CLASS LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS

Level 1 - Beginning or Basic Classes
Suitable for beginning students. Increase body awareness, learn basic postures, yogic breathing (3-part breath, ujjayi breathing, etc) and proper alignment. Designed for students who are brand new to yoga as well as more experienced students who want a gentler class.

Level 2 - Advanced Beginning Classes
These classes are suitable for those with at least 6 months of regular yoga practice. Students learn how to sequence breath and movements. Students should have a solid foundation in ujjayi breathing and basic standing postures. In these classes, students will learn more challenging postures, different forms of salutations (namaskara), and breathing techniques. Class pace will be faster than Level 1.

Level 3 - Intermediate Classes
These classes are for those who have a solid foundation in standing postures, namaskara (salutations), and yogic breathing. These classes emphasize strength, stamina, and mindfulness. In these classes, students begin to work in intermediate poses, deeper backbends and inversions. Pace can be faster than Level 2.

Level 4 - Advanced Classes
These classes are designed for those who have a solid foundation in standing postures, namaksara, and yogic breathing. These classes emphasize strength, stamina, and mindfulness. Students work in more advanced poses, backbends, arm balances, and inversions. Pace faster than level 3.

Level 5 - Most Advanced Classes
Designed for students with a solid foundation through level 4. In these classes, students will work in more challenging postures, including deeper backbends (drop-backs, etc), inversion variations, arm balance variations, and at a faster-paced flow with fewer pauses for explanation.

NOTE: No beginning-level students in Level 2, 3, 4, 5 classes unless specified that level 1 is appropriate.

If you are unsure which class is appropriate for you, start at an easier level and see how you feel in the class before trying a more difficult class.

Let’s keep in mind the internal aspects of our practice as well:

“The question of what constitutes a practice, and in particular an “advanced” practice, becomes simple if we define advanced as any practice that *brings us back toward ourself.* In this definition, what is advanced has no outward form. It cannot be measured through an ability or inability to do difficult postures or challenging breathing exercises; these are only the outer trappings. While it is possible to attain deep realization through such practices, being able to do advanced practices is not necessarily any evidence of such realizations.”

– Donna Farhi, Bringing Yoga to Life

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CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

BEGINNING YOGA - These hatha yoga classes are perfect for those who are new to yoga, while also offering a gentle alternative to those wanting a more relaxing pace. We start with basic yoga breathing and warm-ups, then move into yoga postures (asana) such as Sun Salutations, Moon Salutations, standing poses, balancing poses, which are demonstrated and explained in detail with a focus on proper alignment and ease and understanding the benefits of the poses. We also practice and explore partner yoga, yoga breathing (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). There is time to ask questions as needed. Beginners to yoga should start with this class.

VINYASA FLOW - A free-flowing blend of dynamic and alignment- based hatha yoga, combining breath and movement with a variety of sequences of postures. Vinyasa is from the Sanskrit vi ?”in a special way,” and nyasa “to place.” Literally, “to place in a special way.” Vinyasa is often translated as “flow” and is a popular and relatively new form of Hatha Yoga, born from the stream that originated with Sri T. Krishnamacharya and passed down to his students, who went on to develop their own styles of yoga such as Iyengar, Viniyoga, and Ashtanga. Vinyasa incorporates elements of each of those styles and other influences in a fluid, flowing movement that links one yoga posture to another like a dance. The concept of “flow” also pertains to the breath, as the flow is guided by the rhythm of the inhalation and exhalation, coordinating each movement with each breath. In this way, the body/mind/spirit are yoked in a dynamic interplay of breath and movement, stillness and motion. We also practice and explore partner yoga, yoga breathing (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). We recommend that beginners to yoga take Beginning classes for 6 months before trying the Flow classes, depending on athletic ability and flexibility. These classes are not set sequences, but rather a spontaneous, evolving sequence of poses that differs with each class. Prepare to sweat, have fun, and grow!

COMMUNITY YOGA–Wednesday 10:30am-12:00pm. This is a regular, fun, vinyasa class taught by our head teacher (not by student trainees) offered at a discounted rate (1000 yen per person, anytime) as Karma Yoga, or SEVA (community service) to offer all the chance to practice yoga regardless of their financial situation. All proceeds from this class are donated to various charities, both local and international. Do your yoga for others, and feel good inside and out.
Note: Please pay with exact change of 1000yen notes. We cannot accept larger bills or coins. This class we’d offered as a community service for charity. Your cooperation is appreciated.

RESTORATIVE YOGA - These classes focus on releasing deep tension and restoring energy and balance through a series of simple, supported Hatha yoga postures held for longer periods of time. These poses stretch the connective tissues and soften the joints, stimulating powerful meridians in the body and offering a good compliment to the more dynamic styles of yoga and more athletic workouts. Drop into a deeply relaxing space by letting go of tension in these fully supported and restorative postures, originated by Sri BKS Iyengar and designed by Judith Lasater, Ph.D. to help you regain the equilibrium of your body/spirit and allow deep surrender and incredible opening. Relax and Renew! Each class practices about 15 postures held for long periods of time, fully supported by blankets, bolsters and props. Pranayama (breathing) is explored. Perfect for beginners and those recovering from injuries. All levels of students are welcome.

ASHTANGA YOGA - This is a branch of yoga reconstructed from the Yoga Korunta, a thousand-year-old manuscript of verses on Hatha yoga written on palm leaves discovered in the 1930s by yoga master Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and his then -student, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who translated the manuscript. Ashtanga Yoga synchronizes a set sequence of asana (yoga postures), pranayama (yogic breathing) and the practice of mula and uddiyana bandhas (energy locks) to produce a purifying internal heat. As taught by Jois and others, there are originally six sequences of postures in Ashtanga Yoga, though most people only practice a portion of the Primary series. The poses are done in rapid succession, making Ashtanga Yoga a flowing and vigorous workout. Because of its sequential nature, it is also perfect for using as a home practice or when on vacation. This class is not recommended for beginners. Beginners should try Ashtanga Basics for at least 6 months before taking this class.

ASHTANGA BASICS - This class will introduce students to the basics of the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga system using a modified version of the Primary Series, up to Boat Pose. Students will be introduced to Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath, which guides the Ashtanga practice) and will be guided through the first part of the Primary Series in a detailed, supportive manner, focusing on proper alignment and coordinating breath with movement. Seated poses will also be taught, with shoulderstand and final relaxation as well. For more information about Ashtanga Yoga, please see that class description. This class is recommended for beginners to yoga who want an energizing practice.

SIVANANDA YOGA -  Sivananda Yoga was founded by Swami Sivananda, one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the 20th century.  His disciple Swami Vishnudevananda came to the West to bring the teachings of yoga in 1957. A Sivananda Yoga class is a traditional, slow paced, meditative class that helps encourage proper breathing, flexibility, strength and vitality in the body while calming the mind. Because Yoga is a spiritual system with a physical component, this non-competitive approach helps the practitioner gain much more than just a healthy body. A typical open level class includes pranayama (breathing exercises), warm-ups including Sun Salutations, 12 basic asanas (yoga postures)with relaxation between poses, and final deep relaxation.  For more information about this style, please see: www.sivananda.org. This is a mixed-level class. Total beginners are welcome, as are more advanced practitioners. The teacher will modify the poses to suit your level.

HATHA YOGA - Hatha means “sun and moon.” In Sanskrit, ha means “sun” and tha means ” moon,” representing the pingala nadi (right or sun channel) and ida nadi (left or moon channel). Practicing yoga brings harmony and inner balance into our lives by bringing our prana from the right and left channels into our sushumna nadi, or central channel. Thus, “union” of the Sun and the Moon, or Sun and Moon Yoga. This class will focus on deepening your practice and creating inner balance by working in the poses with attention to alignment, breathing, body awareness and feeling. This class will also explore meditation, pranayama, and Vinyasa flow, helping students align their poses, while often holding poses for longer durations. More challenging poses like arm balances and inversions will be introduced as students progress. Perfect for those who wish to explore an evolving yet mindful yoga practice. This is a mixed-level class that will be adjusted according to the student’s needs. Beginners welcome.

YIN YOGA - Unlike active or Yang yoga (Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow), which focuses on strengthening muscles, Yin yoga is a slower, deeper practice of holding the postures for longer periods of time to stretch the connective tissues that form our joints. All the systems of the body–circulatory, nervous, musculo-skeletal, the digestive tract, and various organs, are sheathed in connective tissue. Yin Yoga is based on Meridian Theory, as developed by Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, in which we open up the energy lines or ” meridians” to improve the flow of energy in the body, and developed by Paul and Suzee Grilley and others. This class focuses on holding postures for a long time in areas that often get tight, such as the hips and lower back, using the breath to explore body sensations and invite deeper release. This class is suitable for all levels. Beginners welcome. Modifications given.

SLOW FLOW YOGA - Dynamic asana practice incorporate with circular, fluid motion. Warm-up the joints and move safely bringing awareness to alignment, subtle body and your energy. These are active “Yang” practice for all levels cultivating energy and stamina. Beginners welcome!

MATERNITY YOGA - Pregnant women will feel the connection with their baby, building the bond through Maternity yoga practice while learning breathing techniques that will connect their body and mind.
We’ll focus on gentle stretches, strengthening and relaxing for both body and mind with conscious breathing which will help students to feel healthy and prepared for the journey ahead.
We recommend that pregnant women practice yoga after the 16th week of their pregnancy, and consult their doctor or midwife to see if attending a maternity yoga class is suitable for their pregnancy.

WORKSHOPS/RETREATS - We are pleased to offer periodic workshops in a variety of subjects like yoga and creativity, creative writing, creating abundance, The Eight Limbs of Yoga, inversions, partner yoga, etc. See our “Workshops/Retreats” page for special announcements!

TEACHER TRAININGS - We are pleased to offer teacher training in Restorative Yoga, Fundamentals of Teaching Yoga (100 Hour) and more. Please see “Workshops/Retreats” page for more details and a schedule. Early enrollment is advised, as these classes fill up quickly. Offered periodically.