"Sarah's warmth and openness is so inviting, it is lovely to participate in any of her classes! Dancing or practicing yoga with Sarah is always a wonderful experience. She is a highly skilled and empathetic teacher, and a very fun person to be around!" - Miranda, PN, USA
What is Yoga?
There are many practices and disciplines that make up yoga. Though they are similar in choreography and 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 some of the types of yoga commonly seen on class schedules with an aim to educate new yogis and the yoga-curious! (For more detailed information on the development of and people associated with many distinct practices, see the Yoga Timeline, or read Subtle Body: The story of yoga in America, by Stefanie Syman.)
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 and environment, and the objective of the group. With over 20 years of experience teaching ages 2 to 96, in groups of 2 people to over100, 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/arm balancing flows for strength and vitality. (If we are guiding a vinyasa class, this is the bulk of the class.)
Twisting and folding flows for cleansing.
Inversions (upside-down poses) and backbends for focus.
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.