About Yoga

Yoga is an ancient philosophical system that offers techniques for handling the stresses of daily living.  Peace of mind is achieved by strengthening the connection between the physical and spiritual aspects of our beings, so that the body, mind and spirit are integrated.  Ashtanga yoga refers to the eight parts of yoga which include the study and practice of: 

universal social principles (yama) and  personal conduct (niyama)

poses (asana) and breathing exercises (pranayama

inward focus (pratyahara) and concentration (dharana

meditation (dhyana) and universal unity (samadhi)

The practice of poses and breathing exercises is called hatha yoga.  Today there are many styles of hatha yoga based on the teachings of different yoga masters.  At Mainstreet Yoga we teach the Iyengar method of hatha yoga which is based on the teachings of living yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar.

Iyengar Yoga emphasizes postural alignment and uses “props” (such as blocks, blankets, straps, etc.) to achieve better alignment for a safe, effective yoga practice.  Alignment of the physical body enables the practitioner to stay in the pose longer and thereby gain more of the benefits of the pose.  The physical benefits of yoga include the toning and stretching of muscles as well as improved posture.  Physiologically, the poses enhance the functioning of the organ systems (digestive, circulatory, respiratory, hormonal, etc.).  Psychologically, yoga develops concentration and clarity of mind.  The sequence of poses also affects the physical, physiological and psychological state of the practitioner.  In Iyengar yoga we learn to practice poses in specific sequences to achieve specific results.  In general, a practice will lead to a balanced state of mind and body; in cases of injury or disease, a special “therapeutic” sequence may help the healing process.  

For more information about Iyengar Yoga:

Iyengar Yoga National Association of the U.S.

Iyengar Yoga Association of the Southeast

Official website of B.K.S. Iyengar

 

Things to know if this is your first yoga class:

Avoid eating before class.  A light snack an hour or two before class is okay, but yoga is best done on an empty stomach.

Dress in clothing that allows you to move freely.  Yoga is done in bare feet .  Avoid baggy pants so that the alignment of the knees can be seen easily.  Layers are suggested as you will warm up during the more vigorous poses and may cool down toward the end of class. 

Our studio is fully equipped with mats, blankets, straps, blocks, bolsters, etc. for your use during class. 

Please arrive before class starts.  Poses are sequenced to prepare the body and mind for what follows.

Remember to breathe!  Just inhale and exhale according to your own rhythm unless instructed to do otherwise.  The breath is the link between the body and energy (mind and emotions) and will keep your attention focused on the present.  It will also give you useful feedback while you are in the pose.  Unevenness or agitation in the breath indicates overexertion or irritation to the nervous system. 

 

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Contact us at: lyndasyoga@hotmail.com         

Last modified: 03/15/04