Our Yoga Classes
The Shala has an exceptionally experienced teaching team. Some of our teachers have been teaching for over 25 years and the majority of our teachers have at least 10+ years experience. Our schedule has been developed to:
- allow students to feel the benefits of yoga from the first class
- make yoga accessible to all individuals irrespective of age, fitness level, flexibility or condition
- encourage students to learn a safe foundation for the practice, before moving on to more challenging forms
- offer a well-rounded programme ranging from classes for Beginners (Beginners Flow) to gentle Restore classes (Relax & Restore) to energising Flow classes (Ashtanga, Intuitive flow)
- provide a progressive structure through Level 1, Level 2 as well as self-practice style classes
- empower you to take control of your own practice and develop an individual practice of your own which you can do anytime and anywhere
Most of our classes are typically taught in a high-heat (but not excessively hot) environment at around 22–25ºC, which is ideal for safely encouraging flexibility and allowing a gentle detoxification to take place. If you are new to the Shala, please see our New Student page for all you need to know about visiting the centre.
Styles of Yoga
Our diverse team of teachers offer a range of classes and workshops, some dynamic, others restorative, some focused on meditation, breathwork, philosophy or the spiritual aspects of yoga. We are non-dogmatic in our approach and we honour all of these traditions. The emphasis of our schedule is on flowing, dynamic, energising yoga classes. A number of these are rooted in the Ashtanga Vinyasa (FLOW) style of yoga though they regularly deviate from the set ashtanga sequence. Some classes included influences from Vinyasa or Jivamukti, depending on the teacher. To compliment the more energising classes we have regular gentle Restorative classes (RELAX & RESTORE) and monthly workshops focusing on aspects of breath work, meditation, nidra, yin yoga, Aerial Yoga among others.
Although tradition and lineage are highly valued, we have chosen not to highlight styles of yoga on our schedule. Yoga has evolved so much in recent years with so many (often interchangeable) styles, it can be difficult and restrictive to put teachers in a box as well as being overwhelming for newcomers to yoga. Those who have some experience of yoga also sometimes come with their own preconceptions about a style of yoga, and individual styles can vary so greatly from one teacher to another. So we encourage you to come with an open mind and try the variety of classes we offer using our Introductory Yoga Pass. Each teacher is unique and brings their own individual style so if you would like to know more about the style of a specific class, please look at the teacher’s individual biograph.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a moving meditation that can bring about profound changes in physical, emotional and mental well being. The many benefits of yoga are widely recognised by the medical profession and more and more health care professionals are referring patients to yoga classes for a wide range of conditions, most commonly stress, anxiety, depression and back pain. Yoga works on many different levels and the results are often dramatic. The practice of yoga:
- maximises body tone
- encourages weight loss
- detoxifies the body
- realigns the body
- increases all round health
- enhances flexibility and balance
- builds strength and stamina
- increases energy levels
- boosts the immune system
- balances emotions
- strengthens the respiratory system
- purifies the nervous system
- improves mental clarity and concentration
- encourages relaxation and calm
Medical Conditions & Injuries
Yoga can help with a wide range of conditions and in order for you to gain the best results we recommended that you speak to us first about any conditions or injuries you are dealing with. More serious issues should be discussed with the studio coordinator/manager before attending class, more minor ones can be mentioned to the teacher before class. It is always really helpful for us to know more so we can guide you towards the most suitable classes and workshops and ensure that we help you as best we can.
Here are some of the many issues yoga can help with:
- back pain
- stress & anxiety
- weight loss
- blood pressure
- skin conditions
- respiratory conditions such as asthma
- cholesterol management
- thyroid regulation
- menopause and PMT
As an independent local yoga and Pilates centre, we focus on creating positive change and providing a sanctuary within our community. We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide a place of healing and nurture for those who come through our doors. Here are our key principles….
- Our teachers honour the yamas and niyamas (ethical principles of yoga see below) and bring their experience and knowledge of the practice to facilitate growth on your own personal journey. Yoga teachers are not gurus. This means that they are human, not perfect enlightened beings to be revered. At the Shala, we always welcome student’s feedback so that our teachers can continue to grow as teachers themselves.
- Many of our classes, Self Practise classes in particular, involve hands-on guidance and correction. We can learn as much from touch and physical corrections as we can from verbal instruction. We respect that some students do not wish to be touched/adjusted and ask that you simply mention to the teacher that you would prefer not to have hands-on assists in class at that time. They will not take it personally. You can then let them know if/when you are ready to receive these.
- While we encourage you to challenge yourself in class, the emphasis is always to tune in and listen to your own individual needs. It is very common to approach practice with goals, ambition, competitiveness and striving in the way that we approach so much else in our lives, but your practice should nurture and nourish you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It should not be about attainment. If ever you feel the need to stop, rest or just go in to Shivasana in any class, this is perfectly acceptable.
- We welcome people of all ages, with all levels of experience and abilities. We build our team from people in the local community who themselves come from all walks of life. Yoga is about inclusivity and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form. The welfare of children and young people who attend our classes is always our paramount consideration. We offer concession discounts on our class passes for full-time students, unemployed and those who have retired from work – please email us to enquire about these.
- We recognize that our building is not accessible to those with mobility impairments and wherever possible we try to accommodate this by offering alternative ways to access our teachers and workshops.
- We aim to operate in a way that is in harmony with the environment and minimises our carbon footprint. This includes having invested in reinsulating the roof, installing a thermal store heating system, use of green energy and eco products and a commitment to reducing waste.
Yamas & Niyamas
The first limb of Patanjali’s eight-fold path, yama, provides us with five ethical disciplines or virtues – non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity and greedlessness – which serve as a guide to living by acceptable moral standards. Yoga offers us an integrated way of living, which is defined by these virtues, and their observance reflects favourably on the individual and on the lineage he or she represents. It should be the endeavour of any contemporary yogi to conduct his or her life in accordance with these disciplines.
The five yamas and five niyamas set out a basic ethical code expected of yoga practitioners
- non-violence – ahimsa
- truthfulness – satya
- non-stealing – asteya
- non-excess/sexual restraint – brahmacharya
- non-greed – aparigraha
- purity – saucha
- contentment – santosha
- self-disciplined – tapas
- self-study – svadhyaya
- surrender/devotion to the supreme being – isvara pranidhana