What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient art, science and practical philosophy which promotes physical, mental and spiritual harmony and well-being. It is one of the oldest systems of personal growth and self-knowledge. Developed over thousands of years, yoga has withstood the test of time and is now fast becoming the most popular form of physical exercise for the body, mind and spirit.

How does it work?

Yoga is a superior form of exercise – challenging for the body whilst relaxing for the mind. The yoga postures develop strength and flexibility, soothe the nerves, calm the mind and reduce fatigue; thus they have both a relaxing and stimulating effect. By practising them one develops agility, balance, endurance, and vitality. But their real importance lies in the way they train and discipline the mind.

What style of yoga is offered?

The style of yoga practised at The Yoga Company is Hatha Yoga, which is the yoga of working with the body, through physical postures and breathing exercise to help calm the mind. It is a very physical form of yoga with attention to correct alignment of the body and safe, sensible and intelligent performance of the postures. We incorporate the methods of B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and T.K.V. Desikachar.

What benefits can I expect?

People who start yoga usually find that after a few weeks they feel more robust and energetic, lighter and springier. The yoga postures not only work every muscle, nerve, and joint in the body, but directly affect the whole organism – the glands, internal organs, bones, circulation and respiration. Yoga can help cure and prevent sports injuries, back/neck problems, poor posture, bad tempers and a host of minor and major health conditions, even old age.

Tell me about the classes?

Classes are of 90 minute duration, and conclude with 10-15 minutes relaxation. Classes are challenging for the body, yet relaxing for the mind. Students are encouraged to progress at their own pace, and the teachers understand that not all bodies are the same and will allow you to extend to your limits safely. Students are encouraged to work to their limits and through steady, regular practice extend those limits.

How should I breathe?

The body should enjoy a plentiful supply of oxygen all the time – improving your breathing automatically improves all your bodily functions. Deep, slow breathing improves your circulation and allows the blood to carry oxygen and nourishment more effectively into every cell of your body, as well as having a calming and strengthening effect on the mind.

In yoga classes, we emphasise the breathing and teach you to breathe fully, deeply, consciously and consistently whilst doing the yoga poses. In all the postures the breathing should be done through the nostrils only and not through the mouth. Do not hold your breath or strain the breath whilst going into or staying in the postures. As you continue to practice yoga, your breathing and lung capacity will improve.

What else do I need to know?

Please inform the teacher prior to the class of any medical condition, injury or if you are pregnant. Wear comfortable clothing that allows your body to move freely and does not restrict the waist or limbs. Classes are taken barefoot, and it is recommended to attend classes on an empty stomach, wait 4 hours after a heavy meal. You can have a light snack 1 hour before class. Make sure the body is well-hydrated, drink water before the class, but avoid drinking water during the class, you can have small sips during class if necessary. All the equipment you need is supplied at the school.