“The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.”
The Yoga I Practice and Teach: Vinyasa
Vinyasa, or “flow” yoga, has become very popular in the United States, so when classes are described this way, the meaning is not always clear. For this reason, I’d like to explain what and how I teach.
The bulk of my training was focused on vinyasa krama, or intentional movement linked with breath, as taught by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and others. This training strongly informs how I teach vinyasa yoga. In my classes, special attention is paid to maintaining continuous, long inhalations and exhalations while performing each posture and transitioning from one pose to the next. Postural alignment instruction is incorporated to support understanding and safe practice of asana (yoga postures), with the understanding that each physical body is unique and you must be the final judge of what feels best in your body. I offer some challenging poses (always with less intense options), but avoid making “yoga tricks” the focus of my classes. (If you want to learn one-armed handstand on your fingertips, I am not the teacher for you.) Some instructors teach toward a “peak pose”, which is a valid way of teaching, but I tend to aim for a balanced practice geared to the group of students that show up in the room. The pace is slower and more deliberate than many classes, but I’ve been told it’s not easier (“deceptively challenging” is how one long-time student described my classes). My pace and focus on technique are similar to–and one day, maybe as masterful!– as Jason Crandell‘s style.
Usually, there is music in my classes, but it is not the focus of class. It’s intended to provide a steady rhythm to help you focus on your breath. Occasionally, I chant or play harmonium in class. Sometimes I provide an introduction or basic lesson on a topic from yoga philosophy, usually drawn from the Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali or The Bhagavad Gita.
My intention is that you walk out of class feeling connected, clear, and calm, ready to take on the next part of your day with ease. All levels, including beginners, welcome.