Yesterday Sally laid out some truly insightful definitions of some different styles of yoga. Here she concludes this fascinating explanation:
Vanda Scaravelli is an Italian teacher who was trained by B.K.S Iyengar, she has a very different approach to yoga than her peers.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
With amazing awareness of physics and how the body is affected by its surrounding environment, Scaravelli’s method works on the premise that all movement and tensions originate from the spine and once we both relax and strengthen the spine by working with it, we will feel renewed energy and ease within the body.
A very slow, analytical and thoughtful approach to yoga that helps you to move with ease.
This mystical style of yoga was brought to the west in the 1960s by Yogi Bhajan, it’s a very spiritual approach that uses chanting and ‘kriyas ‘ to cleanse the mind and body.
The kriyas are positions that are held for several minutes whilst a strong breathing technique is practiced. The kriya and dynamic breathing techniques can vary depending on what the practitioner wants to focus on.
The thinking behind this approach is that your ‘Kundalini’ (powerful energy from the base of your spine) will eventually be released to work its way through the chakras (emotional centres), ultimately bringing you joy and enlightenment.
Kundalini is not for those who simply want a physical workout: it’s for those want to work on a deep spiritual level.
Tips to remember when starting a yoga class:
Take your time. It’s always best to start in a beginner’s class so you learn the basics and are much less likely to injure yourself.
If you are challenged in the flexibility department, going to an intermediate or advanced class is not only going to hurt you, but you won’t enjoy it. As with anything, learn the foundations before building your yoga practice.
Hands to Feet Pose Sanskrit Translation:
This ‘asana’ is perfect for stretching the hamstrings and glutes and will assist your flexibility and your recovery. Stand with the feet hip-width apart and parallel with each other.
Place the hands on the hips and as you exhale, fold forwards by extending from the lumbar spine so you are folding from the waist and feel extension through the spine.
Take hold of the big toes so your first two fingers are between the big toe and second toe. Now inhale and lift the upper body away from the legs so the arms straighten and then exhale and fold down completely. Contract the quadriceps so the hamstrings lengthen more. Relax your neck and breathe.
As above but place the hands under the feet so the fingers are pointing towards the heels and the balls of the feet are in the palms of the hands. Gently pull the upper body down towards the legs so the elbows bend a little. By placing the hands under the feet the stretch shifts to the lower legs and is excellent for stretching the gastrocnemius (large calf muscle).
Keep the legs strong by contracting the quadriceps. Increase the forward bend by gently pulling with the arms so the upper body moves closers to the thighs. Move the shoulders upwards, away from the ears. Tilt the pelvis forwards, so when you are in the forward bend the end of the tail-bone is moving up toward the sky.