There are many styles of yoga. Visualize yoga as a tree, each branch of that yoga tree is representing a different style of yoga. You may have noticed, the more popular yoga has become, the more styles have sprung up.
Just recently I was asked, what I would call my style of yoga. I had to pause and think a bit, because in the decades of teaching I have experienced many different styles of yoga, but I have never followed a “linage” or a “guru“. When I reflected about my own practice and how I teach, the name: “Peaceful Yoga” came to mind. I believe that we need to be peaceful within ourselves, in order to allow our inner sensations and our inner wisdom to guide us.
Sounds pretty good so far, right? But how can you get there? First of all, you need to WANT to go down the path of self discovery.
Your mantra should be:
- Not to set any high goals.
- Letting your body do the driving and parking your mind.
- Most importantly to remember is, that whatever comes forth, it will be perfect.
In “Peaceful Yoga”we start out by taking our seats, closing our eyes and settling in. Fidgeting a bit is totally normal and fine, just let go of any judging. This will actually help us to cultivate patience within ourselves and with others.
We then move into a short breath meditation to bring us more into the present moment. Letting go of any unnecessary physical tension, with the help of our breath, allows us to establish a mind- body connection. Always remembering, the breath is the bridge between the mind and the body.
From there we move slowly, with awareness, into postures. Becoming the postures, instead of just doing them, will bring awareness, strength, energy and healing into our bodies and into our lives.
Many times, when we’re in a posture, I’ll ask the yogis to close their outer eyes and to listen inward, what is their body telling them? To back off, or to go deeper? Are they listening more to their egos or to their bodies at this very moment?
I do encourage the yogis to laugh at themselves, especially when they fall out of a balancing posture. Yoga is not about perfection.
Forward bends are wonderful for hanging out together.
Backbends are invigorating, back strengthening and are true heart openers.
In twists, we visualize wringing out all the stuff that we need to get rid off. It also keeps the spine subtle, the back healthy and it helps with the digestion and elimination.
Standing postures build strength and teaches the mind to focus.
At the end of class we have dessert; relaxation-meditation. This is really the most important part of our practice. What we have done so far, has helped us to move towards relaxation. Relaxation leads into meditation. We absorb the energy we just released, but most importantly, it calms the mind and encourages healing. Afterwards you might just feel a bit more peaceful and centered.
I could go on and on about the healing qualities of the practice. Peaceful Yoga is not about being perfect, or standing on our heads, it’s about celebrating our bodies, just the way they are, right now, at this very moment and being at peace with oneself.
If you can, pause for a moment and stop what you’re doing.
Take a deep breath in through your nostrils, all the way down into your belly, then open up your mouth and exhale with a big sigh!
Did it feel good? Try to do it more often.
I invite you to join me to enjoy and experience the physical, spiritual and emotional gifts that yoga has to offer, in a peaceful way.
Visit the Group Fitness page to learn more and take a class with me.