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What is Yoga?

Classical and Traditional Yoga

Yoga 7 teaches a classical and traditional Yoga practise from the lineage of Swami Sivananda It is Hatha Yoga and incorporates  Ashtanga, Vinyasa and aspects of Iyengar Yoga in to each class. Within this tradition each class is 90 minutes duration.

Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of yoga postures – Asana, as it’s referred to in Sanskrit.

Since yoga came to the west, it has been taken further and further away from what it actually is, at least as far as Hatha Yoga is concerned. There are multiple aspects of Hatha Yoga with the most popular coming from the lineage of Sri Krishnamacharya and Sri Swami Sivananda, both considered the proponents of modern Hatha Yoga. Previous generations of yogis had paid no particular attention to the body but were more interested in contemplation and relaxation to the point where they could consciously escape the body. Their goal had been to leave the world behind and merge with a formless reality, the spirit. 

I was once eavesdropping on a conversation in a queue, my ears pricking up when I heard the word yoga being mentioned, “Hatha Yoga is more of a classic style of yoga and tends to be slightly easier for beginners than some of the advanced styles.” I smiled to myself and thought, handstands are not easy. I still struggle to hold mine for as long as I would like to.  Yoga is not easy and it’s not meant to be.  It’s the work of the ego that makes yogis separate the different styles of Hatha Yoga.

The meaning of the word “Yoga” is “union”.  The science and art of yoga is a broad umbrella of many different styles and lineages, many of which do not include any physical activity. including Kriya, cleansing tools e.g. Neti pots, Karma, serving others, and Kirtan, amazing chanting and music. Yoga does not give you a religion but a methodology to follow as it helps you understand your mind, body, actions and emotions, and is also used for medicinal purposes.

There is much confusion around the different styles of yoga, which can be off-putting in itself before even attempting a class. To dispel any confusion it goes a little bit like this:

Ashtanga Yoga is the eight limbs of yoga which are adopted by Yoga teachers regardless of the style you practise. The meaning of Ashtanga has changed since popularised by K. Pattabhi Jois in 1948. In Ashtanga Yoga practised today, the order in which postures are taught and practised is significant. Iyengar Yoga, named after BKS Iyengar (1937), focuses primarily on the alignment and precision of each posture using props.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga refers to a sequence of postures that flow with the breath, moving with intention and often to music without the linear order found in Ashtanga or alignment and props of Iyengar.

Sivanander Yoga

Sivanander Yoga at Yoga 7 includes Sun Salutations, postures like the seated forward bend, advanced postures like the scorpion and side crow. We work on body alignment, use blocks and straps to assist with postures. Styles of yoga are eclectic at Yoga 7 which is the way I see Sivananda and Hatha Yoga.

With regular yoga classes you will sleep better, build strength, reduce stress, boost your energy and your immune system, improve muscle tone and definition, flexibility, circulation, weight loss, relaxation, happiness, prevent and help with osteoporosis, treat back pain and stiffness, help stomach troubles and keep yourself fit.

Take a step towards a better quality of life by trying a class today. The benefits of a regular yoga practise at Yoga 7 are endless.




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