CURRENT PUBLIC CLASS SCHEDULE • ALL LEVELS WELCOME
Mondays 9:30-10:45am Hatha Flow • Body Bliss Yoga
Saturdays 9-10am Vinyasa • Body Bliss Yoga
Serving the SW Washington (Vancouver, Camas, Washougal) and Portland, Oregon communities.
Private lessons for individuals and classes for business/organizations, either in person or via skype, are available upon request.
One translation of “hatha” is force (referring to energy exertion for deep transformation). I relate this to the heat and discipline, or tapas, we build in our bodies during class. Typically, when practicing in a hatha style, poses are held for a number of breaths or minutes. Time and attention is given to alignment, making adjustments when needed and taking deep breaths within the asana. We are able to build better habits of enter, sustaining, and exiting a pose in a healthy way. Allowing things to slow down does not equate to things being easier, as some people describe hatha yoga. Holding poses often requires a lot of strength and balance. Holding poses also gives our minds a chance to wander and chatter, which gives us a chance to notice what thought patterns we have and then to practice bringing the mind back to the present moment over and over via breath awareness (which is a direct aspect of meditation practice… in fact, I like to think of each asana as a mini-meditation). Another translation of hatha is “ha” = sun and “tha” = moon. This relates to balancing the assertive and receptive qualities of ourselves, and also putting equal emphasis/awareness/acceptance on the light and dark aspects that make us a real whole person.
Emphasis is placed on the particular series or order of asanas and flowing them together (generally more swiftly than hatha) in connection with the breath. Once correct alignment, adequate strength, and familiarity with the asanas has been achieved, vinyasa offers a wonderful companion practice to hatha. Practitioners seek stillness of mind within/amidst the flow, and moving more swiftly can support healthy blood circulation to all parts of the body and lubricate the joints well.
Personal observation – I notice many Americans relate to the “work-out-like” aspects of vinyasa as it keeps the body moving and makes it seem like “we’re getting a lot done” by cycling through many asanas. However, I believe yoga is meant to help balance us in both mind and body and I encourage students not to shy away from a hatha class because it is “too slow” (most of us need more slow to balance our busy busy lives!). It is important to invest in correct alignment to allow for a lifetime of practice. There is also great benefit to giving ourselves time to really listen to what goes on in our minds when we come face to face with a challenging asana, or when we feel “bored.” Uncovering the roots of our thought-habits is the first step to transforming them into more helpful energy. On the flip side, if one is feeling lethargic or “stuck” and is already confident with mindfulness and asana alignment, a vinyasa practice could be just the thing to help propel us in a better direction! A well sequenced vinyasa class, really connects us to the rhythm of our bodies, circulation & breath.
In truth, we are all students and we are all teachers. Often the greatest teacher is right there inside of us, if we can open the pathways of clear observation. This the true gift that yoga offers.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. email@example.com