What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice rooted in Indian philosophy, but is practiced by people all over the world. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice aimed at bringing inner peace and wellness. At IOME, we are focusing on the physical side of yoga (asanas = postures) while integrating some meditation and breathwork with our practice as well. Anyone wanting to explore the practice of yoga can experience benefits regardless of religious affiliation or physical capabilities (aka you don't need to be flexible to join!)
What is the difference between Hatha and Vinyasa?
Vinyasa style yoga emphasizes smooth transitions between poses and tends to be at a faster pace. In a Vinyasa class, focus is put on linking breath to movement, inhaling and exhaling to get into and out of each pose. The Vinyasa style yoga we will be practicing at IOME will be an Ashtanga-based Vinyasa.
1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesday of the month will be a Vinyasa flow.
Hatha yoga is sometimes called the "yoga of force" and emphasis is placed on mastering the body. Hatha style yoga is generally practiced at a slower pace at vinyasa (but not as slow as Yin or Restorative), and focuses more on controlled movement, breath, and stretching.
2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month will be a Hatha flow.
All classes are all levels, beginners are always welcome to both types of classes! Classes limited to 10 participants.
What are the benefits of doing yoga regularly?
According to John Hopkins Medicine:
1. Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility.
Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength.
2. Yoga helps with back pain relief.
Yoga is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.
3. Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms.
Gentle yoga has been shown to ease some of the discomfort of tender, swollen joints for people with arthritis, according to a Johns Hopkins review of 11 recent studies.
4. Yoga benefits heart health.
Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.
5. Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better.
Research shows that a consistent bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.
6. Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods.
You may feel increased mental and physical energy, a boost in alertness and enthusiasm, and fewer negative feelings after getting into a routine of practicing yoga.
7. Yoga helps you manage stress.
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
8. Yoga connects you with a supportive community.
Participating in yoga classes can ease loneliness and provide an environment for group healing and support. Even during one-on-one sessions loneliness is reduced as one is acknowledged as a unique individual, being listened to and participating in the creation of a personalized yoga plan.
9. Yoga promotes better self-care.
Read more at John Hopkins Medicine HERE.
How do I prepare for a yoga class?
- Speak with your physician about any health concerns before doing yoga at any studio.
- What to bring
- Yoga mat. We will have limited extras available. Reach out to Ashley if you do not have a mat already.
- Water bottle. Yoga can make you sweat! Make sure to bring a water bottle and stay hydrated during the class.
- Any props that you might like to use. We will have limited blocks, straps, and bolsters available, but there will not be enough for everyone.
- An open mind and self compassion. Yoga (and any physical exercise) can sometimes bring up emotions we aren't actively dealing with, so make sure to be gentle with yourself and give yourself grace with wherever you are at in your practice. :)
- What to do before class
- Get there 15 minutes early. You will need some time to set up and get settled before class begins. Coming in late can make you feel anxious and also disrupt others that are trying to get into the "yoga mood".
- Sign a waiver. You should have been prompted to sign a waiver virtually when you signed up for class, but if you didn't, check in with Ashley beforehand to sign a paper copy.
- Let Ashley know if you have any injuries or concerns with any yoga poses. We will help you to modify poses that may not currently resonate with you or your body.
- Be still. After setting up your mat, take some time to take a couple deep breaths and ground yourself before practice begins.
- What to do afterwards
- Take your time packing up. You are welcome to meditate or relax for a little while after class, don't feel like you have to rush out!
- Debrief with Ashley. Let her know if you have any questions about class or about yoga in general. Feedback about what you enjoyed or didn't enjoy is also always welcome!
- Enjoy your post-yoga glow!