Why I love our classes at Elemental Yoga
Elemental Yoga is a fusion of classical hatha yoga and integrative yoga therapy. We do not believe in teaching fast classes in which the student barely has time to settle into the poses. Instead we teach classes with longer hold times and mindful movement from one position to another.
We don’t just prioritize being in a posture, we prioritize the complete experience of the pose, the steps between, and the nuances of adjusting your body based on your needs in the moment. You will hear us describing in detail how to move your limbs in the build up and break down.
We often describe positions rather than naming them. This description of how to arrive in the posture supports the student to pay attention to their body the whole time. It makes it harder to check out mentally between poses. This attention to movement doesn’t just invite greater presence, it also prevents injury. Students aren’t left to figure out for themselves how to get from one place to another. They also aren’t lagging behind a fast sequence and unconsciously placing themselves in vulnerable stances.
The slow movement at Elemental Yoga makes it easier to be with your breath. We don’t strongly emphasize the need to inhale while lifting or exhale while lowering. Instead we simply invite the student to become more aware of what is happening with the breath. We believe it is more important to simply feel and connect with the power of breathing rather than aligning breath with an external pace.
There is a misnomer that slow classes are easy classes. That is the opposite of our intention. Integrated within the slow movements are many opportunities for strength building and challenge. Speed is often a form of compensation for a lack of core strength. For example, doing a singular push up for 20 seconds is much harder than doing a singular pushup for one second. When you perform something slowly, it engages a much higher percentage of the fibers in a grouping of muscles.
Instead of speed and repetition, we stick with the discomfort of long held poses and invite the student to go deeper into their weak points instead of moving away. Many of our strengthening postures work with the core of the body and build the smaller muscles of stabilization that support proper posture and healthy movement in daily living. The result is not only a workout, but increased functionality.
We believe in offering challenging classes because we know how fulfilling it is to experience your body's potential. We understand that the group setting helps students to go beyond their comfort zones.
If you are new to the practice, you may not be able to do everything in a class. But we promise that if you stick with it, you will be able to do much more than you thought possible. You don’t have to have experience in Yoga to come to a class. But do expect there to be some things you will need to modify or work toward.
For any acute injuries, we do not suggest practicing yoga in a classroom. If you have a chronic issue you are dealing with, we suggest attending a one on one session in which you can be evaluated by your teacher and then given suggestions for how to proceed.
Our classes are therapeutic in their pace and attention to detail. We offer enough description and demonstration to understand the essence of the postures, what you can expect to feel and how to make minor adjustments to take your poses deeper.
We want class to be the most well spent and productive hour of your day.
Our goal is for you to have a meditative, breath centric and physically challenging experience that leaves you feeling simultaneously enlivened and internally connected.