Vinyasa Flow is a broad term which describes a dynamic type of yoga where asanas (poses) flow from one to the next, linking breath with movement. It is a contemporary style of yoga, influenced by the more traditional Ashtanga yoga but it has no fixed sequence; the teacher decides on the class flow and music may be used. We offer different levels of Vinyasa Flow classes – from slower to very challenging.
Ashtanga Yoga and Mysore Style Ashtanga
Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient style of Yoga popularised in modern times by Sri T. Krishnamacharya and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois whose grandson Sharath Jois today runs the KPJAYI Institute in Mysore, India.
Ashtanga is practiced in a set sequence of postures which entails standing postures, seating postures, finishing sequence and finally rest. It’s a physically challenging practice but the strength is built slowly therefore anyone can join.
Traditionally this type of yoga is practiced in Mysore style which means it’s a self-practice. A student comes to early morning Mysore (from 8:15-9:30am in Tufnell Park) and gradually learns the sequence with teacher’s guidance, as and when they’re ready, making it a very tailored practice. Otherwise we offer so called Led classes where teacher calls out postures and so it’s a more traditional class set up. Some people attend Led classes before starting Mysore, others go straight into Mysore. If you’re unsure about Mysore practice please talk to us.
Hatha Yoga is a general term used for a comparatively gentle form of yoga designed to align your muscles and bones and focus your mind. Practice includes specific postures (asanas), a breathing style (pranayama) and meditation. Unlike Vinyasa Flow there is less movement in between postures (the vinyasa) which may also be held for a longer period of time.
An increasingly popular style of yoga that helps increase circulation, improve balance and develop a sense of calm; Restorative yoga involves holding poses for long periods, often supported by props (provided by Down to Earth). Used by many as a stepping stone to meditation and, like Yin Yoga, Restorative yoga can form part of a more dynamic multidisciplinary yoga practice. We offer regular restorative classes, as well as elements of Restorative yoga in many of our classes – please speak to us for specific recommendations. We also run Restorative Yoga workshops on a regular, usually, monthly basis across both studios.
The Iyengar method of Yoga is initially learnt through the in depth study of asanas (posture) and pranayama (breath control). Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical Hatha yoga asanas and 14 different types of Pranayamas (with variations of many of them) from the simple to the incredibly difficult. These have been structured and categorised so as to allow a beginner to progress surely and safely from basic postures to the most advanced as they gain flexibility, strength and sensitivity in mind, body and spirit.
In practice Iyengar yoga focuses particularly on correct body alignment and precision. This disciplined approach to yoga helps the body to develop harmoniously, in an anatomically correct way so that the student suffers no injury or pain. As all bodies are different and people have different weaknesses and strengths. Iyengar yoga also helps the practitioner to use of yoga props which help the body to find the correct position in the postures. Props are objects like wooden blocks, chairs, blankets and belts. These props help one adjust or support oneself in the different postures so that one can work in a range of motion that is safe and effective.
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced form of yoga where poses, or asanas, are held for long period of time – anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes. There is a particular focus on improving flexibility and some postures can be quite challenging. A lot of the postures are seater. Yin can be used as an aid to improving a more dynamic yoga practice or sports activities such as running or cycling which may need deeper stretching to compliment muscle build up.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation is an essential part of yoga practice – we practice physical postures (asana) in order to prepare our bodies for prolonged periods of meditation. Through physical practice we both enable our bodies to sit up straight but also we learn to calm the mind.
A lot of our classes will include some meditation at the end but it’s the Restorative and Yin classes which have more time to explore meditation. We also run meditation and mindfulness workshops on regular basis across both studios.
Specialist classes for Mums to be who are 12-weeks pregnant or more. Open to all, from yoga first-timers to experts.
Pregnancy Yoga can be a great help in preparation for birth – by using yogic breathing (pranayama) and focus we can learn to calm our body and mind, a much needed skill during birth. These classes are also wonderful for community building; tea and biscuits are served upstairs after class.
Baby & Me Yoga and Pilates
Let your little one(s) enjoy a beautiful, calm environment whilst you get some yoga or Pilates practice in. Specially tailored classes to aid postnatal recovery, strengthen and calm tired bodies and minds. You will do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your core as well as progressive abdominal exercises to safely encourage the reintegration of the abdominal muscles. Much of class will also be spent on posture and upper body stability to help keep you strong and stable whilst caring for your baby. Options to include the babies in the exercises will be given whenever possible so that they start to look forward to coming to class too.
Baby & Me classes are open to Dads or carers with their babies too. Suitable from 6 weeks after giving birth or upon the approval of your GP. Parents don’t need previous yoga or Pilates experience.