Photo Credit: Stacey Cox 

SIX WEEK INTRODUCTION TO YOGA
With Tamara Pitelen RYT 500

Have you always wanted to try yoga but been put off by all the confusing poses and weird names like downward dog, cobra…?

Even worse, the Sanskrit names like Virabhadrasana… ‘Who’s Vera?’ you might be thinking.

Or maybe you think only bendy people can do yoga and you’re not flexible enough to do it (which is like saying you’re too dirty to have a shower).

If so .. then your time has come!

Soul Studio is launching a six- week beginners’ yoga class on Saturday mornings from 6th April through to 18th May 2024.

Zero experience or flexibility required! Yoga is for EVERY type, size and age of body. We’ll slowly and gently lead you through the basics of starting a simple yoga practice – from introducing you to the key poses and revealing how they benefit your body and mind, to explaining why yoga also involves breathing techniques,
meditation and relaxation and how this effects your nervous system and keeps your immune system strong. As well, we’ll fill you in on the different styles of yoga and a bit of its history.

This six-week course will introduce beginners to the basic principles of yoga from a mind, body and energy perspective.

It will also give you grounding in some of the key yoga postures and help you to understand alignment, benefits and contraindications.  We will look at breathing practices (Pranayama) and discover their benefits.  You will explore how meditation can help you to connect deeply with the breath and calm the mood, enhancing your yoga practice. This course is ideal for complete beginners, or yoga students with less than a year’s yoga practice. Anyone, though, who wants to
revisit the basics is welcome to attend. The course will look at the basics of what Yoga actually is and the ancient philosophy behind it. You will learn some key postures from each of the main groups including standing poses, forward and backward bends, twists, sun salutations and simple inversions. As well, we’ll cover
modifications of the key poses so that if you’re not quite ready for the full pose, you can still get the benefits with an easier version. We will also look at the importance of alignment in all postures, how to work towards experiencing ease and stability in your poses, and the importance of the breath – its effect on your practice and using it as a simple way to start meditating.

During the six weeks we will cover:

WEEK ONE: What is Yoga?

-A very brief explanation of yoga’s origins – it’s purpose, it’s history, and how it works.

-Reference to the Yoga Sutras and introduction to the Eight Limbs of Yoga• A look at what yoga is NOT! For example, it is NOT a flexibility competition, a sport, gymnastics, a religious practice…

-Introduction to simple meditation techniques and pranayama (breathing exercises) and their benefits regarding the nervous system, as well as full yogic breath

-Brief explanation about different styles of yoga – Hatha, Raja, Jnana, Bhakti, Ashtanga, Power, Yin, Bikram, Vinyasa… etc
Warm ups: how to release old tensions from the body and free the joints in preparation for posture work, eg, wrist rolls, neck rolls, shoulder rolls, ankles, knees, fingers and toes…

-Postures: Cat and Cow pose (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana), Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), introduction to basic Sun Salutations, and Corpse pose (Savasana), the final relaxation

WEEK TWO:

-Introduction to downward facing dog pose and sun salutations with variations Drishti: learn to visually focus during your practice

-Introduction to some key standing postures, their purpose and benefits

-Poses covered will include Mountain (Tadasana), Warrior l (Virabhadrasana l), Warrior ll (Virabhadrasana ll), Side Angle pose (Parsvakonasana), Triangle (Trikonasana), Tree (vrksasana)

WEEK THREE:

-Sanskrit as a divine language and the sound of Om
-Introduction to seated postures: Forward Bends and Twists – their purpose and benefits / Postures: Staff pose (Dandasana), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana), Head-To-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana), Sage pose (Marichyasana), ——Revolved Head-To-Knee pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana), Half-Lord-Of-The-Fishes pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
-Learning how to work safely and slowly into forward bends and to elongate and rotate the spine in seated twists.

WEEK FOUR:

-Introduction to simple back bends and their benefits – learning to open the heart centre and chest and to elongate and strengthen the spine
-Introduction of the energy system and chakras – in relation to different yoga poses
-Introduction to Backbends: their purpose and benefits / Postures: Locust pose (Salambhasana), Cobra pose (Bhujangasana), Camel pose (Ustrasana), Bridge pose (Setu Bandha)
-The benefits of pranayama (breathing exercises), and introduction to nadi shodana (alternate nostril breathing)

WEEK FIVE:

– Focus on restorative poses to deeply release and relax the body and mind
-Focus on meditation – what is it, how to practice
-Introduction to shoulder stand, the queen of postures – we will explore how to come safely into this posture, along withvariations if you do not feel ready for the full posture, eg, Legs-Up-The-Wall pose (Viparita Karani), Half Shoulderstand pose (Ardha Sarvangasana)

WEEK SIX:

Bringing together everything covered so far into a full class practice including elements of pranayama, sun salutations, postures and meditation. Students will receive a sheet of paper outlining a full class sequence that they can take home for their own practice …

So there it is … a full and comprehensive guide to starting yoga- all in the safe and welcoming environment of Soul Studio with highly experienced teachers. To join us, head to the website and reserve your spot, or give us a call on 03 338 0208