliefs and behaviours. Students learn about the chakra centres and prana.
Awareness Teaching through Vedic Sutra Philosophy
Sutra literally means "threads". Pantanjali's Sutras are 196 philosophical statements that teach the essence of yoga and prepare the student for meditation. These strands of knowledge awaken students to the spiritual truth as presented by the great Sage Patanjali, writer of the Yoga Sutras. These are used as a path of awareness and self-realization.