Hatha yoga offers many physical, mental and emotional benefits for everyone. Our classes, organized into a Traditional Track and a Therapeutic Track, are designed to help you achieve your goals for whatever stage of life you’re in and to help you progress in your practice over time. Classes incorporate breathing practices, physical postures that strengthen and lengthen muscle and connective tissue and increases joint range of motion, and relaxation techniques. Principles from yoga philosophy are introduced at each level to enhance understanding and deepen your practice. The following class descriptions are intended to give current and potential students a clear idea of what to expect from each class and level.
Classes generally include the following points of practice. Instructors may give verbal and/or “hands on” adjustments:
Introductory – This single-session class introduces students to the benefits of yoga and covers basic yoga postures, breathing techniques and relaxation.
Level 1 – A balanced practice that incorporates basic yoga postures, breath awareness and relaxation. Postures are modified to meet individual needs. Vinyasa / Sun Salutation series typically comprises 20-30 minutes of class time. Classes may include floor work (seated, reclining or on abdomen), balance poses (using a stability ball or wall as needed), supported inversions using the wall for poses such as such as shoulder stand or half-handstand, core work, gentle back-bends (e.g camel, bridge). Restorative poses end the class (e.g. knees to chest, spinal twists, internal hip rotations) followed by a guided relaxation. Students should be able to sit, kneel, be on abdomen, back or stand with minimal modification. Instructors guide students to develop safe alignment.
Level 2 – Builds from Level1 by incorporating new postures and increasingly challenging options. Alignment and form are developed through verbal and hands-on feedback. Length of time for Vinyasa / Sun Salutations may increase to 25-40 minutes of class time. Students should expect less detailed instruction to “get in and get out” of poses, be comfortable coming into a pose on hearing its name and become attentive to body cues and self-modify as needed. Relaxation segment may include a brief meditation.
Level 3 – A challenging class focusing on more advanced postures with emphasis on alignment and form. Integrates breath and movement, increases core strength and cultivates a deepening internal awareness. More advanced philosophical concepts and yogic techniques will be introduced and applied (e.g. bandhas, mudras, pranayama practices). Vinyasa series may comprise up to 50 minutes of class time. Relaxation segment may include guided or silent meditation. Students should be very familiar with flowing in and out of postures, taking a pose upon hearing its name, and be able to modify poses independently.
Ashtanga Fusion – (Level 3+) – A vigorous practice focusing on Sun Salutations; building heat, encouraging mental focus, flexibility, strength and stamina. Explore inversions, back bends, arm balances and core strengthening. Recommended for experienced yoga students, who can flow in and out of postures with minimal modification. Expect hands on adjustments to deepen poses and to hold poses for at least 5 breaths.
YogaMoves – A level 2 (with modifications & challenges offered) yoga class which blends mostly a traditional flowing hatha practice with a little tai chi, core training, mindful movements and more. This fun class is designed to strengthen, lengthen & balance the entire body; improve fitness, relieve stress & relax the body & mind.
Meditative Yoga – This class explores the tools you need to be calmer, less reactive and more centered in these turbulent times. Focus on the breath through gentle postures, rhythmic movement and guided deep relaxation. Appropriate for all levels.
Restorative Yoga and Meditation - An introspective and quiet class focusing on releasing tension in the body and mind. Most or all of the class will be on the floor. Restorative yoga is a perfect balance to vigorous physical activity and every day stress. Beginning with poses to lengthen and ease discomfort in the hamstrings, hips, back, shoulders and neck, at least 30 minutes will be spent in “restorative poses” supported by props and held for approximately five minutes. Restorative poses center around gentle back bends to open through the chest, gentle forward bends to quiet the mind, and other poses to ease physical and mental stress. Focus will be on the breath and moving toward a peaceful meditative state. Class will close with relaxation and seated meditation. Appropriate for all levels of students who are comfortable reclined, prone or side lying on the floor and also enjoy a very quiet class.
Yin Yoga - This quiet practice focuses on the deep connective tissue in the lower back, hips and pelvis. Poses are generally limited to seated or reclined. The poses apply passive pressure (muscularly soft) to the joints, ligaments and tendons and are held for 3 to 5 minutes. While holding the pose for a period of time, students practice staying mentally attentive by focusing on the breath and to what their body feels in the pose.
There is no better time for women to practice yoga than during the childbearing years.
Prenatal Yoga – Designed for moms-to-be to practice safely through pregnancy using gentle yoga postures that increase flexibility, strength and balance. Calming breathing techniques can be used during labor and delivery. Yoga increases strength, flexibility and calmness as you prepare for birth. Prenatal yoga classes give you an opportunity to meet other prenatal moms and share questions and information.
Yoga Moms – A class for postnatal moms and their babies focusing on strengthening the core, relaxing sore muscles and learning infant massage techniques. Postnatal yoga assists you in reclaiming your body following birth and you can bring your infant with you to class.
Introducing yoga at an early age encourages fitness, self-esteem and healthy body awareness with a physical activity that’s noncompetitive. Yoga fosters cooperation and compassion instead of opposition. Physically, yoga enhances flexibility, strength, coordination and athletic ability. Yoga helps to improve concentration, increase attention span and cultivates calmness and relaxation.
Yoga for Children (ages 5-11) – With an emphasis on fun, this class will introduce basic yoga poses, yoga games and yoga stories along with elements of creative movement.
Yoga for Teens (ages 12-18) – Learn yoga postures and breathing techniques while building confidence and self-awareness in a non-competitive environment.
“As a gerontologist I have witnessed the therapeutic benefits of yoga for older adults and individuals with physical limitations. I have seen the positive effects of this practice in individuals who have had hip and knee replacements, who are suffering from scoliosis and fibromyalgia. Balance is improved in those with multiple sclerosis. Yoga helps create muscle memory in individuals with dementia caused by Alzheimers Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and strokes. Yoga strengthens bones to prevent and minimize bone loss due to osteoporosis. The list goes on.” – Nancy Glenmore Tatum
Classes in the Therapeutic Track may incorporate the use of props such as cushions, blankets, blocks, straps, chair and stability balls. Particular attention will be paid to keeping the joints safe during yoga practice and applying these principles to daily life. Instructors will give therapeutic verbal and “hands on” adjustments. Classes generally include the following points of practice:
Gentle Yoga – Designed for students recovering from injury, illness, inactivity, surgery or other health considerations. Gentle stretches increase range of motion of the musculoskeletal system. Postures develop strength and improve balance. Breath awareness facilitates release of tension and calms the mind. Students will develop the knowledge and body awareness to practice yoga safely.
Benefits of yoga practice for older adults include improved posture and more efficient breathing (thereby improving the health of all the systems of the body) as well as restoration and maintenance of normal mobility and a healthy range of motion in the spine and joints. With yoga you can improve balance and muscle tone, strengthen the body, develop flexibility of the spine and joints and improve cardiovascular functioning while having fun.
Introductory Ageless Yoga – A single session class that reviews the basic concepts of yoga, includes a gentle yoga class, teaches modifications to meet the needs of each student and determines the appropriate level of yoga class for each student.
Ageless Gentle Yoga – Gentle yoga stretches, postures, breath awareness and relaxation improve flexibility, strength and energy. For those recovering from injuries, illnesses, inactivity or other health considerations. Students in the same group class may practice postures differently, or a different pose may be substituted if more beneficial for a particular individual. Students will work toward transferring safely to and from the floor. Emphasis is placed on developing knowledge of healthy aging and body awareness to practice yoga safely.
Ageless Level 1 Yoga – A balanced practice that incorporates basic yoga postures, breath awareness and relaxation. Postures are modified to meet individual needs. Students should be able to transfer safely to and from the floor. Classes generally include a vinyasa flow of standing poses, guided by breath, for 10-25 minutes of class time to increase stamina and strength. Students continue to develop body awareness keeping the joints safe, increasing range of motion and improving balance.
Ageless Level 2 Yoga – Builds from Ageless Level 1, incorporating new postures and increasingly challenging options. Alignment and form are developed through verbal and hands-on feedback. Classes generally include a vinyasa flow of standing poses, guided by breath, for 15-25 minutes. Classes may also incorporate core strengthening postures, basic back bends including camel and bridge, balance poses at the wall and away from the wall as well as inversions such as legs up wall, supported shoulder stand if appropriate, dolphin pose and half handstand. Students should be able to sit, kneel, be on abdomen or back and stand comfortably. Students will learn the names of the poses and be able to come into them with minimal verbal instruction. Relaxation segment may include a brief meditation.
Ageless YogaMoves - This class will include a combination of modern dance, jazz, and yoga movements. It will begin with a gentle warm-up, progressing to more moderate standing movements, ending with a cool-down and traditional shavasana. Easy to follow movements to fun music for the young at heart.