1-2-1 Hatha Yoga
What is Yoga?
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is easier to say what yoga is not! Yes, the physical benefits of yoga are many and extraordinary, and they are the reason why most of us start practising yoga in the first place. But that is not the whole story!
As a physical discipline it stretches, improves balance and suppleness, brings tone and strength to all parts of the body, both externally and internally. It can aid weight loss/weight control, cleanses the body of toxins, nourishes, invigorates and energises - yet at the same time, yoga soothes and tranquillises. It is even said to slow the ageing process!
Although invisible to our eyes, the chakras (energy centres of the body) are cleansed, healed and balanced during yoga, so having a powerful effect on our physical (and subtle, or auric) bodies and our minds and emotions. But yoga is more than a set of postures (asanas) designed to tone and stretch etc. Awareness of the breath during yoga practice bridges the gap between mind and body, so bringing about a host of positive mental and emotional benefits.
As we focus on the breath and take our awareness inside, we come fully into the present and live each moment at a time - something we never do in our busy daily lives. Each moment - like each of us - is unique and precious. As we learn to live in the present tense, we give ourselves a present - a gift - freedom from being tense! All tension, stress and worry for the future melt away, because to live in the present means there IS no future; each moment is taken as it comes. Each time we come into the present moment we drop a certain amount of the baggage that we carry around with us. This is incredibly empowering in itself, but with mindfulness come other wonderful transformations in our emotional and mental states, making yoga, amongst other things, a psychotherapy.
Seen this way, yoga is an ancient form of life-coaching! One thing it is not, is a religion. Yoga is a philosophy and may become a deeply spiritual practice for you, as you progress, but it has no affiliation to any religion.
So how old is Yoga?
An author named Patanjali wrote the 'Yoga-sutras', the first text on the subject of yoga, 2,500 years ago. In it he defined yoga as 'chitta-vrtti-nirohdah' which means the cessation of the turnings of the mind. Yoga was actually designed to loosen up the body and relax the mind prior to a long bout of meditation, so that the mind and body could relax and sit in stillness - a tall order! One translation of yoga is 'union'; the bringing together of the body, mind and spirit, in a harmonious state.
What type of Yoga do you teach?
I teach Hatha Yoga, which is probably the type of yoga people are most familiar with. It incorporates asana (postures) practise with mudras (finger and hand positions which work on the central nervous system to bring about change, e.g.: to transform anger) pranayama (breathing exercises) and kriyas (cleansing techniques). I often use mantras too, the best-known one being OM: it is profoundly healing.
My classes start and end with a few minutes of relaxation. I also use positive affirmations and guided visualisations, usually during meditation or relaxation. I make use of props such as blocks, blankets, straps and bolsters, as needed.
Who is Hatha Yoga suitable for?
Anyone and everyone! No prior experience is necessary. You are never too old or too infirm to start practising yoga; I know of people in their 70's and 80's who have taken up a gentle daily yoga practise and have found it hugely beneficial to their health and well-being. Yoga can be practised in a chair, against a wall, even in bed. The basic postures are very gentle and it is up to the student how far to take the variations on a posture. A good yoga teacher always takes into account the possible physical limitations of students when planning a lesson, whilst also providing a gradual, deeper progress for more advanced students.
Listening to your body, and being aware of your daily limitations, throughout your practice (something I am constantly reminding my students of) helps to prevent injuries. Finding your edge in a pose and waiting patiently to find your next edge will extend your limits. From there, your strength, flexibility, balance, confidence and focus will grow and grow.
How often should I practise Hatha Yoga?
Regularity is the key! It is better to practise little and often than to practise for a long time irregularly. A natural starting point is once a week, but three times a week will bring more easily noticeable changes to the body (and mind). Should you embrace yogic philosophy, you might find that your yoga practice becomes a way of life. To start with, working with a teacher, either individually or in a class setting is best, until you get used to the postures and how to get in and out of them safely and smoothly.
Effective treatment for...
- Improves structural fitness & alignment
- Improves spinal & joint flexibility
- Stretches & tones most muscle groups
- Increases energy & boosts immunity
- Relaxes mind & body, promotes sleep
- Relieves stress & calms the emotions
- Massages internal organs
- Improves circulation of blood & lymph
- Improves balance & builds confidence
- Cleanses body at cellular level
- Regulates hormones, relieves depression
- Encourages self-awareness & intuition
- Boosts creativity & imagination
- Expands consciousness
- Offers anti-ageing & weight control
- Gentle, non-competitive, low impact
- Suitable for all ages & ability levels
- Non-denominational; not religious
- No experience necessary; all welcome
Quick Reference Guide
Do I need to undress?
You won't need to undress, but you will need to wear comfortable clothing that will not restrict your free movement
How much does it cost?
£50 for every 1 hour 15 minute session
How do I book a 1-2-1 Hatha Yoga session?
Providing you have room for a yoga mat (and a bit of space around it) in your home, I can travel to you (within an eight mile radius of Northampton) and show you how to improve your health and well-being using Hatha Yoga.
I can provide a mat unless you wish to buy your own. Do buy a proper yoga mat, not an aerobic mat, which is generally too thick and not 'sticky' as a yoga mat should be; this provides grip so that you do not slip.
I provide all props should they be needed to help you relax into a posture, and to add to your comfort during meditation and relaxation. Once I know a little about you, and any health issues, injuries, concerns, experience (or lack thereof) and aims you may have, I can create a 1 hour 15 minute yoga session tailored specifically for you.
No experience is necessary
None of the complementary holistic therapies offered by Jane Goodman Holistic Therapies is intended as primary healthcare. Complementary holistic therapies work alongside the relationship you have with your professional medical practitioner. If you have any medical concern, you must always consult your GP. As a holistic practitioner, I do not diagnose, prescribe medication or advise you to stop taking prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor.