In this blog, we meet Amy who is a regular yoga teacher here at YogaSpace Yorkshire. Amy was the second teacher to join the team, and teaches all year round (her classes run during school holidays apart from children’s yoga classes) which is nice to know, if you don’t wish to stop your practice. Amy teaches here on Tuesday mornings – an early morning class for yogis who like to spring out of bed and ‘move’ to start their day (class is Tuesday’s 7-8am) and then her evening session is on Wednesdays – Hatha 6-7pm and Yin, 7.15-8.30pm. Amy has a devoted following of students who often do both her Wednesday classes. It may be possible to ‘drop-in’ as a new class tryer, but we recommend you always text or email Amy for a final update before you travel.
Amy learned Hatha Yoga and in Sanskrit, Hatha translates to the Sun and the Moon, and Yoga means union. Therefore Hatha Yoga works to balance these polarities by developing a deeper understanding of the body, increasing mobility, strength and flexibility and connecting to our breath, our life force! With no breath there is no life!
Hatha Yoga honours simplicity, nothing needs to be complicated, set movements and stretches promote certain responses within the body allowing students to become more physically comfortable, reduce stress and begin to live in a more holistic way.
Hatha Yoga is great for beginners as it really provides the fundamentals for a regular yoga practice, equipping you with the skills and confidence needed to practice regularly at home.
We all know the term Yin and Yang but what do they mean? Yang is our active element; Yang activities can include going to the gym, driving to the office or cooking dinner. Yin is our passive element; Yin activities can be an afternoon nap, mindfulness or meditation, anything that allows us to become soft and steady.
Yin Yoga increases the Yin energy by relaxing into floor based stretches that are held for anything between 3 and 10 minutes. Softening into these stretches activates our parasympathetic nervous system, our state of rest and digest, allowing us to enter deep relaxation and/or deep meditation. Activating the parasympathetic nervous system is crucial to improving sleep quality, reducing stress and anxiety and reducing the onset of dis-ease.
As well as the above benefits, Yin Yoga works on the fascia. Our fascia is the net that holds our entire body together. When we spend our life sitting in chairs, not stretching, falling into bad postural habits, our fascia gets ‘stuck’ in that shape, causing deep aches and pains. Holding the Yin Yoga postures gives us time to safely stretch the fascial net so that over time, we experience improved posture, more space and mobility in the joints and healthier and stronger ligaments and tendons.
Yin Yoga is suitable for all. There is something to be gained through every posture. Our lives are so busy, it is so important to put in some time for ourselves to slow down.