What are the benefits of practising Vinyasa Flow Yoga?

The benefits of Vinyasa Flow are that with increasing the heart rate and systematically warming up the body organically, we can focus on transitions and movement increasing our flexibility and strength. The effects of cardiovascular exercise are well known and documented but yoga has the added advantage of tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system as well.

The emphasis on our breath allows us to turn our intention inward, finding the power it has over our state of mind and wellbeing. When we are anxious or nervous, we naturally hold our breath and this in turn raises our cortisol (stress hormone) level which sends a signal to our brain that we are doing something wrong and uncomfortable. Yoga, and working with slowing down the breath, allows our body to feel we are doing something natural and this brings with it a sense of being able to overcome physical and mental obstacles. It has proven to relieve stress and anxiety as well as offering an increased sense of inner calm.

Balancing postures (asana) can be instrumental in preventing the onset of osteoporosis which currently affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men. As we age, this ratio increases, from 30% of post-menopausal women to 70% by age 80. Unfortunately, bone density loss is part of the ageing process and starts as early as our mid 20s to 30s. Regular exercise and ‘stressing’ of the sites where muscles join to bone can strengthen these areas by increasing the uptake of calcium preventing weakening of the bone which can result in fractures.


What are the benefits of practising Yin Yoga?

The advantage of practising Yin yoga when the muscles are cold is that the stress can go deeper, targeting the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. If the muscles are warm, the muscles would take up the stretch which is why we stretch after any Yang or cardiovascular exercise. This is essential to stop the muscle going into spasm and actually feels good! With Yin, we are looking to stress the deeper network of our body, so this is why we do not practise a strong Yang exercise beforehand.

The poses are held statically for a period of time to allow the less elastic nature of these tissues to elongate. This increases our range of motion and flexibility, reduces fixation of the joints which happens when we do the same repetitive movements throughout our day. Have you ever heard your joints ‘pop’ or ‘crack’? Generally this can either be a release of gas, friction or fixation. The latter is what we want to target with our Yin yoga practise. If we do not, over a long period of time this can cause fusion of the joints, resulting in a permanent loss of mobility.


Who can practise Vinyasa Flow Yoga?

A classic misconception of yoga is that you need to be flexible to begin with to attend a class – this is nonsense. If you’re inflexible you need yoga. Conversely, if you are flexible, you need yoga to help strengthen the muscles and joints to prevent painful hyperextension. For athletes, it can complement your training schedules working on lengthening the muscles used in high-impact exercises.

For those of you with a sedentary work environment, you too need yoga. It will help counteract the effect on the body of sitting down for long periods and improve your range of motion and flexibility.

Moving your body in ways it doesn’t usually move can honestly be wonderfully liberating. Yoga really is for everyone!

If you have serious health concerns such as previous surgery, epilepsy, high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases, it is advisable to speak to a health care professional before attending a class.


Who can practise Yin Yoga?

Everyone! The fantastic nature of this class allows you to be your ultimate teacher. I can only offer advice as a guide but it’s up to you to find where the pose serves you best. It really does not matter what the pose looks like, it’s all about how it feels. Yin yoga is about resolving to be still and present. If you lead a very hectic lifestyle, Yin yoga is for you. Especially those that train the body and are used to strong practises, you will truly appreciate allowing a place for this style of yoga. The challenge is just accepting to be still.

If you feel very inflexible due to a sedentary lifestyle, again Yin yoga will benefit you too. Although in this instance I would also implore you to consider adding a more active Yang practise into your week as well. For those who have trouble sleeping, practising Yin yoga in the evening has proven to calm the mind before sleep.

Being pregnant is not a contradiction for this class as we can modify poses to suit you at your stage. It can have a tremendous effect on the energy body. However, as the hormone Relaxin is prevalent particularly in the first trimester, you may find your connective tissues are softer allowing you to move deeper into the poses. It is recommended not to start experimenting with your new found flexibility but stay closer to where your edge was pre-pregnancy.

If you have serious health concerns such as previous surgery, epilepsy, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, it is advisable to speak to a health care professional before attending a class.


What do I bring to a Vinyasa Flow Class?

A mat, these are available to purchase from me at cost price.

A drink would be advisable as you will get hot.

Blocks and a strap, these can assist us in our practise but aren’t essential. I have some that I can lend to you.

Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and that can stretch, Bare feet is preferable, socks are not recommended unless in special circumstances.

Warm clothing or a blanket, as you will cool down quickly during the final relaxation.


What do I bring to a Yin Yoga Class?

A mat, these are available to purchase from me at cost price.

Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and that can stretch, but wear more layers than you would wear to a dynamic Yang style class.

Blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets and cushions are all beneficial to assist us in our practise. More so in this style of yoga in order to ensure we are comfortable so we can hold the poses for longer. I can lend these if you do not have them already.

Feel free to bring a drink with you.

Please bring extra warm clothing or a blanket for the final relaxation.


What happens at a Vinyasa Flow Class?

It is advisable to arrive around 5 minutes before the class is due to start; this allows you to settle into your space before the practise begins.

We will begin in either a seated meditation or savasana to allow us to prepare for our practise.

A short Pranayama (breath work) will follow to remind us to utilise this in our asana practise.

Asana practise will comprise a newly sequenced flow based around standing postures including sun salutations, balancing postures, back bends, arm balances, inversions; strengthening and lengthening all the muscle groups. We will include seated, twisting and supine asana to fully engage the body.

Relaxing in our savasana with a little Yoga Nidra will close our practise.

You will leave this class feeling fully energised with increased clarity and mental focus.


What happens at a Yin Yoga Class?

It is advisable to arrive around 5 minutes before the class is due to start; this allows you to settle into your space before the practise begins.

We will begin in either a seated meditation or savasana to allow us to prepare for our practise.

A short Pranayama (breath work) follows to remind us to utilise this in our practise.

Our physical practise will comprise a newly sequenced class based around 5-6 postures that will target a different area of our body each week. These classes will be themed around a central purpose to completely balance and allow us to open our body mindfully.

Relaxing in our savasana with a little Yoga Nidra will close our practise. 

You will leave this class with a feeling of heightened awareness and a renewed openness to your body as you move. The breath will be peaceful, in a truly meditative state and with this you will realise an appreciation for your new quieter mindset and a guaranteed good night sleep!


How has Covid-19 affected yoga classes?

Currently we are allowed to practise yoga indoors as long as we adhere to some guidelines that have been proposed by the government. I have done a risk assessment of all the venues I teach at and ensured there is adequate space to allow for social distancing. This does mean that our class numbers are more intimate, but I think that works in our favour!

Please observe social distancing outside the venue if you arrive early. Hand sanitiser is provided at the door, please use this on entering the building. 

I no longer have mats to lend out, but I do keep some new mats in stock that you can purchase from me at my discounted, cost price. The use of props, especially in Yin is essential so I have acquired more so I can lend these out and disinfect in between classes. However, during the class we can no longer share props with other yogis, we must keep these in our socially distanced space.

Hands-on adjustments are not appropriate in the current climate, but I can still offer cues for you to adjust your own alignment. This is one of the main benefits of attending a class in person so we can still work on this.

Cash is still accepted as payment for classes if that’s your preferred method of payment. Or please use the payment booking option on the website.

And finally, it goes without saying if you are feeling unwell or are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms, please do not attend the class. My cancellation policy is 24-hours notice in order to allow another yogi to practise instead, but if this is unavoidable please get in touch and we’ll work something out. 


Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. I look forward to welcoming you on the mat soon.