I’m not Flexible enough. How can I do yoga?
The body is amazing at adapting to whatever it is subjected to. You do not need to be flexible to start yoga, infact you NEED to do yoga if your body is not flexible! As the body ages, our fascia throughout the body can build up with adhesions especially around joint areas, and you’ll lose range of movement and become stiff.
By doing yoga to the best of our abilities, we achieve results. Yoga is not about obtaining the perfect asana. It is about doing it to the best of your capability on the day, and still getting results. Through attending regular class, even just once a week the body will benefit and movement capability will improve vastly.
Okido yoga / Japanese yoga
Japanese yoga is based on classical (Hatha) yoga and also works with the same meridians (energetic pathways in the body) as zen shiatsu and accupuncture. There is focus on developing the Hara (the core) and stimulating ki (energy) around the body. It is a dynamic and often vigorous style of yoga involving movement and asanas (postures) with the breath in a specific way (diaphragmatic breathing at a pace appropriate for the movement).
A large component of our classes are done laying on the back and front of the body in order to intensely work on the internal body. Intrinsic to the philosophy of Japanese yoga is that if we fix the internal body – the digestive organs, the circulation, our respiration, the reproductive system and the endocrine system, then the appearance of the outer body, our moods, emotions and behaviour changes.
Japanese yoga typically changes in accordance with the seasons and the time of day. It aligns the body with the changes of each season, concentrating on the appropriate meridians and organs for each season according to the principles of Eastern medicine, more popularly known in Australia as ‘TCM’ or Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Five Element Theory.
Japanese Yoga benefits and challenges even the fittest of participants and is a powerful system for alleviating and preventing back pain, opening up tight problematic areas, helping reduce symptoms of menopause, improving digestive functionality and improving stress and insomnia.
Yin yoga is a practice of slow mindful poses, mainly on the floor/mat, with long holds of 2-5 minutes. The aim is to go deeper through the body including fascia, muscles, ligaments, bones and gently stimulate the meridians of the body. It is a wonderful opportunity to take time for yourself, go inwards, focus on breathing and body awareness, leaving you feeling completely relaxed, and your Qi/energy flowing, and wanting more.
Yin is a wonderful compliment to any other yoga style, sport/fitness routine or mindful movement practice to support quieting the body-mind and nervous system.
If you have fascia adhesions (dry/unhealthy fascia), then Yin yoga is a great class for you. Classes also suitable for promoting healthy fascia are our Stretch, Mobility & Release classes
Classical Yoga (Hatha yoga)
Hatha yoga is traditional or classical yoga. It is often a broad term used to describe yoga in the west. It involves postures requiring balance, strength and coordination of the breath with movement. Hatha is often considered a gentler form of yoga and involves holding the body in certain positions for periods of time. It is a slow paced form of exercise and like all forms of yoga, requires concentration and focus by the participant. A Hatha teacher will guide you with the breathing and refining each pose so that you do not have time to be thinking of other things or becoming ‘bored’ as some may experience otherwise! Hatha is great for stress reduction, core strength and muscle flexibility.
Here at the studio, we have included Classical Hatha yoga as well as other forms of yoga which are based upon Hatha yoga but have a different lineage or include other elements. We understand some personal preferences are to not spend as much time on commonly known traditional postures such as downward dog or those involving weight on the joints such as wrists, knees and hips. Your Classical Hatha teacher will remind you to work within your limits and you are not obliged to perform any postures you are not comfortable with. Please let your instructor know if you have any problematic areas.
For yoga classes with less inclusion of standing postures and those with some weight on the joints, you will find Japanese yoga will not hold those poses for long or be included as often, and often times not at all in class.
This form of yoga involves laying on the floor, completely supported and comfortable – using any combination of bolsters, blocks, blankets and eye pillows. The aim of Restorative yoga is to take your mind and body into a state of true deep state relaxation. Research shows that true deep state relaaxation allows for cell regeneration and repair. A truly nourishing and nurturing class you will experience guided relaxation from your instructor’s verbal cues. Unlike yin yoga, there is no ‘edge’ in Restorative yoga. You are completely supported.
Yoga Nidra or ‘yogic sleep’ involves the practitioner laying or sitting down in a comfortable position. Yoga nidra is essentially guided relaxation and puts the body into a state of true deep state relaxation. This is where the body’s cells repair and regenerate at a faster rate than regular ‘sleep’. Yoga nidra is a component of our Yin yoga classes with Kimberly and our Deep State relaxation classes with Stanja. Some light classical yoga and stretching followed by traditional yoga nidra practice. Check out our blog post on yoga nidra for more information.
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