What are the Various
Styles of Yoga and Other Practices We Offer?
Acro Yoga - Acro Styled Partner Yoga blends the wisdom of the
traditional yoga practice, with the tender touch of Thai massage, and
the dynamic power of acrobatics and gymnastics. These three areas form
the foundation of this unique practice that cultivates trust, connection
with others and a return to our youthful playfulness. The goal of acro
styled partner yoga is to bring individuals into a state of union with
themselves and with each other.
Anusara classes are lighthearted, positive and fun. They include an
element of vinyasa flow and a lot of proper alignment work. The emphasis
on props, however, makes this class accessible to students of many
differing abilities. Anusara appeals to those who want to work both
their physical and spiritual well-being.
Ashtanga yoga is a Vinyasa style practice
that follows a set series of poses. The first or primary series, called
Yoga Chikitsa, is described in Yoga Mala. Yoga Chikitsa, which means
yoga therapy, realigns the spine, detoxifies the body, and builds
strength, flexibility and stamina. The series of about 75 poses takes an
hour and a half to two hours to complete, beginning with sun salutations
(surya namaskara A and surya namaskara B) and moving on to standing
poses, seated poses, inversions and backbends before relaxation. The
intermediate or second series is called Nadi Shodana, meaning nervous
system purification. It cleanses and strengthens the nervous system and
the subtle energy channels throughout the body. This series is only
introduced when the primary series is strong. It follows the same
progression (sun salutations, standing, sitting etc.) as the primary
series, but introduces new poses and variations. The four advanced
series are called Sthira Bhaga, which means divine stability. Pattabhi
Jois originally outlined two intensive advanced series, but later
subdivided them into four series to make them accessible to more people.
These series emphasize difficult arm balances and are only appropriate
for extremely advanced students.
Budokon - Budokon® translates directly in Japanese as (Bu) Warrior
(Do) Way (Kon) Spirit, or Way of the Spiritual Warrior. Budokon is a
unique combination of of yoga and martial arts which draws upon ancient
and modern yogic and martial arts styles. The foundation of the Budokon
physical practice is precision, alignment and Zen mind. All Budokon
techniques are designed to explore the body's full range of motion. The
practice dances between agility, control, speed, power, balance and
flow. The physical practice is divided into two themes: The Yogic
Series, and the Budo Series. Both themes constantly draw from and depend
on each other. The Budokon Yogic Series was heavily influenced by
Iyengar and Ashtanga yogic techniques and alignment. The focus is on
control, calm, power and precision. These techniques are uniquely
different from traditional Hatha Yoga in the sense that they not only
work to improve range of motion and strength, but they also explore the
body's ability to sustain another person's body weight. The Budokon Budo
Series is a combination of standing and ground techniques drawn
primarily from Okinawan Karate-Do, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and Olympic Style
Tae Kwon Do. The objective of this series is to teach agility, power,
focus and flow in the body and mind.
Chi Yoga - Chi Yoga is a blend of yoga, tai chi and chi quong,
consisting of slow, controlled, and meditative movement of the body.
Through these movements you express yourself while building both
physical and mental strength through this ancient holistic approach.
- Gentle Yoga is a form of classical Hatha Yoga. As the name
implies, Gentle Yoga classes tend to be more gentle and slower paced
practices, which make this form of yoga more accessible to people of all
ages, sizes, and fitness levels. Gentle yoga focuses on slow stretches,
flexibility, and deep breathing. This is a great class for beginners as
it tends to eliminate the fear and challenges associated with many other
yoga classes, while still aiding with stress reduction, flexibility, and
- While Hatha Yoga describes any of the physical practices of yoga,
typically when classes are listed as "Hatha" classes, the classes tend
to be very slow flowing with much more focus on breathing, relaxation,
and proper alignment in each position. Hatha classes can provide a great
introduction to yoga for beginners! Hatha classes tend to be
slower-paced, use longer holds of various positions, focus on alignment
with the use of props, focus on breathing, and relaxation.
In an Iyengar-style class, poses are
typically held much longer than in other schools of yoga so that
practitioners can pay close attention to the precise muscular and
skeletal alignment this system demands. As such this class is great for
people to become more comfortable with yoga and the various postures.
Iyengar also uses props including belts, chairs, blocks, and blankets to
help accommodate any special needs such as injuries or structural
imbalances. Teachers trained in this tradition are skilled at adapting
the poses for students with physical limitations and are known for
making hands on adjustments. This is not a flow-style class with Sun
Salutations. It's a mentally challenging approach to a wide range of
asanas. Many refer to this practice as the "learning-person's yoga"
because students truly "learn" how to do each pose and what they should
be working when in the pose, rather than simply following a prescribed
set of poses or following what the teacher's doing.
Pilates - Pilates is a form of exercise,
developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development
of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order
to support efficient, graceful movement.
Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles
are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core
muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in
Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the
trunk to support the spine and movement. As you develop your core
strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one
of the ways Pilates helps people overcome back pain. As the trunk is
properly stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved and the body is
able to move freely and efficiently.
Power Yoga - Vinyasa yoga uses a sequence of breath-synchronized
movements to transition between sustained postures. The name Vinyasa has
a specific meaning, Nyasa denotes "to place" and vi denotes "in a
special way." This is a wonderful class focused on flowing movements in
conjunction with deep breathing to purify your body!
The greatest benefit of pre and post-natal yoga is energy. After
spending an hour in movement focusing on breath and meditation, most
women feel a combination of calm and vigor. For those with child,
connecting with your baby through conscious breath work is extremely
powerful. By learning to control breathing, expectant mothers can
control their birth experience, while mothers with young children can
better handle stress, patience and the ability to return to a calm state
According to the Mayo Clinic, "the ancient
art of tai chi uses gentle flowing movements to reduce the stress of
today's busy lifestyles and improve health." The graceful images of
people gliding through dance-like poses as they practice tai chi are
compelling. Simply watching them is relaxing. Tai chi, in fact, is often
described as "meditation in motion" because it promotes serenity through
gentle movements — connecting the mind and body. Originally developed in
China as a form of self-defense, tai chi is a graceful form of exercise
that has existed for some 2,000 years. Practiced regularly, tai chi can
help you reduce stress and enjoy other health benefits. Tai chi,
sometimes called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system
of gentle physical exercise and stretching. To do tai chi, you perform a
series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture
flows into the next without pausing. Anyone, regardless of age or
physical ability, can practice tai chi. It doesn't take physical
prowess. Rather, tai chi emphasizes technique over strength.
Yoga - Vinyasa yoga uses a sequence of breath-synchronized movements
to transition between sustained postures. The name Vinyasa has a
specific meaning, Nyasa denotes "to place" and vi denotes "in a special
way." This is a wonderful class focused on flowing movements in
conjunction with deep breathing to purify your body!
Most styles of yoga (Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga
Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Power Yoga) are yang in nature, they focus on
improving the flexibility as well as strength of muscle tissues. The Yin
practice concentrates on keeping joints mobile while increasing
flexibility. The practice is quiet and passive and has a quality of
stillness. Muscle tissue is Yang in nature and very elastic made up of
around 70% fluid. When muscle tissue is worked the fluid raises to ~90%.
Tissues that would be described as Yin include the deep connective
tissues of the body, ligaments fascia and the bones themselves, these do
not have the same fluid content and are therefore less mobile and less
elastic. Connective tissues surround our joints preventing injury and
protecting the joints. In Yin practices yoga students are still and
passive and therefore able to actually stretch the joints and the
connective tissues surrounding them in addition to the muscle. Yin
practices help joints to stay moist and supple as we age rather than
drying out and leading to stiffness and immobility. The safe way to
exercise (stress) these tissues is to apply a tolerable pressure for a
long period of time (ie: traction) therefore each stretching posture is
held for up to 5 minutes. In a yin practice, time is the critical factor
resulting in long, slow and deep postures.