Yoga is a body-mind exercise
Alex teaches two classes per week:
Saturday – London Road 10.45am
Thursday – At Nuffield Gym (Members only)
To book London Road classes please follow the link.
What do you need to come along to yoga?
Come along to yoga if you are able to comfortably bend both forward and backward, bear weight through you’re wrists and feel well in yourself. Bring a drink and flexible long-sleeved clothing.
About Alex’s approach
Postural Yoga is a western adaption of an Indian health and relaxation system that focuses on strengthening and balancing the body and nervous system thereby calming the mind using the postures and yoga breathing regulation techniques.
Within class participants will be taken through a slow warm-up where the spine will be mobilized, the muscles of the inner and outer core will be warmed and stimulated. The class will then perform two or three rounds of Sun Salutations, a form of vinyasa yoga sequence where the postures are sequenced to fit together in an order that alternately lengthens and contracts the spine and body. After this, the class moves into the phase of standing postures where gravity is used to strengthen and lengthen the body before transitioning down onto the floor for seated postures, twists, balances and inversions.
Throughout the practice, attention is drawn towards the control of the breath and the awareness of the bodies sensations.
In postural yoga, the act of breathing is used as an anchor to encourage the mind to stay in the moment, rather than entertain future or past thoughts.
About Stretching and yoga
Often people often say, “I can’t do yoga I am not flexible”, or “yoga is just stretching”.
In one sense postural yoga is about stretching, many of the poses involve the lengthening of tissues under the pull of gravity combined with body weight, into positions that require attention to maintain. Imagine walking a tight rope over a shark tank, your attention would be focused completely upon the current moment, allowing the often judgemental busy mind some rest.
Postural yoga works your balance, twists, bends and uses more-often-than-not a lot of strengthening. Without a doubt, if your goal is to get fit then running (if you are not injured), resistance, circuits or cycling will get you, fitter and faster.
How is postural yoga different.
Why would you practice postural yoga? The flip side of not being so good for fitness or strengthening is the subtleness of yoga, where the poses are performed quite slowly allowing you to tune more into how you feel.
As a society, we can exist too much in our heads. The action of becoming aware of how we feel, moderates the operation of our emotional brain that acts as a watchtower and alarm signal for danger. Yoga’s slow difficult positions require us to tune into how we feel that calms our emotional brain’s seeking and preparing for danger.
An area of our mid brain called the Basal Ganglia regulates movements, situated close to an area called the Amygdala that serves as our danger sensor, and like some smoke alarms they can go off when we burn toast rather than when the house is on fire, yoga then accesses the Basal Ganglia by using difficult movements that helps down regulate the Amygdala and relaxing us which some yogis called blissed.
More technically the action of loading myofascial tissues, (a big word for muscles and connective tissues that support the muscles), whilst the muscles are contracting and exhaling deeply, creates a phenomenon known as a Pandiculation. We see animals pandiculating as they stretch. Research indicates that pandiculations are very good for our posture, flexibility, and strength.
Tom Meyers the Anatomy Trains author links yoga postures to his connective tissues lines or meridians. The suggestion here is that postural yoga could help unwind our injured and fatigued bodies. See an article by Tom Myers