The Branches of Yoga
There are five main branches of yoga
• raja yoga — the yoga of meditation
• hatha yoga — the yoga of balance
• bhakti yoga — the yoga of love & devotion
• jnana yoga — the yoga of knowledge and wisdom
• karma yoga — the yoga of cause and effect
All of the above can be found in my classes in one form or another!
My Style of Yoga
I am often asked what my style of yoga is. I find this really difficult to answer. I trained with the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY), but I attend a lot of yoga days and weekends with various teachers, many from the Satyananda tradition. In May 2014 I started the Satyananda Integration Teachers Course. Satyananda yoga is traditional yoga, looking after the whole person; giving us tools to help with the busy lives we all lead. It includes all the asanas, the breath work, meditation, mantra and chanting, and it is where the practice of Yoga Nidra originated. Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation – and we all need a bit of that!
I love being out in the garden or walking. Being in touch with all of my sense. I have a deep love of nature and often weave that into some lesson plans! The scope of yoga is vast and I rule nothing out – but I only share what I have tried and think others will find beneficial or interesting. My suggestion is to come along for a couple of sessions, and if you like my way of teaching fantastic. If not I can try and help you find someone more suitbale for you. We all have different needs at different times. I have been teaching weekly classes since April 2010; weekend retreats since December 2012; and in 2014 I started running regular monthly workshops – allowing a little extra time to focus on different elements of yoga.
When you practise yoga you are working with the mind, the body and the breath. In Hatha Yoga (‘Ha’ means sun and ‘tha’ means moon), we are working to balance the solar and lunar – the yin and yang – energies in the body, mind and spirit. It really does not matter what other name you give your practice, as long as you are practicing with awareness, being here and now – and really importantly, accepting and appreciating what you have now.
I am often told that ‘I cannot do yoga as I am so inflexible’. My response is always ‘if you are breathing you can do yoga – in fact you already are doing yoga’! By practising the asanas (postures) you become more flexible, but yoga is so much more than just the asanas, it helps you breathe properly, it helps you relax, we learn to meditate to help find that peace within…I could make a huge list! Please give yoga a try. It really can make a difference to how you feel and how you cope with the stresses and strains of our Western society.