All Level Yoga
Our All Level classes at the Yoga Space are suitable for those with any level of knowledge about yoga, from beginner to advanced. Our highly trained instructors are able to lead fulfilling classes for everyone in attendance, whether it's your first class, your fiftieth class or your five-hundredth. Our cues for modification of asanas (poses) will help those with injuries or other limitations to be safe in their practice while taking the more experiences practitioners into deeper variations. The challenge here is to listen to your body and do what you are able to do, not what your classmates are able to do. All Level classes are idea for all ages and fitness levels. Your level is somewhere within!
Beginner yoga is a gentle, basic classes with no flow between poses.It will be slow-paced stretching class with some simple breathing exercises. This is a good place to learn relaxation techniques, beginner poses and become comfortable with yoga.
Intermediate Yoga is ideal for those who have practiced yoga for long enough to already be familiar with the asanas (poses). The class usually focuses on a specific intention: opening hips, backbending, core strengthening or inversions are some examples. Often times instructions for Pranayama or a guided meditation are given.
Our Yoga Flow classes offer the opportunity for a challenging practice. We recommend that you have a solid yoga practice in place or that you are in good physical condition to attend the Yoga Flow classes. The classes are flow-based, but may focus on a series of asanas (poses) to reach a climactic asana, such as arm balances, backbends or splits. Modifications and variations for asanas are available.
Restorative classes are usually very relaxing and are a good complement to more active practices. The teacher will arrange for the necessary props to be available to you. The lights may be dimmed and if it is chilly, you may be covered with a blanket since you will not be warming up the body the way you would be in a regular class. After you are set up in a pose with all your props, you will hold the pose for an extended period, often up to ten to twenty minutes. Although you are supported, you will definitely still feel the stretch. It's a relaxing style of practice that leaves you feeling open and refreshed.
Yin Yoga: A Calming Experience
Yin Yoga at The Yoga Space is a non-heated, slow-paced style of yoga in which postures, known as "asanas" are held for extended periods. We typically ask you to hold each posture for between five and eight minutes. This spiritual, meditative style of yoga in Kerrville is beneficial for recovery after injury, pain management and enhancing the mind-body connection. While more active yang styles, such as vinyasa yoga, focus on body sculpt, strengthening and toning, yin is the opposite. Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues, known as the fascia, within the body. This non-heated, meditation style helps regulate energy flow throughout the body.
Yin Yoga Poses
During your Yin Yoga class at The Yoga Space, you will find that most yin poses are seated or reclined postures. You will follow a meditative approach rather than a physical approach. The goal during practice is not to body sculpt, but to release tension from the fascia. Meditation is an important component to this practice. You might initially struggle with sitting still and working through feelings and sensations that come up during each posture, with the help of your The Yoga Space instructor you can get the hang of it. Cultivating a meditative mindset is important for finding spiritual stillness, harmony and balance.
Yin teaches you to truly sit still and listen to your body. In our high-stress, high-demand lives, it can be difficult to find moments of stillness and surrender. In yin practice is the perfect time to come into one's own body and mind, accept what is, and simply learn to be. This spiritual practice is important for working through not only physical limitations, but also past emotional traumas. Emotional pain that has been locked away within the body resurfaces. For this reason, yin postures that take place during a The Yoga Space class are often included as part of yoga therapy for individuals who have suffered deep emotional traumas such as rape or the loss of a loved one.
Benefits of Yin Yoga
Benefits of a non-heated yin practice at The Yoga Space in Kerrville include: regulating energy levels in the body; calming and balancing the mind and body; increasing mobility, especially in the joints and hips; lower stress levels; and faster recovery from injury. Releasing tension from the fascia is important not only for movement, stamina and flexibility, but also achieving greater relaxation. Once you get into a regular practice, you are able to sit still longer for meditation and find the practice of meditating more rewarding and calming. Our instructors will be with you every step of the way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your yin yoga class.
You will also find that practicing non-heated yin yoga once a week can significantly improve your yang yoga practice at The Yoga Space, such as vinyasa and Bikram. Like the yin/yang symbol, both practices are essential to a whole, healthy and spiritual individual.
Meditation Yoga Heals Your Body and Mind
While many Western yoga practices focus on the physicality of yoga, meditation is an equally important part of practice. At The Yoga Space, in addition to building strength and flexibility, we believe that yoga is an important mind-body therapy that brings stillness and mindfulness to the body. We include a short period for meditation at the beginning and end of our yoga classes. Recovery yoga and other therapeutic styles that focus on healing rather than simply exercise offer the greatest meditative benefits and increased focus, but you can incorporate meditation into most of our yoga classes. While you do not need to formally meditate in order to practice yoga at The Yoga Space, nor do you need to practice yoga in order to meditate, the two practices frequently go hand-in-hand.
How Meditation Brings About a Mind-Body Connection
According to ancient Yogic philosophy, the practice of yoga will reveal the interconnectedness of every living thing. Meditation is the experience of this union, an elevated state of consciousness in which stillness occurs by bringing the mind, body and senses into balance. During the meditation sessions at The Yoga Space, we help you achieve a state where the nervous system is fully relaxed. We guide you in the yogic tradition, which believes meditation is a time to let go of cravings for things that can never be fully met, such as pleasure and security, and to surrender these desires. In the yogic context, meditation is a time to give up these desires and simply sit in stillness. Scientific research shows that profound physiological effects occur during meditation, causing an actual shift in the brain’s processes.
When you are first beginning a meditation practice, the simple act of sitting still can be incredibly challenging for you. Given the nature of our busy, stressful lives, quieting the mind can be very difficult. At The Yoga Space, we understand that quieting your inner chatter is easier said than done. This is why our yoga classes end with a period of meditation. The physical exercise of practicing different yoga postures helps to link breath with movement and prepare the mind for stillness and meditation -- your yoga class will prepare you for the meditation. With practice, and the help of your instructor, we can help you achieve increased focus.
You can practice meditation outside of your The Yoga Space therapeutic recovery yoga class. If you are new to meditating but would like to cultivate a regular meditation routine, we recommend sitting in stillness five minutes upon waking each morning and five minutes before bed each evening. Imagine a blank screen. As words, ideas or images appear before the screen, acknowledge their presence and then file them away. Continually return to the blank screen in your mind, which represents a place of peace, calm and no desire. One of our yoga instructors would be happy to work with you to tweak your technique until you are able to find a truly serene state of mind.
Gentle Yoga is a class that provides all of the transformative benefits of yoga in a slower pace with a focus on increasing flexibility, releasing tension and improving strength. Yoga props such as blankets, blocks, bolsters, and straps are often used for safe practice, which allows the body to fully achieve each pose comfortably. The movement is slow, each movement is linked with breath, and postures are entered gradually – moving in and out of the pose dynamically, and then finding a static position to hold which enhances bone strength. Dynamic gentle movements protect and nurture the joints, muscles and connective tissues. A gentle exploration of range of motion allows each person to determine their level of flexibility and proceed in the practice with an inward focus. Balancing postures are utilized as well as various movements to integrate the right and left side of the brain. The goal is to move away from the busy, fast pace of our lives into a practice that is gentler, mindful and conscious, while receiving the abundant benefits of yoga.
This class is appropriate for all levels, not just beginners.
Bhakti yoga is classically defined as the path of devotion, and it's often referred to as the yoga of love. Bhakti is one of the three primary paths to enlightenment laid out by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (the two other paths being jnana, the path of knowledge, and karma, the path of action, often interpreted as service to others). David Frawley, the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, calls bhakti "the sweetest of the yoga approaches" in his book Yoga: The Greater Tradition. He describes the practice as one of concentrating one's mind, emotions, and senses on the Divine in order to merge into the reality of divine love.
Essentially, bhakti yoga is the cultivation of unconditional spiritual love. Traditionally it involves devotion to a guru or a deity or deities, though Frawley points out that yoga teaches that there are infinite forms of the Divine: "Yoga gives us the freedom to worship the Divine in whatever form we like, or as formless." Whether you direct your love and devotion to a god, a guru, or the Divine in all things, as you cultivate a sense of love, gratitude, and devotion for something seemingly outside yourself, you essentially fill yourself with love. In the act of giving love, you receive it. The bhakti remedy for when you're suffering a broken heart, in other words, is to fill in the cracks with a love that is more permanent and transcendent. Practice long enough, and the subject-object love relationship (whether with a guru, a deity, or the Divine in some other form) disappears, and you become completely immersed in the love you are giving and receiving.
Gentle Yoga for Pain Management
If you are experiencing pain related to an injury or illness or recovering from a medical procedure, you may want to try Yoga, a powerful system for managing pain. Yoga is an effective way of dealing with mental stress and physical tension. In this gentle practice you will be using props to facilitate comfortable stretching and releasing, and practicing short meditations to promote relaxation. Handouts will be provided to encourage your independent study to deepen your understanding of how pain works in the mind and the body.
Most forms of yoga in the West can be classified as Hatha Yoga. Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures, meaning your Ashtanga, vinyasa, Iyengar and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga. The word “hatha” can be translated two ways: as “willful” or “forceful,” or the yoga of activity, and as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), the yoga of balance. Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation.
Chair Yoga is for anyone who has hesitated to try yoga because of the challenge of doing standing poses or getting up and down from the floor. Just about any pose that can be done standing, sitting, or lying on a mat can be adapted to the chair. Everyone is accommodated because each pose is presented in multiple levels of flexibility. The class includes breathing, stretching, strengthening, balance and relaxation. You can enjoy all the benefits of yoga including improved muscle tone, better breathing habits, reduction of stress, better sleep and an improved sense of well-being. This class is wonderful for anyone struggling with hip, knee, and other types of joint pain as well as balance challenges.
Come join us and “Get Fit Where You Sit ™”
“Viniyoga” in an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation and appropriate application. The American Viniyoga Institute uses the term Viniyoga to refer to an approach to yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to address the unique condition, needs and interests of each individual – giving each practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation. Asana practices are breath-centric and focus on “function over form”. Yoga postures are used as “tools” to help the individual understand the relationship between the breath, the spine, and habitual movement patterns (which are not always beneficial and are often the reason for our discomfort). By moving in and out of postures several times before holding them, we can recognize dysfunctional patterns and begin to facilitate positive changes in our bodies. Postures are adapted based on individual’s needs as well as to modify the function of the posture. The breath remains a key focus of the practice.