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What will this practice do for me?
This practice is designed to bring your body back to balance. Sometimes this means increased flexibility, sometimes increased strength. Weight loss will happen with a regular practice if this is what your body needs. If you are an athlete, this type of yoga practice helps reduce your likelihood for injury as well as increase your ability to focus with breath. Many athletes describe the experience as being able to more clearly decipher between mind chatter and simple body sensation which leads to more stamina, speed and strength. Folding, stretching, bending and twisting also typically have a beneficial effect on digestion and lymph flow.
Because we emphasize yoga as a mindfulness practice, there are many other benefits that might result. Mindfulness practices are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure & heart rate as well as balance blood glucose levels. There is even evidence of actual measurable changes in the brain leading to clearer thinking and action taking. Many of our students have eventually gotten off of medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety & depression. You might even have softer, shinier eyes and skin!
What kind of yoga do we do?
We practice a style of yoga that places a huge emphasis on breath. We teach a unique style of seamlessly synchronized breath and movement that is taught by Live Love Teach yoga teacher training school. We believe in a structure of class that allows for space and silence throughout in order for you to experience the yoga happening. We follow a specific arc form in every class so that you will land in savasana, wrung out and wondering where the time went. Each teacher is dedicated to providing a class that aims to leave their students in a transformed state. How is this done? We make every effort to teach yoga postures as a vehicle for the practice of mindfulness (see mindfulness tab for further explanation). The teachers will not be doing the poses with you as they will be making you – the class – the main focus. Classes are gently heated 90-95 degrees with 60% humidity. The heat is just right for a good sweat but not overwhelming.
iPhones, iPads, Facebook, Instagram…. how are we supposed to manage it all and still be able to tap into our innate essence of being alive? We now have more information put before us in one day than we had in a month ten years ago. Our brains can only process so much! This way of living has catapulted us all into a robotic state of going through the motions with much of our lives. This way of living zaps us of our vitality and true connection. It has been said that we are now the most distracted group of human beings to ever inhabit the planet. At The Yoga Project, we teach and practice yoga postures as a vehicle to practice mindfulness. In a nutshell, the practice of yoga IS mindfulness. Our use of music is minimal so that we can take full advantage of body and breath focus. Our teachers are trained to facilitate a class that offers opportunity for you to get INTO the direct experience of your breath and body and OUT OF the busyness of your mind. We offer a heated room and challenging postures that are symbolic of the challenge of life. In the midst of challenge (and possible increased mind chatter), we help you rewire your attention back to the present moment via breath and body. This practice is life changing. We have students come back and tell us their lives have changed in profound ways. The practice of mindfulness is not only a luxury but is becoming a necessity to be AWAKE & ALIVE to the beauty that is our life.
What should I wear?
Women: Something that you feel comfortable moving, stretching and sweating in. A stretchy fitness pant (stay away from fleece and wind pants) and a tank top that won’t fall while upside down in poses like downward facing dog. If wearing shorts, only choose fitted leg ones as a running type of short will not be comfortable. We practice bare foot.
Men: Light weight tee shirt or tank, shorts, swim trunks or a fitness pant that is not heavy. Short running shorts are uncomfortable for this type of practice.
What if I don't have a mat?
No worries! We rent great nonslip yoga mats for $2. In fact, if you don’t own a mat and you’re not sure what kind to buy, we recommend you rent a mat from us and we’ll help you find the right mat for you. At our studios we sell Manduka mats and Yogitoes towels to go on top of your mat because we feel they are the best products on the market.
The First Step is Showing Up
Often times, just showing up to your first yoga class can be quite intimidating. We acknowledge you for making the decision to give it a try! Be patient and give yourself time to acclimate. This practice is challenging and it’s probably unlike anything your body is used to doing. Be gentle on yourself and ease your way in. After a few times, you will become more accustomed to it. The sooner you come back in and the more consistent you are with the practice, the more natural it becomes for your body.
After your first class come back in and give it another try, sooner rather than later! To really see and feel a difference in your life come at least three times per week!
How to Guarantee Your Success
Be willing to embrace being a beginner. You don’t have to get this right. As a matter of fact, the more you allow yourself to ease in and only do what you can at first, the more guaranteed your commitment to the practice. It is not only okay, but encouraged to skip certain parts of the sequence if needed. For instance, sun salutations are done towards the beginning of the class and we move one pose to one breath. This can move too quickly sometimes for beginners, the trick is to skip parts of the flow as needed. Later in the class we move on to longer pose holding, instead of just switching from one side to the next, we always return to a flow of chaturanga (low pushup), upward facing dog to downward dog, then change to other side. You can certainly just change sides as others flow through or just do a portion of the flow, for example just go back to down dog then change sides, skipping the low pushup and up dog. It is all customizable to fit just right! You just have to be willing. You also can’t care what it looks like. The true practice exists in your breath. Each pose is just another place to find your way back to your breath.