All our yoga classes on our retreats follow the Sivananda yoga class sequence, a classical sequence of Hatha Yoga postures (Asanas), relaxation, and breathing exercises (Pranayama). The teachings originate from India and were brought to the west by Swami Vishnudevananda, the founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Organisation in the mid 1950’s, by the request of his teacher Swami Sivananda, and are teachings that have been practiced by yogis and spiritual seekers throughout the ages.
The Sivananda Yoga Class Sequence can be practiced strenuously providing a dynamic physical workout or very gently and slowly creating deep calm and stillness. With Sivananda yoga we give our minds as much of a cleanse and a workout as we do our bodies, helping us to come closer to our true nature of stillness and inner peace.
To establish a calm mental attitude and inner focus the classes always begin with a short Sanskrit chant, a relaxation, and deep breathing exercises (Pranayama).
After establishing this inward focus we move into a sequence of flowing warm-up movements called the Sun Salutations (Surya Namaska), followed by leg stretches and core strength leg lifts.
Having thoroughly warmed up we move into the main body of the class with a sequence of 12 powerful yoga postures (Asanas). As you advance in your practice dynamic and fun variations of the 12 postures are introduced.
The classes always close with a longer guided deep-relaxation to allow the benefits of the practice to be fully metabolised, and to encourage further stress release and healing.
When practiced regularly, the specific Sivananda Classical Hatha Yoga Postures, Relaxation and Breathing can help you to develop on many levels, improving strength, balance, flexibility, concentration, confidence, as well as general health and well-being.
During the retreat we will also be practicing meditation, with different guided meditations and techniques as well as mantra chanting, with explanations of meanings and benefits to complement our Hatha Yoga practice.