We frequently get asked why we don’t name the styles of yoga we offer on our schedule. While we do understand the frustration that this might bring, our reasoning is this….
most of our teachers have been teaching for many years and draw on a number of influences. It is not easy to try and put them in a box, and it is creatively restrictive. Students come with expectations and preconceptions, rather than an open mind. So our broad class names (Restore, Flow, Dynamic, Self Practice) instead give you a sense of energetics and mood. And our teacher’s Biographies will give you a clearer indication of the styles of yoga a teacher may draw upon. There are also SO many styles of yoga today, who honestly knows what the difference is between some of the styles out there?!
But if you want to know more about the styles of yoga that do feature on our schedule, here is an overview, leading the way with Ashtanga which has a far-reaching influence on most contemporary dynamic styles.
Ashtanga is an incredible practice that takes us through a set series of postures sequenced in such a way that is energetically and physically perfectly balanced. The practice is flowing and rhythmic with a strong focus on the breath. It is at once energising and deeply relaxing, challenging and nurturing, strengthening and releasing.
There are six series so there is always something else to work on, though in reality mastering the first primary series can be a life time achievement!
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for FLOW regularly taught by Gingi Lee, Kath Roberts, Norman Blair & Martha Winfield amongst others.
Ashtanga Self Practice
The beauty of ashtanga is that in memorising the sequence of postures you are able to cultivate a personal “self-practice” which can be very liberating. At the point when you no longer need to think about the postures your focus turns inwards allowing you to access the meditative aspects of the practice. Students can be intimidated to join these classes, which are not led in the conventional way. Instead a teacher is there to guide you and facilitate and offer hands-on adjustments and corrections as you go through the sequence at your own pace - so the teachings are individual and personalised. The benefits of this are huge given that everyone has completely different bodies, needs and abilities. But the biggest benefit of all is the space and peace to really turn your energy, gaze and focus inwards to meditation. These classes are open to anyone with some knowledge of the ashtanga system - including those relatively new to ashtanga.
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for SELF PRACTICE with Gingi Lee, Inna Costantini, Martha Winfield
Firmly rooted in the tradition of Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa Flow is a contemporary style of yoga. Like ashtanga the emphasis is on the rhythm and flow of the practice and a fluid moving from posture to posture linked by a “vinyasa”. The main difference is that there is no set sequence or framework, so the sequencing varies. This can add an element of playfulness and an opportunity for deeper exploration of physical postures.
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for FLOW with Matt Gill and Sunita Devi.
Dharma Yoga is a graceful, yet challenging form of classical Hatha Raja yoga based on the many decades of teachings from New York based Sri Dharma Mittra. The practice is suitable for students of all levels. As students move through the different levels of practice and sequences they are encouraged to go deeper and experience the practice in a meditative and spiritual way.
In essence, Dharma Yoga is a system of classical Hatha-Raja Yoga. A devotional practice that emphasizes good health, a clear mind and a kind heart. The method weaves together many teachings in order to bring all students closer to the goal of self-realization. Dharma yoga has a reputation for being one of the most intense and physically challenging styles of yoga, with lots of inversions and some complex sequencing.
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for DYNAMIC with Ellie Steel
Rocket’ was devised in the 80’s by Larry Shultz, a charismatic American and teacher to the Grateful Dead. As an Ashtanga practitioner he couldn’t make progress in his practice beyond Marichyasana B, but Larry wanted to have fun learning to do the poses that were denied him in Ashtanga. Taking the basis of the Ashtanga standing series, sequencing it in a more Vinyasa flow, interspersing it with some of the challenging poses from Intermediate and Advanced, ‘Rocket’ was born! There is a semblance of order to the sequence but with plenty of latitude for alteration. It’s playful, fun and fast paced, think remixed democratised Ashtanga!
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for DYNAMIC with Austin Ince (Sundays PM)
Jivamukti is a beautiful flowing class rooted in Ashtanga. It integrates the physical, spiritual and psychological aspects of yoga and focuses each month on a specific theme set by founders Sharon Gannon and David Life. Expect a strong vinyasa based practice, a sprinkle of chanting, philosophy and meditation, hands on assists, ending with deep relaxation... all accompanied by a magical playlist. A truly uplifting practice. ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for DYNAMIC with Elodie Frati (Monday AM)
Yin yoga is a gentle, nourishing and nurturing practice, described by yin teacher Norman Blair as “a soft and steady and sustained practice where we are grounding and breathing and releasing.” What we experience in yin yoga is a slowing down, a releasing, a “peeling back of layers”, a “compassionate unfolding”. We luxuriate in the moments of stillness connecting to an inner sense of peace and an often profound opening of mind, body and heart.
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for RESTORE with Austin Ince, Emma Peel, Lila Anamika, Laura Kinnenan, Raluca Musat and Yin Yoga Workshops with Norman Blair
Yin Yang practise is a fusion of Indian and Daoist Yoga. Graceful and energetic sequences, build stages of intensity and heat before slowing down with longer held Yin asana until we come to rest in stillness. Both Yin and Yang asana are invitations to not only understand ourselves and our bodies more deeply but invitations to explore. Our Yoga practise is not so much concerned with how flexible the body is, but where the edges arrive and how softly we can caress these edges no matter where they appear.
ON OUR SCHEDULE>>> look out for FLOW with Emma Peel (Thursday EVE)