Blue Sky Yoga - Foundations Introduction To Yoga Courses
These courses are specifically designed to introduce new students to yoga, and are excellent for any student who wants to learn more about the structure, alignment, principles and dynamics of asana practice. We offer a four week course in January, February, and March, and again in September, October, and November. They can be taken individually, or as a comprehensive 12 week course. Each four week course covers a different sequence with different postures, so you will learn something new with each course. The poses are linked together for a classic, accessible vinyasa (flow) practice perfect for beginners. We will teach you to modify the poses to fit your level of strength and flexibility, and encourage you to listen to your body and honor your limits to ensure a safe, sustainable yoga practice for life. The courses begin with a lot of demonstration and discussion, breaking down poses in detail, and as each week progresses, we will practice the same sequence and poses so you will feel confident and comfortable. Expect to work hard, do your homework, and commit yourself; prepare to enjoy yourself and have fun!
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Blue Sky Yoga - Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I bring my backpack, purse, cell phone, etc. into the studio?
- Please leave all personal belongings in the back hallway so our practice space is not cluttered. Please do not use tables and chairs.Turn off cell phones.
- What do I wear?
- Be comfortable! You will often generate heat during your practice. Choose clothing that stretches and moves with you while not moving too far away from you.
- Do I need my own mat and props?
- Most people prefer their own mat; there will always be mats, blankets, blocks, and straps available.
- What about shoes? Socks?
- Remove your shoes before you step onto the studio floor as a way of honoring the space and cleanliness. Socks are not recommended during practice.
- What if I've had an injury or illness?
- Consult your physician; tell your instructor.
- Can I eat before class?drink water during?
- Most find that a light snack is fine, some prefer an empty stomach; avoid large meals.We don't recommend water during class, as you want to maintain internal heat. Find what works for you.
- What if I am late? Or need to leave early?
- Wait to enter the asana room (quietly) until the sitting and pranayama is finished. If you need to leave early try to do so quietly before savasana.
- Do I need to shower before class? Is perfume OK?
- You do not necessarily need to shower before class. Do not wear fragrance.
- What if I am pregnant?
- Consult your physician; tell your instructor.
- Will yoga conflict with my religion?
- Absolutely not! Yoga can deepen your spiritual life no matter what your religion. There is divinity in all people and things.
Benefits of Yoga - The Ten Systems
SKELETAL: Strengthens bones and connective tissue, increasing mobility in all the joints.
MUSCULAR: Strengthens, tones, and balances the musculature, facilitating proper alignment.
RESPIRATORY: Teaches us how to use the breath. Increases breath control and lung capacity. Strengthens the respiratory system.
DIGESTIVE: Stimulates digestive system and builds digestive fire. Stimulates digestive organs.
ELIMINATIVE: Stimulates elimination. Cleanses toxins and stimulates organs of elimination.
NERVOUS: Increases nerve energy. Releases pressure and inhibition of nerve energy flow.
MENTAL: Improves concentration and attention. Increases awareness and quiets mental chatter.
PRANIC: Increases Life Force and vitality. Strengthens the lines of energy in the body and facilitates energy flow.
CIRCULATORY: Strengthens cardio-vascular system. Cleansing through circulation. Oxygenates all cells.
ENDOCRINE: Balances hormone production. Balances action of glands--including thyroid and pituitary.
The Basic Movements and their Benefits
The Sun Salutations develop grace, flow, strength, flexibility, stamina, and coordination. They help to synchronize breath and movement, and create heat; warming the body allowing a dance of energy to build in the body. They stimulate the abdominal organs and wake up the spine. The arms and wrists are strengthened and the back and chest is opened. An excellent whole body exercise; they are a complete practice by themselves.
Standing Poses develop strength, flexibility, and endurance. They teach us to use gravity to create space and mobility in the joints. They develop lightness and agility, coordination and concentration. These poses are excellent for understanding how "Lines of Energy" work in the body during asana practice; creating, directing, and channeling energy through the body.
Balancing Poses create poise and grace, tone the inner ear, increase power of concentration. They strengthen the legs and feet, also the arms, wrists, shoulders and back in arm balances. Balancing poses teach us how to use gravity and lines of energy to create lightness in the body. They help us learn to use the intelligence of the body, rather than always relying on muscle strength.
Backbending Poses are among the most rejuvenating and beneficial of all the yoga postures. They stimulate the nervous system and increase the flow of energy by creating length and space in the spine. Backbends are "anti-aging", countering round shoulders, slouched posture.They open the chest and shoulders, stretch the entire front of the body, open the heart and are good for depression. They develop great strength and flexibility in the spine. They are exhilarating, energizing, calming.
Forward Bends and are restorative and calming, and improve posture and body alignment. They lengthen the entire backside of the body. The spine, especially, is taught to lengthen, increasing the space and circulation between the vertebrae. Nerves throughout the body have their origin in the spinal cord; as they are freed and nourished, you experience more vitality and energy.
Twists release pressure on the spinal nerves, align the vertebrae, and lengthen the spine. They are very effective in relieving backaches, headaches, and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. They stimulate the internal organs, improving digestion and elimination. The spine becomes more flexible and the hips move more freely. Twists tone and massage the abdominal area, having a cleansing effect on the internal organs. They are excellent for relief of lower back pain.
Hip Openers Many of us carry a great deal of tension in the hips. The pelvis is the seat of the torso; the gateway through which energy travels from our "hara" or center to the lower body. Hip openers increase mobility, release tension in the hips, improving circulation between the legs and torso, releasing binds that block energy flow.
Inversions are a tonic for circulation. They reverse the effects of gravity, and flood the brain with nourishment. Headstand stimulates the endocrine system that controls the chemical balance of the body. Shoulderstand stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which regulate metabolism. Inversions improve circulation, venous return, and lymph drainage; all of which nourishes cells, stimulates digestion and elimination, and relieves fatigue.They evoke calm, quiet an over stimulated brain, and soothe the nerves.
Final Relaxation or Savasana (corpse pose) is normally done after asana practice, to allow the asanas to take their effect in the body. This crucial part of yoga allows the body to acclimate to and integrate all the openings facilitated by your practice. Savasana brings body, mind and spirit into balance. It teaches you to be still, tension free, and yet wide awake. It helps regulate blood pressure, reduce fatigue, and induce calmness of mind; one of the best ways of learning to meditate. Relaxation is a blessing.