About Sattva Yoga
SATTVA is a sanskrit word. It embodies the qualities of balance, calmness, steadiness, goodness, harmony, and peace. It is the middle ground between being overcharged and empty. It is this which promotes radiant health and healing. YOGA means union. Yoga is a state or methods that bring union of the whole self - body, mind and spirit - with the divine.
Developed in India, yoga is an ancient wisdom culture which has been evolving for the last 5,000 years. Yoga is not a religion. It is practiced by all faiths, belief systems and philosophies. Yoga is a set of practices that promote inner awareness, consciousness and personal transformation. It is more than a physical practice; it broadens mental & spiritual capacities. The yoga tradition emphasizes love, compassion, knowledge and right action as paths toward union. Yoga guides us in understanding that all is one.
Components of the Practice
At Sattva Yoga, a complete yoga practice comprises centering, breathing techniques (Pranayama), gentle stretches (Joint-Freeing & Somatic Movement), flowing (Vinyasa) & static poses (Asana & Pilates), meditation, deep relaxation (Yoga Nidra) and reflection. The breathing techniques revitalize & cleanse the body, as well as focusing the attention inward. The postures stretch, tone and strengthen muscles, joints, and spine: they also stimulate internal organs, glands, and nerves. By releasing physical and mental tensions, the postures liberate the body’s vast resources of energy. The practice of meditation brings increased clarity and inner peace.
1. Sthira-sukham asanam . Posture is steady and comfortable.
2. Prayatna-saithilyananta-samapattibhyam Perfection in a posture is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.
3 . Self-observation without criticism.
These three principles ground the practice at Sattva Yoga. They are experienced in the following manner throughout the class:
Developing a personal practice
- Students are encouraged to honour their own life experience and genetic history that has created the body that is theirs. So every yoga pose is meant to conform to your own body. We will explore together modifications that are right for you. There is no such thing as a perfect pose.
- Listen to your body. Move in and out of postures slowly and with awareness. Rest when your body needs to, and work at a level that is appropriate for your current physical & emotional state. See this yoga practice as an opportunity to practice self-compassion.
- Breath is the priority throughout the practice. The breath initiates and is coordinated with all movement. Following its guidance keeps you safe, centred and calm. Nose breathing is key.
- No comparisons, no expectations. Do what you can do and leave the rest behind. Over time your body will allow for more. Remember, the body naturally opens and releases when it feels safe. Stay out of your ego mind and do not compare yourself with others. Be where you are as fully as possible.
- Feeling sensation in a pose is good, pain is not. Always come out of a pose when your breath is disturbed or your body strained. Feel, challenge yourself and practice being calm.
- Stay present-focused. Watch and allow the subtle changes in your body, mind & spirit moment to moment.
- Keep the practice open, alive and fresh through the discipline a beginner’s mind.
I encourage you to develop a personal practice outside of class. It is preferable that you practice yoga a little every day. Begin with 10 minutes and gradually build from there. It will reinforce what you are learning in class and your body will accommodate to the positions more readily. Simply centre on the breath for a minute, do a few stretches to warm the body and do 2-3 postures. The guidance, alignment, technique and sequencing learned in the yoga class are meant to inspire your own personal practice.