What is Yoga?
There are many practices and disciplines that make up yoga. Though they are similar in choreography, overlap in some philosophy, and have become synonymous in some circles, they are distinct practices. We give an overview and then a short description of what a typical TrainMovePlay yoga class looks like, with an aim to educate new yogis and the yoga-curious!
For more detailed descriptions about various yoga practices, see our article, Yoga Traditions and Schools.
Yoga is a 4,000+ year old practice with roots in ancient texts including the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The philosophy and mythology of yoga come from various religious traditions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, and, though some practitioners concentrate on the spiritual aspects of yoga, people from all faiths can practice yoga.
For some, it is a way of life with prescribed dietary, cleansing, and devotional aspects. Many contemporary Western yoga practices distill only the physical poses (asana in Sanskrit, the language of yoga) and the breathing techniques (pranayama), while others include, to a greater or lessor extent, a form of concentrated focus (dharana) and some form of meditation (dhyana.)
A TYPICAL TRAINMOVEPLAY YOGA CLASS LOOKS LIKE...
Our classes vary wildly depending on the practitioners present, the time, environment, and the objective of the group. With over 20 years of experience teaching ages 2 to 96, in one-on-one sessions and up to over100 people, in-person and virtually, we have worked up a pretty big bag 'o tricks. But generally speaking, this is what you can expect:
Centering - some amount of time to transition from the outside world and previous aspects of the day into the yoga space. This usually involves some guided breathing and intention-setting in a gentle stretch or seated pose.
Sun salutations and other warm up poses.
Standing and balancing flows for strength and vitality in the lower body.
Twisting and folding flows that boost circulation and open the back body.
Inversions (upside-down poses) that strengthen the upper body and require focus.
Backbends that open the front body.
Breathing exercises that encourage increased volume and efficient use of lungs.
Restorative time - some amount of time is always given to check in, check out, or let go. Usually, this is Savasana, but it could also take the form of a thai bodywork exchange, a guided meditation or a restorative pose.
We have several articles for the yoga-curious including Yoga for Athletes, Yoga Mala, and a Yoga Timeline. Let us know if you have questions or comments. To see a current class schedule, connect with us on social: we are @trainmoveplayyoga . Or click the button below and use the Contact Us form to schedule a private yoga session.