what’s yoga all about, then?
It’s a challenging workout and powerful stretch. Yoga makes you physically stronger, balances your emotions, reduces stress and leaves you feeling mentally brighter. Yoga originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, with the purpose of helping each of us achieve our highest potential and improve the quality of our lives. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Yui’ meaning to unite. By aligning (or uniting) the body, the spirit and the mind, yoga helps us achieve optimum health on every level. Despite its spiritual component, yoga is not a religion; it’s more a science, and the benefits people enjoy through its practice are far-reaching and well documented.
why should I do it?
You just should. It makes you feel great. What’s not to love? For many students, it gives relief from chronic pain, calms the mind, helps stabilise emotions and is fantastic for getting rid of stress. It’s also a brilliant complement to active sports, building strength, flexibility and stamina. Actually, yoga’s not something you do, it’s something you practise (like martial arts). Which is great, because it means you don’t have to be a ninja in your first class.
what kind of yoga do you teach?
We teach a form of Hatha yoga, which is all about holding physical postures (asanas) and controlling the breath (pranayama). In all of our classes, we emphasise synchronising breath with movement. This creates a moving mediation effect, so at the end of the class, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a little break from the world. The postures stretch and strengthen different parts of the body, systematically working all the major muscle groups. Yoga postures stimulate the internal organs and create fluidity and strength around the joints. We base our classes on a sequence of postures created by the doctor and teacher Swami Sivananda, so you might also hear us refer to it as Sivananda yoga.
what are your classes like?
Firstly, they’re enormous fun. We change the physical practice along with the changing seasons, and we pepper the classes with manageable chunks of yogic philosophy, to give you the ‘why’ behind what we’re doing. They’re full of imagination too. Our Halloween class is fabulous! Yoga can be as physically challenging as you make it, so we’ll always encourage you to increase what you’re able to do, stretching yourself as much as is appropriate for you and your body.
but am I too old, too stiff, too inflexible to do yoga?
Get to class! These are exactly the reasons you need to do yoga, not reasons not to do it!
what’s so good about being flexible anyway?
Flexibility = Youthfulness. Being flexible gives you a greater range of movement, improves sports performance and reduces injury from sports or falls… and helps you put your socks on more easily.
I have terrible back problems – will I be able to do it?
Many of our students come to us because of long term back problems (take a look at Danny’s video on our Testimonials page). The beauty of yoga is that it naturally develops strength and flexibility throughout the body, especially along the spine, at a pace that’s right for you. Because you’ll be encouraged to build your strength with regular, gentle practice, your back muscles will get stronger and stronger. Working gently is the key – little by little, many of our students find that the back pain they’ve lived with for years disappears, giving them a new quality of life.
I’ve never tried yoga before. Will I be able to do it?
will it help me look buff?
Yoga tends to encourage weight loss because as your mind becomes less cluttered you become more mindful about what you eat. A yoga body is one of the great by-products of yoga, but not its main aim. We have students of every shape, size and ability. Coming to class is not like coming to a gym and showing off your bod. Everyone is concentrating on themselves, not on anything else.
what do I need to wear?
Wear comfortable clothes that you can easily move in, with layers that you can remove. Yoga is a barefoot practice, but do bring socks for relaxation at the beginning and end of class.
what do I need to bring?
Your own mat and a blanket or shawl to keep you warm during the relaxation. You may also want to bring a bottle of water to drink before and after class (not during).
can I borrow a mat?
Yes for the first session and then we ask you to bring your own. This is for reasons of hygiene and so you have your own mat for home practice.
should I eat or drink before class?
It’s important to leave at least an hour and a half between eating and practising yoga. We do a lot of abdominal work, which can be very uncomfortable if you’ve just had fish and chips. However, please make sure you’re well hydrated, just as you would with any other form of exercise. Our classes are extremely detoxing and you will lose water by sweating. Being dehydrated is linked to feeling faint and muscle cramping. It’s fine to drink water any time up until we start the class.
how much will it cost?
Come for a complimentary trial class and then commit. We ask our students to make a monthly commitment (£40 / £32 students), but big savings can be made (and huge benefits had!) by coming twice a week, or paying in advance for the entire year. Please see our fees page for more details.