What is Yoga

WELLSET GETTING STARTED GUIDE

Everything you need to know about Private Yoga

Ever wondered “What exactly is Yoga?” or ” How do I create a personal Yoga practice?” or “How can a Private Yoga Instructor help me?” Look no further! This Getting Started Guide is a great place to learn.


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YOGA OVERVIEW

If you’re looking to find a deep mind/body connection while decreasing stress and increasing muscle flexibility and strength, yoga might be the right practice for you.


“Om.” Happy Baby. Sivasana. If you aren’t already a yogi all of this might sound strange. Don’t worry, you’re going to love it.

Yoga is an ancient practice based on the idea that the mind and body are yoked (“to yoke” is the Sanskrit meaning of the word “Yoga”) together with the breath or “prana”. Every movement and stretch in a yoga practice is accompanied by a breath. Yoga is not just stretching, it is a moving meditation that can improve mental wellbeing while also keeping your body toned, stretched, and healthy.

There are hundreds of different types of yoga and teachers, the challenge can sometimes be finding the right one for you! We break down a few of the different yoga schools below.

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WHAT TYPE OF YOGA IS FOR ME?

Different types of yoga for different types of yogis

Yoga is the grandfather of movement therapy. Over 5,000 years old, yoga was first used by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. It was first cited in the oldest known texts in the world, the Vedas. Since then, and actually fairly recently, yoga has become a widely used mindfulness and physical practice around the world.

Some of the main yogic schools of thought are as follows (not exhaustive):

VINYASA YOGA
The trademark of Vinyasa is the flowing nature of postures. Your teacher might cue you to “flow through a Vinyasa” which means to move through a Chaturanga Dandasana (similar to a push up position) to an Upward Dog and back to a Downward Dog. You might not stay in each posture for longer than a few breaths. Those looking to sweat will appreciate Vinyasa.

ASHTANGA YOGA
Founded by yogic master K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga practice comprises a series of 6 different sets of postures that increase in difficulty as you move through them. It is a strenuous yogic practice that requires endurance, strength, patience and flexibility to move through in its entirety. Some Ashtanga classes are silent since the postures are a set and memorizable sequence.

POWER YOGA
Founded by Bender Birch in 1995, Power Yoga serves as an Americanized version of a yogic practice that is found in many gyms and studios across the country. Power yoga as offered by your local gym often demarcates yoga as a workout class more than a spiritual practice.

JIVAMUKTI YOGA
Founded by David Life and Sharon Gannon in the 1980’s, Jivamukti offers a broad yogic education that includes Vinyasa movement practices with mindfulness, meditation, chanting and spiritual study.

IYENGAR YOG
Focused on anatomical alignment and holding postures for a much longer time than other schools, Iyengar is all about attention to detail. In an Iyengar class you might find yourself using props such as blocks or straps to get your posture in picture-perfect condition.

BIKRAM YOGA
Founded by Bikram Choudhury, this form of yoga is defined by its heated room (105 degrees F and 40% humidity) and its fixed 26 postures.

KUNDALINI YOGA
Kundalini Yoga combines yogic postures with mantras, chanting, and breathing (pranayama) exercises.

HATHA
Since most of the practices listed above are actually technically Hatha-based practices, Hatha classes and teachers often combine a number of different yogic philosophies in their teachings.

RESTORATIVE/YIN YOGA
Not all yoga is about working up a sweat. Yin or Restorative yoga focuses on holding relaxing postures for long periods of time (up to 10 minutes per pose). You wouldn’t be out of place if you even fell asleep in one of these relaxing classes!

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What our practitioner experts have to say

WE ASKED A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE YOGA TEACHERS WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR FIRST SESSION

Deacon Conroy
Yoga Instructor

Deacon Conroy- yoga

WellSEt: How can Yoga help heal the mind and body?

CONROY: Yoga can help heal the body and mind by reestablishing a connection between the two, or by strengthening an existing one. We twist, turn, bend, and fold the physical form that ignites a curiosity of our minds subsequently changing the way the body feels stress. By adding a structured yet calm breathing to the practice, Yoga helps the mind gain some agency over how it responds to that stress during the practice. Also, the physical benefits of Yoga – good for the immune system, helps settle the nervous system, anxiety, depression, tight muscles/joints, cardio health, improved respiration, cannot be overstated either.

WellSEt: What can a client typically expect in a session with a Yoga Instructor?

CONROY: A client can expect in a session with me to be met where they are at in their practice, and not about some future goals of how to do complicated poses. Those will come in time, but Yoga is about recognizing exactly where you are at in your practice and how to move forward, building on where you are today. Classes can be more Mindfulness-based, or lean more towards the fitness side, but any good instructor can create a session to give you a healthy balance of both.

BRITTON DARBY
Yoga Instructor

Britton Darby -Yoga Insructor

WellSEt: How can Yoga help heal the mind and body?

DARBY: The yoga practice is all about deepening your relationship with yourself – The most important relationship we all have. Yoga informs every aspect of our being. Through learning breathing techniques, movement and alignment principles; all built to assist self care, we develop deep listening skills that ultimately move us towards more intimate connection. This more intimate connection with self, in turn leads us to deeper connection in all of our relationships – influencing profound growth and evolution in ways we never thought possible. We are in a coming of age where taking care of yourself is now realized as no longer optional. We must carve out the time to self study and uncover our true potential – to heal in all the many ways we need to in order to live our most fulfilled lives.

Conditions that Yoga can help ease:

Strength Training, Stress, Trauma Healing, Weight, Balance, Managing Stress, Fitness, Breathing