If you have never done yoga before, this is your course. Learn about ocean-sounding breath, linking breath with movement, quieting your mind, and opening and strengthening your body. This course has six classes which build on each other. You might repeat the first class for many weeks. There’s no rush, and no need to move to the second session until you feel very comfortable with the first, and so on throughout the series. Take it slow, listen to your body, and enjoy the beginning of this amazing journey home to yourself.
Part 1 of the Straight-Up Beginners Series. This is a sequence that is suited for people who have never done yoga. A short conversation about the breath, and a very slow, foundational class with lots of alignment. If you are just getting started, try to do this class at least three times the first week. If you can do four, even better. Five, you are starting to earn some good karma points. Start where you are and make it about breathing deeply. Rest whenever you would like. Welcome to the yoga party. It is about time you got here ;)
Building on Part 1, in this class we focus on the breath, linking the breath with the movement, and exploring how inhales happen during poses of extension and expansion, and exhales happen during movements of contraction. The breath is always there to support the pose. We break down Surya Namaskar A and B, and the building blocks along the way. We do some nice hip-opening and also build strength in the low back as we start to explore some deeper backbends. Continue with Part 2 until you feel you've mastered all the components, practicing at least three days a week if possible. Welcome to the party, yogi.
In this class we build on parts I & II, playing with half-salutes and Series A, and then exploring the classic "externally rotated poses", including Warrior II, Extended Side Angle, and Triangle Pose. We do some different backbends and connect to the core, before we do some nice hip and hamstring opening. A sweet Shavasana is the reward for all your good work! (Along with a quiet mind and an open heart.)
In this class we start to put it all together, exploring the transitions from "neutral" poses like Warrior I to "externally rotated" poses like Warrior II. These are transitions you'll flow through when you begin to take moderate, level 2 or Mixed Levels classes, but the transitions are just as important as the poses. Moving from one to the other safely and consciously, and understanding what's happening in your body as you do that helps you to build a strong foundation and feel confident as you up-level your practice. Namaste, yogis!
In this class, we start to put it all together. Make sure you feel you've mastered parts 1-4. This is a slow flow where we incorporate what we've learned about neutral and externally rotated poses, and we move from one to the other safely and consciously. Backbends, core strengthening, hip openers, and some love for the hamstrings when we get to the floor. As always, make it about breathing deeply, and connecting to your breath. Go at a pace that feels right for you, and rest at any time. As you up-level your practice, please don't forget the foundation of compassion for yourself. Awareness of sensation. Deep breathing. That's the real yoga!
This is the last installment of the series, as we approach the fundamentals of safe twists workshop-style. We build enough heat to explore twisting, to understand the sacrum and the importance of keeping your pelvis stable. A block would be a great prop if you have one handy. Once you feel you've mastered Parts 1-6, you are ready to start exploring other Basic, Moderate, Level 2 and Mixed Level Classes on the site. Go at a pace that feels right for you, and continue to make conscious breathing and compassion for yourself the foundation of every practice! Congratulations, yogis :)