What Yoga Class styles do we teach?
Akhanda 1 evokes the physical and energetic levels of awareness. Akhanda 1 classes teach a foundational Hatha Yoga practice. Perfect for beginner (new to yoga) students, the basic principles of breath, movement, alignment, and relaxation are introduced. This style incorporates the most common postures that anyone can practice in the standard or modified form.
Akhanda 1 is designed to help the student develop an awareness of any blockages they carry in their body and mind. As this awareness is developed, the student may become notice that these blockages manifest as tightness in the body and is guided how to move from a state of relaxation. The breath is used as a tool to deepen relaxation and to initiate movement.
Akhanda 1 aims to balance flexibility and strength, cleanse the body, and attain a natural state of health. Through the physical practice, students also learn to listen to the messages of the body that may manifest as stiffness (rigidity in the body mirrors rigidity in the mind).
Akhanda 2 evokes the energetic and mental / emotional levels of awareness. An Akhanda 2 Yoga class is intended to inspire intermediate students to journey further and experience their whole being through more complex balancing, strengthening, and inverted postures, as well as additional pranayama techniques and slightly longer meditations.
Akhanda 2 Yoga class we direct breath and prana to different parts of the body according to the focus of the posture or breathing technique. Through these techniques, students are guided to become aware of the balance and expansion of the chakras. This practice aims to expand the Pranic body evenly and to heighten the practitioners’ awareness of the flow of prana.
In Akhanda 2 Yoga class students are also encouraged to witness how mantra, asana, and pranayama help to release any blockages and to cleanse the mind of negative or compulsive thought patterns, or thoughts/emotions that are no longer needed.
AKHANDA 3 | AKHANDA DYNAMIC FLOW
Akhanda 3 cultivates a connection with bliss. An Akhanda 3 Yoga class is intended to inspire those who enjoy a dynamic, physically and mentally challenging class.
In an Akhanda 3 Yoga class, students use their bodies to their full potential through poorna (advanced) variations of standard poses, and/or holding postures for a longer time, as well as exploring the Pranic and Mental/Emotional levels of awareness. Also called Akhanda Dynamic Flow, this class may incorporate sun salutation variations as a thread through the middle portion of the class. In alignment with Akhanda Yoga’s hallmark approach, balance, the intensity of strong uplifting asana toward the beginning of a class will mirror the intensity of surrendering, grounding postures at the resolution.
An Akhanda 3 Yoga class brings balance to the lunar and solar energies of the body. In this level, students will explore further the bandhas (energetic locks) and breath retention (kumbahka) for the direction and expansion of prana (energy).
In conclusion, this practice fosters deeper awareness, aids in concentration, guides prana through the body, and highlights the link between internal alignment and cosmic alignment.
CLASSICAL AKHANDA KUNDALINI
Classical Akhanda Kundalini is a traditional Tantric way to safely raise Kundalini energy and human consciousness. This is achieved through postures, oscillating movements, Tantric and Vedic mantras, visualisation of the chakras, meditation, and pranayama techniques. The combinations of these techniques clears the subtle energy passageways (nadis) and their junction points (chakras) promoting balance, clarity, vitality, and peace. With practice, Classical Kundalini can bring one into samadhi (oneness with the universe), helping to transform a human being into infinite bliss.
A Hatha-Raja Yoga class is a sequence of moderate postures practiced in a slow and mindful way in conjunction with Brahmaree Pranayama (honey-bee breath). This specific union of postures and pranayama is designed to support your meditation practice. While moving the body, Brahmaree Pranayama is used to balance our five elements and release stress from a cellular level.
The intention in this class is to lengthen the breath in each posture through sound. It emphasises postures that influence the pineal and pituitary glands of the brain helping to bring the mind to a calm state in order to facilitate deeper meditation.
Our bodies are sponges and every sound we hear causes a reaction. Certain sounds create contraction while others invite expansion in the body and mind. Feelings of contraction can cause fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other illness.
Brahmaree Pranayama produces an expansive sound and is excellent for anyone wishing to release stress and increase pranic awareness through sound, movement and meditation.
Five Koshas Yoga classes encourage an of the five different layers of being. These layers or sheaths are physical (anamaya), pranic (pranamaya), mental/emotional (manomaya), intuitive (vijanamaya), and pure awareness (anandamaya).
By repeating a short sequence several times, these classes focus on each layer individually, gradually bringing the student’s awareness inside and allowing them to go deeper and deeper with each repetition. The student’s focus is transferred away from their body, surroundings, and thoughts and eventually what remains is is bliss.
Pranayama roughly translates from Sanskrit as “extension of prana (breath/life force)”. The breath is our main source of life energy and in yoga, pranayama techniques are used to raise, balance, or increase that energy. It is the practice of increasing or instructing the breath.
Pranayama techniques are numerous and varied, each with its own unique benefits ranging from calming to cleansing to energising. These techniques include but are not limited to, Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing), Kapalabhati, and Brahmaree (honey bee breath).
Yoga Nidra is a practice of deep relaxation, sometimes referred to as a waking sleep practice. When we sleep, our bodies may still be holding on to stress and unable to release this tension from deep within.
In Yoga Nidra, oxygenating prana (life-force energy) is sent to particular areas of the body. Both sides of the brain are relaxing at the same time, equally. This practice provides a unique way to achieve deep relaxation. It is extremely beneficial for anyone suffering from insomnia, stress, anxiety, or alienation.