Sivananda Yoga is one of the most traditional forms of yoga - therefore it is probably quite different from the yoga you have seen advertised on the TV so let me tell you a bit more about what I do...
Kalindi Yoga's teachings are based on the philosophy of Raja Yoga - the yoga of controlling the mind. Every asana that is practiced is a way to learn to control the mind. We spend much of our day caught up in the stories that our mind tells us. We have hundreds of thousands of thoughts a day. Yoga helps us to control these thoughts and rather than allowing the mind to control us, we learn to control it. Yoga empowers us to make changes in our lives for the better. This all comes from practising physical asanas on the mat.
By practising physical asanas, yoga teaches us to allow the body to become still and relaxed. This then has the same effect on the mind. As we hold asanas and bring our awareness to how we are breathing, slowly, slowly the mind also begins to become quiet.
Yoga opens the body up allowing us to have a sense of freedom within the body. The freer the body feels, the lighter the mind feels. Yoga stretches out all the muscles in the body, builds strength throughout and is a gentle form of exercise with plenty of relaxation to heal the body. The practice of yoga gives the physical body so many benefits - strength, flexibility, cleansing of the internal organs and balance of the hormones. And these are just a few.
To achieve this takes practice. It does not happen over night and every time we practice, we train the mind just a little more each time. This is why it's a good idea to have a regular practice so we allow the new habit to be formed.
"I thought of you this morning during practice as I always remember how I love your lessons and how much I miss them! Your classes are my favourite ever and really helped my health, they suit my needs perfectly." - Chris
Sivananda Yoga has a set sequence (much like other forms of yoga such as Ashtanga, Iyengar etc). It starts with two breathing practices (known as pranayama) and moves on to the warm ups in the form of Sun Salutations (a flowing sequence of 12 asanas) and single and double leg raises.
After these initial warm ups for the breath and body, the class continues with a variety of asanas. Sivananda Yoga starts with the head and ends with the feet. So we start with inversions like headstand, shoulderstand, plough pose and move all the way through the body until we come to stand and finish with standing postures.