When and Where are Gentle Yoga Classes held?
Gentle Yoga classes are held at two locations:
The Movements and Postures which make up the Gentle Yoga Sequence
The class lasts for an hour and a quarter and is broken down into the following five main parts.
You start lying down on your mat, allowing all the muscles in your body to relax, allowing your mind and breath to relax. After a few minutes, we introduce and engage with the “yoga breath” which is a special type of relaxed and elongated breathing which is an integral part of your yoga practice and which delivers amazing benefits to your health and general wellbeing. You can learn more on how the yoga breath works and the benefits it delivers by clicking on this link.
Still lying on the floor, we commence our warm-up by doing some gentle somatic movements to free up any stiffness in the lower back region. You can learn more about somatic movements and the benefits they deliver by clicking on this link. We then bring attention to the knee and hip joints by engaging with gentle leg lift and leg rotation movements.
We then come up on all fours and carry out a number of other movements to further free up the lower back and at the same time bringing attention to all the muscles around the shoulders, collarbones and neck. We elongate the entire back area and the spine with gentle arm and leg stretches. At this point, we introduce students to a few of the classical yoga postures, such as Plank, Child’s Pose, and Downward Facing Dog.
To conclude our warm-up, we come up to standing and engage with a sequence of 8 movements, called the Chalanas, which brings attention and freedom of movement to the joints in our feet & ankles; the neck; the shoulder blades; the collar bones; the waist; the hips; the knees; the spine.
Standing Yoga Postures
Now that we are nicely warmed up, we practice some of the classical yoga standing postures starting with Mountain Pose which corrects any misalignments in our posture. We introduce Sun Salutation I in a modified easy to access version. We move to build up strength in our thigh muscles through the engagement with Horse Pose. We finish off the standing postures with Warrior I & II and Triangle Pose which strengthen the legs and ankles; stretch the groins, chest, lungs and shoulders; stimulate abdominal organs and relieve backache.
Seated Yoga Postures
After the intensity of the Standing Postures, we begin to allow the body to cool down by coming down onto the mat for a number of classical yoga seated postures. We start off with Staff Pose which improves posture by strengthening the back muscles and stretching the shoulders and chest. The other postures involve gentle bending and twisting and have the effect of bringing attention to organs in our bodies, such as the liver and kidneys which normally receive very little attention.
The class concludes with five minutes of relaxation when we lay the body down in Corpse Pose. This pose sets up the conditions that allow you to gradually enter a truly relaxed state, one that is deeply refreshing in itself. This pose conditions the body to release stress by calming the mind and can improve your sense of physical and emotional wellbeing.