What to expect at a Hatha yoga class
Hatha yoga means the physical practice of yoga which is postures, breath work and relaxation.
There are thousands of yoga postures, all designed to strengthen, stretch and detoxify the muscles, organs and other tissues of the body and to make sure that all the body's wonderful systems are working optimally.
What shall I wear and what shall I bring?
Wear comfortable clothes that you feel good in and can easily stretch in. Layer up so that you can remove layers when you warm up and then get cosy for the relaxation.
Due to Covid 19, you are required to bring your own equipment. Bring a yoga mat - I recommend the YogaMad website for their equipment. you may also want to bring a yoga block, belt and a blanket.
Who can do it?
As there are so many postures to choose from, there will always be suitable poses and modifications for you regardless of what you think you can or can't do. The simple answer is, absolutely anyone can do Hatha yoga. I have worked with people from age 3 to 83 at every level of physical fitness, including those with cancer, ME, COPD, frozen shoulder and chronic pain.
What will we do and what are the benefits?
We will usually start off with seated or lying poses, move to weight bearing and standing poses, and finish off with mat-based stretching and strengthening.
When the postures are done mindfully there is another added benefit - we develop focus, self-knowledge, release blocked emotions like stress, anger and fear from the body and we are able to make friends with the body. Although doing postures can help you to tone up and lose weight, It's not about changing the way you look, it's about loving the way you are.
Through breath work and relaxation we can develop a sense of calm, ease and well being. In every session we will practice mindful breathing and try breathing techniques designed to improve respiration and induce a sense of calm, steadiness and well being.
The session will end with a guided relaxation where you release unnecessary effort and stress from the body and mind.
Mindfulness and Meditation
You will be introduced to short 5-10 minute mindfulness meditations such as mindfulness of the breath and the body scan which is a lying down meditation. Meditation will be presented in an accessible way which is doable for everyone. There is nothing mystical about meditation, it's just simply paying attention.
Gentle yoga is a slower paced, less physically challenging version of a mainstream Hatha yoga class. It is based on the poses of Hatha and incorporates all of the stretches and strengthening work needed to make it a complete yoga practice for health, strength and vitality. We move gently and mindfully and pay attention to the breath. Morven has years of experience working with seniors and those recovering from illness and injury. Gentle yoga is a good start for you if you are looking for a therapeutic movement programme and relaxation tools.
Restorative Yoga is a relaxing, meditative approach often using props such as blankets and bolsters, supporting the body to gently release as opposed to actively stretching. Sometimes we will be flowing through mindful movement with the breath, sometimes the postures are sometimes held for periods of a few minutes. Being physically held in the posture and rocked softly by your breath allows muscular and emotional tension to evaporate, leaving you feeling clear and with a sense of heightened wellbeing. Suitable for those who are interested in improving body awaress and in benefiting mainly from the stress-reducing effectsof yoga practice. Bring a mat, blanket, cushion, belt and a yoga bolster if you have one.
Yoga and meditation can help with stress, anxiety, insomnia, obesity, stiffness, injury, asthma, backache and many many more things. It is a way to uncover real health and wellbeing which is hardwired into the body from the beginning.
How much is it?
Drop-in prices vary between £5 and £9 and concessions are available to unwaged and senior participants. You can buy an 8 class pass for £48 or pay a monthly standing order of £25 for unlimited classes. Concessions are also available on a pay what you can basis.