Styles of Yoga at the Shala

Hatha yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga in America. It is the branch of yoga that concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind. There are nearly 200 hatha yoga postures, with hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and to promote circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. Hatha yoga postures also stretch and align the body, promoting balance and flexibility.

Gentle Yoga is a class structured around rejuvenating and healing the body. Yoga props such as blankets, blocks, bolsters, chairs and straps are often used for safe practice, and to allow the body to fully achieve each position comfortably. This class is held at a slower pace and focuses on stretching all areas of the body, while releasing stress and tension from joints and muscles.

Yin Yoga: Most forms of Yoga practiced today are Yang—they emphasize muscular movement and contraction. By contrast Yin Yoga targets the connective tissue of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. Connective tissue responds best to gentle stress over a long period of time, so Yin postures are held for longer periods. This type of practice complements the more muscular styles of Yoga and is a great aid for learning to sit in meditation. Many people find that a Yin Yoga practice has transformative effects on body and mind. The gentle but consistent stimulation to the connective tissues encourages long-term health and flexibility of the joints, recharges the energetic system of the body and naturally draws the mind inward into a relaxed, meditative state.

Gentle Vinayasa Yoga: In this class Yoga poses are synchronized to the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. This style is sometimes also called flow yoga, because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. The breath becomes an important component because the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. Vinyasa is literally translated from Sanskrit as meaning "connection". Some prior yoga experience is recommended for this class. 

Restorative Yoga is supported yoga postures that help relieve the effects of chronic stress. With the support of props, such as bolsters, blocks, blankets, the body relaxes and opens, releasing tension. Restorative poses offer benefits to both the body and mind. and helps greatly to promote overall health and well-being, relaxation, and stress reduction. Students have commented that this class "feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you, surrounding you in peace".  

Chair Yoga: is a general term for practices that modify yoga poses so that they can be done while seated in a chair. These modifications make yoga accessible to people who cannot stand or have limited mobility, or for those who are unable to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions. Many of the basic body mechanics of the individual postures are retained, no matter the stance of the practitioner. While seated on chairs, students can do versions of twists, hips stretches, forward bends, and mild backbends. In addition to a good stretch, chair yoga participants can also enjoy other health benefits of yoga, including muscle tone, better breathing habits, reduction of stress, better sleep, and sense of well-being.

Gentle Yoga for the Meridians blends the primary poses of hatha yoga, the opening of restorative yoga, and the stretching of yin yoga. Poses are organized in a purposeful way to allow the movement of Qi in the body to flow freely. In Chinese medicine, Qi is believed to travel through pathways called Meridians. These pathways can become blocked for many reasons such as injury, illness, and/or stress. Once open, energy can once again flow freely creating a feeling of health and well-being. Taught by: Olivia Crescenti 

You will:
  • build strength & flexibility in safe ways
  • stimulate your immune system & build bone density
  • detox the body & manage side effects of treatments
  • improve sleep and reduce anxiety
  • empower all to take control & enhance your life