Hatha Yoga is traditionally defined as “the forceful path, the yoga of physical purification and energy manipulation.” Hatha focuses mainly upon asanas (poses) as a way to guide energy through the body and clear the mind. All pose-based yoga styles are part of Hatha Yoga. The original idea behind Hatha Yoga was to prepared the body and mind for higher states of meditation.
The word “vinyasa” simply means “movement between poses in yoga, typically accompanied by regulated breathing.” It’s a very broad definition that could describe nearly every yoga class, as long as there is fluid movement (flow) between poses. The vinyasa flow taught here is based upon the breath, sun salutations, and other flow, but is not as rigorous as an ashtanga practice. The group vinyasa class flows at a steady, not too demanding pace. Slow flow has fewer poses, but we take a bit longer to ease into them, building both strength and flexibility a bit more gently. Private sessions will vary depending upon the needs of the student.
The purpose of yin yoga is to increase flexibility and mobility deep within the connective tissue. While students won’t move into too many poses, they will hold the poses for three to five minutes. The longer the hold, the deeper the stretch moves inside the body. Focus on the movement of the breath is crucial in such a practice. Yin yoga is fantastic for runners with tight hips or any tightness in the low back. If you work at a desk all day, then your low back will be tight, as well as your shoulders.
Also known as “active relaxation,” restorative yoga only practices three to five poses with the assistance of props, such as blocks, blankets, and bolsters. It seems like it’s a glorified nap time, but you’ll be amazed at how refreshed you’ll feel at the end, as well as how much you stretched without realizing it. Restorative yoga is just what the busy body and busy mind needs to relieve some of the daily stresses of our lives.
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