Define yoga

Yoga originated in India about 5,000 years ago. It has gained popularity in America within the past 30 or 40 years. The form of yoga we know today as Hatha Yoga is not mentioned in early texts. Hatha Yoga evolved from early practices.

Yoga is not a religion. People of all cultures experience the benefits of yoga. You can practice Yoga no matter what your physical condition. Although it is not an exercise, some people are drawn to yoga to keep their bodies physically fit, while others practice for the stress relief and healing.

The Asanas (postures) give you a total body workout, giving you strength, stamina, and flexibility. The spine and entire skeletal system are worked as well. Pranayama or breathing exercises oxygenates the blood and warms up the body creating cell turn over. Practicing meditation stills the mind, increases your clarity, mental power, focus and concentration. Yoga will teach you an overall holistic way of life.

The word yoga means to join or unite. The underlying purpose being to unite the mind, body, and spirit. Also, to unite ourselves with the higher consciousness of the world.

Yoga also teaches us to be more accepting of ourselves and others. You learn to observe your breath, while getting to know your inner body. You learn non-judgement. With practice of observing the breath with movement, you let go of the constant analysis and judgment in your outer being. You learn how to observe your thoughts rather than getting caught up in the mind chatter, bringing forth balance and alignment. Instead of competing, yoga teaches cooperation and service to others. Most of all, yoga teaches us the importance of our individual selves, which is not our past and not our future events. Our purpose is to be in the present moment.

How Often Does One Practice?

Yoga is a life practice that you will learn to do in some way every day.  Beginners could start with two to three times per week.  I suggest committing to at least 9 months of practice to allow the body enough time to transform.  You will most certainly notice the benefits after your first practice, but you need time to allow for layers to shed and to feel and see the change. You will learn how to give yourself 20 minutes of yoga here and there when you can not get to class. That too is enough when obstacles interfere.  

Styles of Yoga at YOD

Ashtanga Yoga 8-Limbs- This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with postures—a process producing internal heat that detoxifies muscles and organs. With this absorption of positive pure energy, the internal body can heal. You gain an understanding of "Self" and Life. Ashtanga (8 Limbs) is empowering! Learning all 8 lprovides a practical way of living happily in the world while gradually moving one's consciousness inward, allowing for one to live a balanced life in mind, body and spirit.  

Ashtanga Yoga is for beginners and beyond.  It is encouraged that you do not practice past your "edge".  You rest when you need to.  Strength, stamina and flexibility will be gained over time.     

Vinyasa Flow- In this Vinyasa Flow class you will synchronize breath with movement. Students will focus on linking conscious breath with a mindful flow. In a Vinyasa class, students awaken their strength, energy, and flexibility in a fun atmosphere. This class is for beginners and beyond. 

Warm Vinyasa Flow- In this style, students flow from one posture to the next. Although some postures are held for additional breaths, many of the exercises consists of linking breath with dynamic, flowing movement. Warm Vinyasa Flow provides a total body workout, building strength, stamina, flexibility, and focus. The room is heated to 80+ degrees. This is not the same as "HOT YOGA" where the room is 105+ degrees.  

Gentle Flow- In this slow flow, you will learn the essentials. From breathing and lengthy warm up, standing and balancing postures, twists, belly(prone) postures, core work, deep stretches, supine postures and final relaxation. New to Yoga or needing to refresh.    

Yoga Burn- A heated practice 80+ degrees blending high intensity tabata workout with Vinyasa Flow Yoga. You will get your heart pumping and work your way through the practice ending in deep stretches and savasana. Sun Salutations, balancing postures and back bends are also included in the practice. Detoxifying. 

Yin Yoga- Yin yoga is a journey within. It is often said that restorative yoga is the doorway to meditation, but I feel the same can be said for Yin yoga. Varying from other forms of asana, Yin yoga blends Hatha yoga with traditional Chinese medicine to activate meridian lines within the body and to move stagnant energy. Poses will be held anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes each. This practice goes beyond muscular stretching; Yin yoga exercises our cartilage and connective tissues, strengthens our bones and ligaments, and passively lengthens our fascia while also increasing our flexibility and range of motion. Beginners welcome! There are many modifications for each pose (including restorative options) so you can still get the benefit of an asana practice and dip your toe into the waters of Yin Yoga.  

Restorative Yoga- Restorative Yoga has many benefits: it deeply relaxes the body, stills the mind, enhances flexibility and uplifts your mood. With practice, restorative yoga will bring your mind, body and soul back into harmony. The beauty of this practice is that it is not physically challenging. All levels from beginners to advanced should try it. Beginning with easy seated stretches on the floor, you will be guided into a gentle restorative flow including the following: seated forward folds, very gentle back bends and twists supported on a bolster and blankets. Some of the postures will be held a couple of minutes in order to get the full benefit. You will be lead through several guided meditations as well. That is recipe for healing…. 

Core Restore- Digestion and absorption of nutrients are two primary and essential functions of a healthy, balanced core. All muscles must be lengthened and released to counterbalance engagement and strength. This skillful restorative class with Christina O’Brien E-RYT kicks in the parasympathetic nervous system, creates space for the vital organs and ensures deep assimilation of all core work. A strong, balanced core workout with attention to alignment, followed by myofascial release and restorative yoga. This low-impact style is suitable for all students.

CoreRestore is incredibly relaxing. Take a CoreRestore class before bed and you’ll sleep like a baby.

Hatha Yoga 1-  Hatha Yoga could be described as the father or mother of all other forms of body, mind, spirit Yoga. In this  class, you will learn the crucial alignment principles that will make each of your poses more powerful and effective than ever before. There will be some flow sequences in the class based on sun salutation, but most poses will be held for 5 to 7 breaths.

Pranayama- The physical practice of yoga begins with the breathing. It is important to first connect with your life force energy. That energy is what will get you through the practice of awakening. Without it, it is just another form of exercise.

Pranayama is the science of the breathing. There are many breathing techniques that open up the channels in the body. I want to back up and explain this with simplicity. Everything is energy. We too are energy. We are made up of both negative and positive. When we lose touch with ourselves, our life force can separate. We can also be drained with too much negative energy. We need breath to regenerate, reboot and balance. Three types of energy we need to live. Food energy, water energy, and breath energy. You can live without food and water for days. You can only go without your breath for a very short period of time. If you take a moment now, you may notice that you are shallow breathing only in your chest. You may not be breathing at all in this moment. Take a deep breath in right now and hold it for three seconds. Relax it out. How do you feel? Imagine if you took a deep breath in and out over and over for 45 minutes? You would definitely feel alive!

Meditation- Everyone can meditate.  You learn the essentials here.  This will lead you to practicing on your own.  Meditation is stilling the mind.  It is not about controlling your thought processes.  That is impossible.  It is about learning to detach and being the observer that you are.  Meditation is the key to living a balanced life.  Meditation is key to knowing self. Concentration is different from meditation.  Concentration is freeing your attention from distractions and focusing on one point, breath or thought.  Meditation is a deeper form of concentration where one becomes aware beyond thought reconnecting and understanding the source within.  Showing up for class is priceless.