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Yoga is a system of philosophy that originated in India 5,000 years ago. Everyone can practise yoga, regardless of age, sex or ability. The Sanskrit word yoga is translated as ‘union’ between mind, body and spirit. In the West, the most widely taught form of yoga is Hatha yoga with classes offering students exercises to stretch, strengthen and flex the body, develop breath awareness, relaxation and sometimes meditation.

My yoga classes begin with a brief relaxation to become aware of the breath and how it can benefit your yoga practice. You will then be guided through a series of limbering poses to warm up the muscles and joints before progressing through a series of asana (yoga postures) and some sequences of movement. Asanas (yoga postures) strengthen and tone the body, regulating physical systems of the body and breath, and stilling the mind. Towards the end of the class students spend some time focusing on a main posture before gently bringing the body back to a normal state and finishing with a deeper relaxation or breathing practice.

The aims of asana’s in my classes are to take the body through its full and comfortable range of movement as well as offering postures that can help to strengthen and loosen the body. The asanas used in class will depend on the abilities of the students. The objective in asana work is not how far you can stretch or contort your body, but to combine stability (stira) with ease/relaxation (sukha). Hatha yoga encourages students not to compete with each other or with themselves but instead my class will promote working within the students own physical limitations whilst gently stilling the mind and releasing tension from the body.

By making yoga a part of your daily or weekly routine, you may become aware of subtle changes in your physical body and in your approach to life. Yoga can help you to release any areas of physical tension, whether this be from injury, repetitive strain or stress. It can also be a very positive addition to a programme of exercise and help you to achieve particular fitness goals. Yoga is a particularly effective tool for dealing with day to day pressures or helping to combat a dip in energy levels.

I hope that with regular yoga practice students will achieve an increased sense of wellbeing and positivity in their body, mind and daily lives.