OUR YOGA CLASSES
Yoga is our passion and from where we started, so you may find more yoga classes than any other style of class on our timetable. We believe that good mental and physical health comes from a balanced lifestyle and yoga can provide that balance, no matter if you are a super-fit mountaineer, or a sedentary office worker, there is always a suitable class for you.
However, we realise that the yoga world is confusing with all the 'types' of yoga, so here is a little guide:
pranayama & meditation
Prana means life force and yama means to regulate, so pranayama is the regulation of life force. Typically, Pranayama classes involve breathing exercises which clear the physical and emotional obstacles in our body to free the breath and so the flow of prana - life energy. The ultimate goal of yoga is to unite body, mind and spirit; when an individual focuses their mind on a particular object, along with the breath, thought, mantra or activity together encourage a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Meditation is defined as fixing the mind on a single point over a continuous period of time. Regular practice helps to reduce stress, create a calm mind, improve mood and clearer thinking as well as create a more peaceful inner state.
In a restorative yoga class you will typically start with some deep stretches to release muscular tension then continue with only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest. Held for five minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends. The class finishes with a guided relaxation. It is incredibly healing and re-energising, great for tiredness after sport, recovery from illness, and stress and fatigue.
Aerial Yoga and Anti-Gravity Fitness both use a nylon hammock or yoga swing to allow students to perform postures that they may not ordinarily be able to attempt. You can expect smaller class sizes (maximum five people), individualised attention, and focus on alignment and safe transitions. You will be asked to remove perfume, lotions and jewellery for an aerial class. Inversions can offer huge benefits for lymphatic drainage and circulation, as well as helping to decompress the spine in a safe, supported way.
Power Yoga is a powerful, energetic form of yoga where students fluidly move from one pose to the next while connecting their breathing to their movements. This type of yoga is often taught in a heated studio which makes it a vigorous and revitalising form of physical fitness. At Wholeycow, our studio is not heated, however you will find that this style of practice will naturally generate heat. A more advanced style of class for those who wish to further their physical yoga practice.
Yin yoga is a slow paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time. For beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more. It works on the energy meridians and releasing muscular holding patterns. There is a challenge to find mental stillness and release in a position that may not be instantly comfortable.
Yin is a perfect compliment to any active sports training.
Vinyasa is a style of yoga characterised by linking postures together so that you move from one to another, seamlessly, using breath. It is commonly referred to as “flow” yoga, as there is a rhythmic almost dance-like pace to the class. Better suited to practitioners who have some familiarity with yoga as you have less time between postures to position your body correctly.
Each class may be themed with a different philosophical or anatomical focus.
Hatha yoga is about balancing the body and the mind. You will typically find a slower paced and often longer held poses than in vinyasa classes. The pose can be more challenging when held for longer periods of time, the effect of this is to also concentrate the mind as well. There would be a mix of strengthening and stretching postures often with some breathing exercises and philosophical teachings. This is a good place to start if you are beginning a regular yoga practice.