Alignment-based yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga that is based on the teachings of B.K.S Iyengar. A great amount of attention is given to the correct alignment of the body which makes the physical practice of yoga safe and effective.
“Bend your right knee to 90 degrees.”
“Draw the spine and the kidneys into the body.”
“Inhale to expand the chest and exhale to soften the skin.”
“Externally rotate your left thigh.”
These are the kind of instructions you will hear in the class. Emphasizing the alignment of the body strengthens the body-mind connection and allows your mind to stay focused. The physical poses are designed to tone and strengthen the muscles, calm the mind, and connect to your intuition.
But, yoga is not just about physical practice. For us to be able to shine and feel alive, we need to take care of ourselves on many levels. This is why meditation, deep breathing, and restorative poses are included in each class. This combination creates a complete practice that nurtures your mind, body, and soul.
USE OF PROPS
I use a lot of yoga props in my classes so that everyone, despite their current abilities, can experience freedom in their bodies. Props are used to give the body a feeling of what it should be cultivating itself. Props help make the asanas safer, more approachable, and more effective. Props also give the body different kinds of stimulation and with their help, you can experience deep openings, stability, and profound relaxation.
My job is to guide my students and pay attention to the safety and effectiveness of the practice. This is why you will not see me doing the yoga practice in class but instead you will be given clear and precise verbal instructions on how to get in and out of a pose and what to focus on when in the pose. If needed and appropriate, I will shortly demonstrate a pose myself but then I will verbally guide you while observing you doing the pose.
POSES ARE HELD
Each pose is held for about 3-9 full deep breaths. This gives you time to truly feel the pose and its effects on your body and allows you to adjust and re-adjust your body to reach the maximum benefits of each pose. Sometimes poses, especially restorative ones, can be held even for up to 15 minutes.
I give very precise, easy-to-understand verbal instructions so that you don’t have to be looking around how the teacher or other students are doing the pose but can just listen and gracefully go through your practice. While you are in the pose I will give you cues and key actions on which to focus on.
PAUSES BETWEEN EACH POSE
After each pose, we take a short pause to feel the effects of the pose in our body, mind, and soul. We will never hurry through a practice but do our best to understand and appreciate the positive effects it brings to our wellbeing.
There will be no music played during the class because we are encouraged to draw all our senses inwards and truly connect with our body, mind, and soul.
“True yoga is not about the shape of your body,
but the shape of your life.
Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived.
Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been;
yoga cares about the person you are becoming.
Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose,
and for it to be truly called yoga,
its essence must be embodied.”
– Aadil Palkhivala, co-founder of Purna Yoga