The word ‘Yoga’ is a Sanskrit term derived from the root ‘Yuj’, which means to yoke, join or unite. As traditionally described in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the main purpose of yoga is to calm the thought streams of the mind.
This question of what is yoga? is beautifully examined by the leading teacher T. K. V. Desikachar:
“However beautifully we carry out an asana (posture), however flexible our body may be, if we do not achieve the integration of body, breath, and mind we can hardly claim that what we are doing is yoga. What is yoga after all? It is something that we experience within our being. Yoga is not an external experience. In yoga we try in every action to be as attentive as possible to everything we do. Yoga is different from dance or theatre. In yoga we are not creating something for others to look at.
As we perform the various asansa we observe what we are doing and how we are doing it. We do it only for ourselves. We are both observer and what is observed at the same time. If we do not pay attention to ourselves in our practice, then we cannot call it yoga."
In its truest sense Yoga is about much more than the physical postures and breathing exercises. Whilst very important, and also capable of bringing great benefits to practitioners, these are actually just preparatory techniques that will eventually settle the mind into silence and are just two parts of the eight limbs of classical yoga.
" Olivia’s class is one of the best vinyasa yoga classes I have ever done. Each class is a unique experience with a magical flow. She manages to awaken all my senses and I always come out strengthened and emotionally alleviated. Thank you Olivia!"
Hatha classes combine physical postures (asana) with breath practice (pranayama) to develop balance, strength and flexibility. Postures are often held for a number of counts, encouraging focus on alignment and mindfulness. This makes it a perfect class to start with for beginners.
Restorative yoga is a practice that is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. If you take a restorative class, you may hardly move at all, doing just a few postures in the course of an hour. Classes are very mellow, making them a good complement to more active practices (as well as our busy lives) and an excellent antidote to stress. Stillness is a powerful practice.
Like hatha, vinyasa yoga is a general term that describes many different styles of yoga. It essentially means movement synchronized with breath and is a vigorous style based on a rapid flow through sun salutations. You may also see a vinyasa class referred to as a flow class, which refers to the continuous flow from one yoga posture to the next.
There are lots of reasons why you might wish to have Private Classes at The Yoga Loft.
1. You are new to Yoga and do not know what kind of group class you would like to join or the level you are at
2. You have an injury/condition that needs specific 1-to-1 instruction
3. You are looking to develop your own practice at home and to set goals.
4. You have been taking group classes but want to work on something particular. For example if you are a beginner and you find something difficult, like the strength in your arms and back for downward dog.
* What is nice with 1-to1 classes is that you will receive a completely unique session that has been created only for you. Yoga, originally, was intended for a 1-to-1 practice with you and your teacher, rather than group classes. These group classes only developed later and with teachers that you had trained with for some time. *
Try and see your 1-to-1 as a wellness class, not only for movement, but also for other areas of your life and circumstances which might be affecting your mood and lifestyle. Olivia will check-in with you frequently to see how you are.