WHICH CLASS IS RIGHT FOR ME?
The yoga world doesn't do itself any favours in helping people understand what's what. It can be confusing with loads of new terms and styles of class - sometimes yoga teachers assume you know what all that means, which makes it hard for you to know what the right choice is for you, and can knock your confidence before you even step through the door.
Here's a little guide to all of the Pride Yoga classes, what's involved, what the yoga terms used mean and what the difference is between them so you pick the right class for you.
the essential guidance:
Basic mobility is essential for all group classes
Examples are: getting on and off the floor unaided, bear weight on hands and feet, put arms out to side and overhead, kneeling. If you don't have this, don't stress - I can see you 1:1 initially or until you're in a position to join a group class.
If you are working with an injury, my usual process is to recommend a 1:1 initially. This is so you can get the most from your yoga practice and feel fully supported. If you'd like to read more about why I recommend this, check out this blog.
"WILL I BE OK IN THIS CLASS?"
I won't be able to give you direct guidance on what class is suitable for you or answer "will I be ok in this class" if I've never worked with you and don't know your history. Wish I could, but sorry yoga doesn't work like that!
Everyone is totally different and one person's stiff as a board and super unfit is someone else's fit as a fiddle and human pretzel! Plus, the mindset you approach your practice with can be the difference between a class being the right fit for you, or not. This makes it impossible for me to answer that super common, specific question.
The best I can do as a facilitator and educator is be really clear and detailed with my descriptions. You know yourself, your position and fitness level better than I do, so please read the detailed descriptions and book the class that fits your current circumstance.
The best thing to do if you're new is book Yoga 101, or if you're particularly nervous, consider booking a 1:1 with me to get you started with a bunch of support.
style: Hatha/hatha flow
All yoga is Hatha yoga, it is a posture (asana) based practice Hatha translates as "effort" i.e. a physical practice. Flow means we link a couple of postures together.
for: all levels inc. new to yoga, nervous newbies, total beginners
Yoga 101 classes are designed to work physically, building strength, improving mobility and also teaching you relaxation and concentration skills and techniques.
We start with some time to arrive into our practice, move through floor and standing sequences linking a few poses together, then come back to the floor for our relaxation.
Expect to build a bit of heat, and work during this class. Contrary to general perception... yoga isn't effortless (experienced practitioners make it look like that!) It isn't a lie on the floor kind of class, if that's your jam check out my Restorative Yoga Workshops.
Yoga 101 is the place to start with your yoga journey as a total beginner and allows you to grow and expand your practice over time, taking choices to suit you and adapt the poses to your experience and body.
This makes Yoga 101 suitable for total beginners attending their first classes all the way to experienced students.
flowing yoga 101
style: flow (Vinyasa)
Vinyasa means to place in a special way, Vinyasa Flow classes are dynamic, meaning continuous movement through interconnected sequences and often use Sun Salutations.
for: students with some yoga experience (9-12 classes) /movement knowledge
Flowing Yoga 101 is similar to Yoga 101 in its purpose and aims - building strength, mobility, teaching relaxation and concentration, but it goes about this in a slightly different way to Yoga 101.
If you're a total beginner who is new to movement I do not recommend this class for you initially and prefer you join Yoga 101. This is a pacey class. You'll have questions and find learning asana more than enough, and I can't offer you the depth of tuition you need as a beginner in a flow setting. The only exception here with beginners in this class is if you already have a good level of fitness, body awareness and muscular control.
Flowing Yoga 101 is a stronger practice than Yoga 101. Expect sweat and muscular energy to be expended and poses that challenge you mentally as well as physically. We move continuously throughout the class for the full hour, rather than stopping in between sequences.
It is a mid to higher pace in some parts, including part and full sun salutations and variations of these to move in between sequences taught in an accessible, choose-your-adventure style.
Some more technical and challenging poses and transitions requiring more mobility or balance are included in this class; but there is no obligation to do these - you can find your own way around your mat.
This class has mini-workshops included on a regular basis working with more technical poses, sometimes including arm and hand balances, inversions and complex backbends. As always, these are taught with drills, choice and in a 2 way feedback style, and options to join in and work at your own pace.
stretch & rest & Restorative workshop
style: YIN, restorative, Nidra & meditation
Yin: The yoga of the connective tissue - 3-5 min holds
Restorative: Yoga of the mind - 5-20 min holds
Nidra: Yogic sleep, a special type of meditation
Meditation: A range of relaxation techniques, for multiple purposes
for: all levels inc. new to yoga
Stretch & Rest is a deeply relaxing class and is intended to complement your Yoga 101 or Flowing Yoga 101 classes.
The class varies slightly each week, depending on if we are taking a pure Yin or Restorative practice and the meditation practice changes weekly too.
The common factors are that the entire practice is based on the floor, and there are significantly less postures practiced in this class (6 at the most, compared to around 50 in my other classes)
This class requires some equipment (props) - multiple blankets, pillows (or yoga bolsters), blocks (or books) and cushions. We use these props to support our body so we can release deep tension (in a yin class) or relax fully (in a restorative practice).