YOGA

WHICH KIND OF YOGA?
My bent is towards a mixture of Hatha yoga (where asanas are held and
explored through the breath) and Vinyasa yoga (where we flow between
postures, which is more dynamic) and I also use Yin yoga techniques (where
each pose is held and really meditated on) and Restorative yoga.
However what I really aim to teach is RAJA YOGA, which can be translated
as integral yoga, and which incorporates four paths:
Hatha yoga (physical technique), Jnana yoga (the path of knowlege), Karma
yoga (the path of action in the world), and Bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion).
So, unlike other exercise classes (pilates, aerobics or whatever), although we
DO work to strengthen, tone and release the muscles of the body, we also
spend a little time exploring mantra/chanting and pranayama practices
(breathing techniques) in order to prepare for meditation.
Meditation sounds esoteric, difficult and complicated but in reality just means
sitting still, watching the breath and notice the fluctuations of the mind,
constantly bringing it back to the breath. The simplest reason to meditate is
that it makes us feel good! Meditation calms the nervous system and
increases mental focus, concentration and self-awareness. It’s like clearing
out a dirty cupboard – satisfying, calming and cleansing. The physiological
effects on the brain are remarkable. Recent neuroscientific research reveals
how even just 8 sessions of meditation increases density of grey matter in the
brain (the seat of learning, memory, emotional regulation, perspective, and
self-referential processing). (See http://www.yogaforthemind.info/how-yogacan-
change-your-brain.html).