The way Ann teaches yoga is very much that you are not here to contort your body into strange postures, trying to look like a pretzel, but neither is it about sitting around chanting and burning incense for hours. Whilst there maybe elements of that, it is not what yoga is fundamentally about.
A yoga class should include not only the postures, but also it involves breath work (pranayama) and meditation (which can be as simple as sitting still and doing nothing).
I often say in class that Yoga is the time to be 100% selfish; during a class the only thing of importance is you on your mat. Every body’s body has a different history and our bones are of different lengths, so we all approach postures differently. I am a great believer that Yoga should be something, which nurtures the body and the mind. Working within the limits of what our body is capable of, each time we come to our mat. This may vary from day to day but yoga is non- judgmental, so we always accept what our body can do in the present moment and not think about what it cannot do.
As we get older Yoga becomes more important from a physical point of view; to help keep the body moving, muscles lengthened and the joints oiled. From a mental point of view; meditation is increasingly being shown to have a massive impact on brain health, stress levels and general well being. I often describe meditation as a way of “defragging” the brain, creating space and putting everything back into its place.
The classes are very much for all levels, with more experienced yogis, doing vinyasas between postures (sometimes between standing as well as seated), and those new to yoga exploring the basic postures and seeing how it feels for them. Resting when needed and only doing what they are comfortable with, options are always given for those with injuries or where the body is just not happy with being.
If you have never done yoga, or it has been a while since you have been on your mat, why not get connected again with your body, breath and mind.