Yoga is more than a physical practice. With an emphasis on breath work and foundational postures, it opens the door to being more grounded, better connected with your body, mind and spirit, and more present with yourself.
What is it, and how can it help?
Almost everyone has heard of yoga and has some notion of what it is. Probably one of the most widespread practices in the world, yoga takes innumerable forms and there really is no authoritative way to define it other than to generally say it is a practice which aims to connect body, mind and spirit.
Yoga is most commonly known in the Western world for its physical postures, “asanas”, stretching exercises to build flexibility, strength, coordination, balance and stamina. While asana is a fundamental part of doing yoga, for it be something more than just a stretching exercise requires broadening the practice to venture more deeply inside and outside oneself.
Breathing, for example, is such a core component of being alive as a human and yet many of us have allowed our breathing to become far from optimal—and this can affect us not just on a physical level but mentally and spiritually too. Effective, adaptable breathing helps us live well and feel well. Asanas provide foundation for breathing practices, and mindful breathing helps us connect with the physical experience of being in our body.
What does it look like?
Breath-focused yoga is essentially regular Hatha yoga but with an emphasis on breath as a key element integrated into each yoga posture and the movements between them. The yoga I teach and guide you through is:
- is a practice, not a workout
- is gentle yet can still offer challenge
- avoids complex or highly finessed asanas in favour of traditional foundational postures which permit stability of the body
- harmonizes breathing with movement
- tends to be unhurried, though not plodding, and allow for time spent experiencing postures
Because I believe yoga is more than just the physical practice of asanas, sessions typically begin with a nod to intention, include one or more pranayama (breathing) techniques, and end with brief meditation.
Who Provides it?
Neil is a Yoga Alliance™ certified RYT-200™ yoga teacher. He completed the Teaching Hatha Yoga certificate at Sheridan College in Oakville, trained in-person by Sundeep Tyagi, Courtney Bruce & Joy Dorsey in a 16 month program consisting of 144 practical (asana) class hours and 144 theory (yoga history & philosophy) class hours. Read full bio.
How is It Accessed?
You can book a private class at the novice, beginner or intermediate level for 1-4 people, all of whom must be in the same social “bubble” or cluster. In consideration of COVID safety, no public classes will be offered in the foreseeable future.
™ The Yoga Alliance name, trademark(s) and logo(s) used herein are the intellectual property of Yoga Alliance.