The following practices are in our schedule to offer time to ‘un-do’ to simply ‘be.’
An astanga practice is challenging and demanding and whilst the practice offers softness and ease alongside strength and stability it takes time to cultivate and we all need to rest and change our practice from time to time.
At The Yoga Hutch we offer monthly Yin (mid month) and Restorative classes (last Sunday of the month) to create a balance between a ‘yang’ active practice and a ‘yin’ softer practice to work deeply within the tissues of the body to improve mobility and create space. This is a constant exploration for us all as nothing is static as we move through our lives and the challenges it holds up to us. We quieten the mind and develop a self-reflective awareness.
“A yogi… lives on this earth like any other human being. he thinks, enjoys and eats like others. the great difference… is that he has awakened a dormant facility called… awareness” SWAMI SATYANANDA SARASWATI (BORN) 1923) INDIA
This practice is designed to help you sit longer, and more comfortably, in meditation by stretching connective tissue around the joints (mainly the knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine). A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia. It promotes healing, mobility and suppleness in the joints, fascia and connective tissue (mainly around our knees, pelvis, sacrum and spine) that we lose as we age or because of injury.
Founded by Paulie Zink, yin yoga pulls from Taoist yoga traditions to balance out our more yang (active) lifestyles and exercise routines.
In a Yin yoga practice, all the postures are sitting or lying down- and all the postures are held for about five minutes. Within these long holds there is an encouragement of softness and an emphasis on relaxing muscular tissue. Through these attitudes there can be a gaining of harmony and peace: so there is a greater ease, a deeper sense of balance, feelings of calmness and acceptance.
Even within a yang practice we can develop a yin sensibility so it is our intention that each class can help and inform the others.
Kate Towers teaches our Yin yoga classes on a Thursday evening 8-9.15
“I thought I may be bored in this class but I absolutely loved it. It is a fantastic balance for all astanga yogis” Amanda
Restorative yoga is similar to yin yoga in that postures are held for several minutes, but the goal is to experience relaxation and restoration. This means that there is very little effort of any kind during a practice. The intensity that you might encounter in a yin pose is absent here. Instead, your goal is to access tranquility and peace through healing, nurturing postures. Restorative yoga uses many props, including bolsters, blankets, and eye pillows, to help you get into this state.
A restorative yoga sequence typically involves only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest. Held for five minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends. Most restorative practices are based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar.
A restorative class will often end with an extended savasana in ‘Yoga Nidra’
Savasana translated as ‘corpse pose’. It is the final posture where you lay on your back and witness a stillness in the body and mind as the heart rate settles and the breath finds its natural resting rhythm. This resting pose has revitalising and nurturing effects renewing our energy, vitality and spirit both of body and mind.
Yoga Nidra or “Yogi sleep” is the state at which the conscious mind subsides but awareness remains. To practice yoga nidra, one lies in savasana and consciously relaxes the whole body, part by part, and then concentrates on the natural breath. By this method the subconscious mind comes to the surface and the conscious mind drops away. In this dee form of meditation you enter into a stillness of the deep sleep state yet remain awake.
For thousands of years Yogis have used Yoga Nidra to master the art of sleep, balance the subtle energies and experience greater depths of meditation.
Practitioners claim that half an hour of Yoga Nidra can replace up to three hours of normal sleep. Its regular use as a sleep substitute is not recommended as the body and mind still requires sufficient rest through standard sleep.
Practice, practice, practice – it takes time to learn how to relax.
Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind.
To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.
(replacing the guided astanga class once a month)
Astanga (Mysore) studios traditionally close for a day of rest on the new and full moon. Instead of a this we offer alternative practices to balance our energy with a grounding ‘moon sequence’ of hip and heart openers. The practice supports your regular astanga or hatha practice with less dynamic intensity and less work through the upper body. while emphasising the hips, groin, lower spine and abdomen. It can also be practiced to support yourself through injury or as an alternative during the menstrual cycle. The practice can be adapted for everyone and is suitable for men and women.
The full moon practice diary can be seen on the moon days 2019 page.