Hatha Yoga is not a style of Yoga, it is the term which describes all styles of physical yoga which include postures (asana) and breathing exercises (pranayama) Although the postures which feature in Hatha Yoga classes are all pretty similar, the way in which they are practiced differs depending on the style of yoga and the teacher’s background. there are many styles of Hatha Yoga - some of the the most familiar are Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda. Very often a Hatha Yoga class will include elements of the different styles the teacher has studied or practiced.
A typical class will include the following :
Beginning relaxation and breath awareness
Flowing movements to warm up the shoulders and spine
Sometimes we will practice Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) sequence – click here for a demonstration on Yoga Journal. Different teachers will practice different variations.
A series of standing postures which generally focus on strength, stability and balance, or we may focus more on flow to create heat and energy flow.
Seated postures – includiing forward bends and twists to promote the health and flexibility of the muscles and joints
Backbends and inverted postures
Breathing exercises (pranayama)
A deep relaxation to finish
A short seated meditation – often rounded off with a chant of OM
We also often include short discussions about various aspects of Yoga practice including philosophy, home practice advice, anatomy, yoga therapy, chakras (energy centres), seasonal practices etc.
Yin Yoga practice is designed to focus on the connective tissue of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. These tissues are considered to be Yin tissues as opposed the the Yang muscles. The postures are generally held three to five (and very occasionally up to twenty) minutes at a time., with most of the postures being practised on the floor.
In “Yinsights” Bernie Clark says “While initially this style of yoga can seem quite boring, passive, or soft, yin practice can be quite challenging due to the long duration of the poses. We can remain in the postures anywhere from one to twenty minutes! Yin and yang tissues respond quite differently to being exercised. You need to experience this to really know what Yin Yoga is all about. After you have experienced it, even just once, you will realize that you have been doing only half of the asana practice.”
For that reason it is great for anyone with a regular dynamic yoga practice and for dancers, athletes and runners.
Yin Yoga as a style has evolved from Taoist Yoga. Hence the term Yin. I studied Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley, who made the style popular and who taught well known Yin Yoga teacher Sarah Powers. Paul Grilley studied with Yin Yoga orginator Master Paulie Zink, who is quite emphatic that Yin Yoga as it is taught is only one small element of a full Taoist Yoga practice which encompasses Yin and Yang practices.
A balanced Yoga practice will endeed embody elements of both. The reason we teach Yin Yoga and the reason it has become so popular is that many popular styles of Hatha Yoga are practiced in a dynamic (Yang) fashion by western practitioners. Yin Yoga is the perfect complement to a Yang practice or lifestyle. You wouldn’t want to only ever do a Yin Yoga practice but it is the perfect balancing practice for those who do a lot of running around in their lives.
If you want to read more about Yin Yoga then we highly recommend the Yin Yoga website www.yinyoga.com edited by Bernie Clark, author of Yinsights.
An excellent introduction to Yin Yoga is Paul Grilley’s article for Yoga Journal
We hold a regular monthly Yin Yoga class on the last Tuesday of every month 6:30 – 8 pm and a weekly class on Wednesdays 6 – 7:15 pm at In The Moment in Glasgow
We also hold regular Yin Yoga workshops where you can learn more about this profound practice.
Mantra, Meditation & Yoga Nidra
A MONTHLY, two hour workshop- style class kicking off a whole range of offerings called “My Healing Space” . This class will feature Yin & Yang yoga sequences, plus mantra, meditation and the ever popular Yoga Nidra. Each workshop will have a seasonal focus.
This class will be on the FIRST Wednesday of every month, on the following dates
Wednesdays 3rd April, 14th May, 5th June
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at In The Moment
The cost for this two hour class will be £10.
So, just what is involved?
Yin & Yang Yoga – Mindful asana practice. Working with the deeper connective tissues and energy channels.
Mantra – Using sound, chant and specific words and phrases to explore the power of vibration and intention
Meditation – Seated mindfulness practices, breathing, visualisation,
Yoga Nidra – A deep guided relaxation technique, often translated as “Yogic Sleep”. Longer than the usual relaxation in class, usually 20 -30 minutes. We also work with “Sankalpa” – a resolve or affirmation. Deeply healing.
Drawing on the spirit of Yoga and the Spirit of Place, I have been inspired, through my own spiritual practice to develop Celtic Yoga Journey. What has manifested is a Yoga which honours the traditions of the Celtic realms and subtly explores the deep connections between all spiritual traditions. The resulting practice is profound, healing and deeply enriching to those who experience it.
The practice itself combines seasonally focused asana, breath work and chant with Celtic meditations, blessings and gentle ritual and energy work. Each season is honoured with energetic practices to bring the body, mind and spirit into gentle alignment with the energy of the season.