All forms of physical yoga postures are really Hatha Yoga, one of the paths identified in Indian spiritual philosophy as leading to Self-Realisation. Over the last few decades, different “brands” of Hatha Yoga have emerged, differentiated mainly by the pace and sequencing of the postures.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Propounded by Sri Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) of Mysore, this dynamic style of Hatha Yoga has become very popular in the west. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga comprises six series of set sequences of yoga postures. You start with the primary (first) series, then move to the intermediate (second) series, and so on to the advanced series (although very few people have mastered all six series). The primary focus is on the breath and strong muscular movements. This generates internal heat and a calm, meditative state develops as you dynamically flow through the set sequence. Here is one of our Ashtanga Vinyasa classes in progress.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga is an invigorating yet relaxing yoga style, incorporating graceful flowing yoga postures synchronised with the breath. Our Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes also integrate yoga philosophy as applicable to our daily lives and Pranayama.
Swami Vishnudevananda condensed the teachings of yoga into 5 principles – proper breathing, proper exercise, proper diet, proper relaxation, positive thinking and meditation. Under proper exercise, following the Sivananda Suryanamskar (sun salutation), a sequence of 12 postures is done including crow, headstand and shoulder-stand.
Although all styles of physical yoga are actually Hatha Yoga, the term “Hatha Yoga” has now become synonymous with the classical style of yoga that involves staying in each posture for a few minutes so as to relax and stretch the muscles and calm the mind. There is a focus on breath awareness leading to deeper breathing.
This practice involves staying much longer in passive poses and easing yourself into deeper postures over time to realise deep subtle benefits. Extensive use of props such as bolsters, belts, blankets, eye bags, etc is made. This is a calming, relaxing and restorative practice.
Specialist Classes – Sports
Training programmes to enhance performance of athletes, swimmers, cyclists and sportsmen/women are provided.
Specialist Classes – Health Conditions
Exercise programmes incorporating yoga for health conditions such as sciatica, lower back pain, arthritis, etc as appropriate and suitable for the individual’s lifestyle can be developed.