June 21st is International Day of Yoga and here at PEAC we offer many different types of yoga classes. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice of yoga this may just be the month you should give it a try! The practice of yoga is not just fancy poses or handstands, there are many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that you can choose to practice and incorporate into your personal practice!
This is the part of yoga you are probably most familiar with, the various poses that you practice in a given class. You will find different combinations of poses and the pace at which you practice them depending on what type of class you take. If you practice a flow or faster paced class you will probably link various poses together and challenge yourself to move through them mindfully. If you practice a slower paced restorative or yin class, you will probably hold poses for longer periods of time focusing on getting deeper into the pose.
It is highly encouraged in yoga to listen to your body and to not force yourself into poses that are difficult for your body. What may be an easy pose for one person may be more challenging for you. Most of the time, yoga teachers will offer you variations of a pose to either help you get closer to achieving the pose or to help challenge you further.
Pranyama (breathing techniques)
“Pranyama” or breathing techniques is a common practice in yoga. It is said that the breath is the “life force” or the source of life. In yoga you might hear your teacher cue to “inhale” and “exhale” while moving through certain poses. In general you inhale whenever you are expanding or opening the body in any way and exhale when you are closing or shrinking inward.
Using the breath during yoga is extremely beneficial as it can actually help you with endurance in holding a pose or it can aid you in going deeper into a pose. Sometimes it’s beneficial to “send the breath” to certain areas of the body that you are working to help ease any discomfort in holding a pose for an extended period of time. You may even find it refreshing to have someone cueing your breath to remind you to actually breathe. Sometimes we unconsciously hold our breath (especially when being challenged physically) and being constantly reminded in class to inhale and exhale may feel extremely invigorating to the practitioner.
Meditation can be incorporated into a yoga practice or be practiced completely on its own. It is the act of sitting in stillness and quieting the mind. Meditation is an extremely beneficial tool, especially in today’s society when it’s not often that our mind is very quiet. It is sometimes a very difficult thing for people to practice but if practiced enough it can have an extremely positive effect on one’s mental state and relationship with self.
Practicing meditation can bring an overwhelming sense of peace to an individual because in today’s world we are always thinking about what’s next or reflecting on what is past. It can help one have better control over their mind in general. When practiced enough, it is an amazing skill to help one better handle times when their mind gets the best of them and gets carried away with potentially negative thoughts.
A lot of times in the yoga practice you end the class in savasanna which can be a form of meditation in itself. Savasanna is “corpse pose” where you sit in stillness, absorbing everything you just did in your yoga practice and ideally keeping the mind quiet and still.
Practicing Yoga can help give a person a better sense of purpose. There are various Yoga “sutras” that the yoga practice is built off of that can help one feel a sense of “oneness” with the universe or community they belong to. A lot of people come to the practice of yoga for it’s exercise benefits but may potentially find solace in the spiritual practices it offers as well.
This month in celebration of International Day of Yoga on June 21st , why not try one of our many different yoga classes and see what resonates most with you and your style? Below is a full list of the yoga classes we offer each day:
Yoga Deep release-10:30am
Yin Yoga- 12:15pm
Calm Flow Yoga- 4:30pm
Chair Yoga Fusion- 10:30am
Yin Yoga- 6:30pm
Beginner Yoga- 7:30pm
Rise and Shine Yoga- 6:30am
Gentle and Restore Yoga- 12:15pm
Power Yoga 6:30pm
Beginner Yoga- 10:30am
Chair Yoga Fusion- 10:45am
Rise and Shine Yoga- 6:30am
Beginner Yoga- 9:30am
Gentle and Restorative Yoga- 10:45am
Yoga for Every Body- 5:30pm
Yoga for Every Body- 7:30am
Depth and Alignment Yoga- 10:45am
Yoga for Athletes- 8:00am
Beginner Yoga- 10:45am
Restorative Yoga- 1:00pm