What is Iyengar-inspired yoga?
Iyengar Yoga is a form of yoga as exercise, with an emphasis on detail, precision, and alignment.
Ruth White – Senior Yoga teacher for 40 years
My teacher, for 10 years in England, was Ruth White, who was one of B. K. S. Iyengar original students when he came to UK in the 1970s. She suffered serious back pain herself and was offered a body cast as an option for healing. Instead she requested help from Iyengar, and within months was free of back pain and working towards her own teacher training certification.
Ruth was so inspired by Iyengar’s teaching, that she travelled to Poona, India, and was later given a senior teaching certificate. She taught Iyengar’s teacher training classes and assessed students for their certificates.
She has since made a number of trips back to India to teach and study.
Karuna Yoga, great for beginners and adepts alike
Ruth has called her own yoga style ‘Karuna yoga’, which means ‘Compassionate’.
Karuna yoga. 100% Iyengar-inspired and influenced, maintains a strong focus on good alignment. This means it is safe and good for beginners, as I am trained to notice positioning of my students and help them avoid anything which could lead to pain, or injury.
It is also an adaptable style that can be an ideal entry pathway for students to learn to do the poses accurately, whilst also creating a sliding scale of challenge as students become more familiar with their own body in each pose.
In public classes I have often been complimented for my well-defined performance of the poses, which I attribute to Ruth’s excellent training, and my own focus on good general posture, and my desire to model excellence.
Karuna/Iyengar-inspired yoga for Everyone
These classes are suitable for everyone, regardless of experience or fitness level.
The classes are small, so I can offer personalised attention to all.
I will ‘talk you in and out of the pose’, so you can understand how the pose feels for you. I may also suggest the use of belts, blocks, or other props so you can get maximum benefit from each pose. I may come around and assist you, by showing how minor adjustments to your position will make a big difference.
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is a way of doing yoga, rather than a style. ‘Yang’ type yoga’s are energetic, warming and active; they focus on, and effect, the muscles.
‘Yin’ type yoga’s are quiet, cooling and passive, and focus on, and effect, the connective tissues and fascia of the body.
Much of our life today is yang – busy, active, structured. Most of us can benefit from the balance that yin can bring. Quietness, calm, release, relaxation, restoration.
Benefits of a regular Yin yoga practice
- Calms and balances the mind and body
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases circulation
- Improves flexibility
- Releases fascia and improves joint mobility
- Balances the internal organs and improves the flow of energy
- Helps with back pain and hip stiffness
Specifically, yin yoga focuses on a fewer number of
poses, and we spend 2-3 minutes in each pose. We use blocks, blankets, and cushions to
support different parts of the body so we can relax fully in each pose. This allows the stretch to be transferred to
the connective tissue, in a way that is safe, comfortable, and healing. This builds bone, strengthens joints, promotes
flexibility, and energises the whole system.
You will literally feel the difference!
Each pose becomes an opportunity to develop mindfulness, serenity, and patience.
Yoga for a Healthy Back
This class is specifically designed for people with back problems or pain.
It includes emergency poses to practice when your back is playing up, and a graded series of classes, aimed at helping the body to create balance and ease in the muscles.
I will show you poses that will strengthen and even out the muscles of the lower back, release pinching of the sciatic nerve, relax and realign the upper back and neck, and develop improved posture, which is usually the underlying cause of back problems.
This course is provided for people with back problems, but who are able to get down to the floor and up again (using a chair to help is fine).
Also for anyone wanting to avoid back problems in the future and who want to improve their general posture and wellbeing.
Yoga for Stress recovery
We are all subject to stress.
Some stressors are positive, like planning a wedding;
some inherent in our occupation, like deadlines at work;
some are negative, destructive and very scary.
Bush fires come into this last category.
Stress and trauma can appear to diminish over time, or it may not. But often it lies below the surface and emerges at a later time, when we thought we had regained our confidence and equanimity.
It is difficult to know how best to deal with these effects, either at the time, or later. Many of us just try to get on with our lives and hope for the best.
Yoga, and mindfulness have been shown to be very effective in releasing trapped emotions in a controlled and conscious way, allowing the physical tensions to be relieved. Coping with change has been shown to go through a number of stages, eventually arriving at acceptance and compassion for yourself. This course is designed to facilitate the gentle completion of this process, using a form of guided visualisation called Yoga Nidra to allow us to reframe our experience in ways that are easier to live with, and to build positive habits to support us in the days and years to come.
What to wear, what to bring, what to expect
It’s not a fashion show! Wear stretchy comfortable trousers that allow
you to move, and a suitable top. I
prefer a longline top that is quite snug, so it doesn’t ride up when we
stretch, or fall over my head if I do a forward bend. Layers are good,
especially to keep warm during the final relaxation.
We practice in bare feet. This is important for safety reasons. Some people use ‘bare foot shoes’ – these are fine.
If you have a yoga mat that’s great to bring.
(FYI: I do have mats and props to borrow and for sale.)
Please bring any other yoga props if you have them – belts, blocks etc. But please bring a warm blanket for final relaxation – it’s amazing how cool you get once you stop!
I love working with a group of people and I want everyone to feel comfortable and at home. I want you to feel comfortable to ask questions during the class, and I want everyone to have space and quiet to focus on the poses, to notice what they are doing, and to be in the present moment.
I like us to laugh, to concentrate, to challenge our abilities and to watch out for each other
Especially for Yin yoga – wear warmer clothes, or bring more layers, as we will be moving quite slowly. If you can manage it please bring extra blankets, cushions, or towels, these can be used as support in your poses.