Classes are a mix of Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, building strength and flexibility. This means that the taught sequences are generally energetic and focus on the ‘flow’ of the movements with the breath. There is certainly some physical challenge, but also a chance to stretch out the body, switch off the mind and relax at the end of class.
There are a great many styles of yoga and every teacher will have developed an approach with which they are comfortable and which is appropriate to their practice of yoga, so it is important to find a class that works for you. There are some great ‘gentle yoga’ classes available locally, and also those which focus primarily on relaxation and meditation, but this is not what I offer. These elements of yoga are certainly very valuable, but are not what I have chosen to focus on. I teach classes that are traditional in style, but also functional for modern life, with a fresh, fun approach: we use music, we chat before and after class, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Yoga offers many benefits: one of these is a way to stay fit and healthy, and this is reflected in my teaching.
Absolutely! Only one weekly class requires some experience (Monday 6.30pm) but all others are mixed-level, so certainly suitable for beginners or those who have tried yoga a long time ago and would like to try again. In mixed-level classes, you will find that some students have been coming for a while, but others have joined very recently. You will also find students of all ages, backgrounds and levels of fitness. No prior experience of yoga is assumed, and modifications are always offered in tricky poses. Likewise, if you're an experienced yogi improving your practice, there will be poses to challenge you.
If you are looking for a class in which everyone is a beginner, try looking for a specific beginners course (usually 5 or 6 weeks in duration). I don’t offer these currently, but do occasionally run Taster Classes for people to try yoga with no pressure and very little commitment!
Every new student needs to complete a Health and Safety Questionnaire, detailing any health conditions that might affect your yoga practice; this means your instructor can be aware of this during class. Your safety is the priority, so you should discuss any personal concerns with your doctor before starting any new exercise.
Modifications can be made for a variety of health conditions (such as discomfort in a particular part of the body, issues with blood pressure, or recovery from an injury) but it is important to appreciate that yoga is a physical activity and classes will involve and certain amount of moving around, kneeling, getting up and down from the floor, and other movements around the mat. Your yoga instructor has anatomy training, but is not a doctor, so it is important to get the appropriate advice and make your health your priority.
Your best option is to seek out a pregnancy yoga class, in order to be supported by an appropriately qualified instructor. Some teachers have had training in supporting pregnant students in general yoga classes, but please discuss this with your instructor and doctor. Personally, while I have some knowledge of appropriate modifications, I believe that my energetic, flowing, busy classes are difficult to deliver in a way that is going to be 100% safe and comfortable for a pregnant yogi, and not a risk worth taking: this may be disappointing for regular, committed students, but safety is the absolute priority.
Chances are, you’re not doing anything wrong! Yoga is a physical exercise. It can be relaxing and help ease aches and pains, but it can also be challenging and involve muscles you haven’t been using regularly. Just as going for your first run in years might feel difficult and result in soreness the next day, the same can be true after yoga. Try to go at a pace that is comfortable for you and don’t push yourself to do more than feels right for your body. Talk to your instructor, and if you have any serious concerns about pain or discomfort, consult your doctor before continuing.
Every new yogi worries about this but there is no need! Comfort is the priority, but nothing too baggy or it can get in the way. Leggings or joggers and a T-shirt are usually best, plus an extra layer for the end of class. Yoga is practised in bare feet so footwear choice doesn't matter! Many students like to start class with their socks on (until they warm up!) and then put the socks back on at the end of class for relaxation. This is a small detail, but might help you feel a bit more comfortable.
Yoga mats and props are provided, although you are welcome to use your own mat if you wish. Some students also bring a blanket or a cushion to aid relaxation at the end, and a number of yogis have started using some brilliant ‘grippy’ socks to avoid slipping on the mat. There’s no need to have any of this at the beginning though - just bring a bottle of water and yourself!
You can find plenty of information on this website, particularly via the links below: