What to expect
If you are new to yoga or have not been to a flow class before, here is a guide on what to expect in class.
Wear soft comfortable clothing and a couple of layers on your top to help keep heat in the body in slower practice towards the end of class/ and socks to wear during relaxation (shavasana).
We will practice in bare feet. If you have one, please bring a yoga mat or request to borrow one and a blanket for relaxation. I will provide blocks and belts and other kit where needed. Bring a water bottle.
Our practice usually starts with focus on the breath, gently deepening it to provide a focus and calm. You will be guided through a relaxing and centring warm up, often drawing from a seasonal practice of qigong (mother practice of tai chi), then taken through a flowing sequence of yoga poses, with options for different capabilities, to music.
There is generally an order to the types of poses practised after warm up, starting with standing poses, followed by seated postures then inversions (where part of the body is upside down). There is no expectation on you to practise the poses perfectly, simply an openness to having a go. I will offer as much guidance as I can when a pose is new to you. I will offer different options for each pose, so you can begin to experience various aspects of a posture (asana) safely at a level that feels right.
There may also be the opportunity to practise different breathing techniques (pranayama) that work with your body’s energy, appropriate for the season. These help clear and focus the mind, and ground or build energy in the body.
There may also be the opportunity to practise different meditation techniques. These range from walking meditations, to seated practice where the mind is gradually focused on an activity or visualisation, encouraging it to gently settle. Meditation is wonderful at drawing energy back in, and is an excellent restorative practice.
All classes end with yoga nidra. This gentle relaxation practice allows us to deeply let go in a safe, reassuring way. One of my specialisms, the nidra is shared live, inspired by each season and our practice, weaving in nature as well as key aspects of seasonal energy. These are occasionally recorded and shared in my seasonal newsletters so you can practice at home, top up your energy levels and feel well.
The class ends with chanting ‘Om’. This is the seed mantra for the Ajna chakra – the seat of the mind located in the forehead. In chanting ‘Om’ we are joining with all the other yoga practitioners in the world, in our seeking of a calmer mind and a gentler way of being with ourselves and others. It is not a religious chant but one of shared spirituality, one way that through yoga we can aim to merge with the divine in life.