The practice of yoga asana, or postures, is one of the eight limbs of traditional Ashtanga yoga. Hayley practices and teaches the flowing forms of Vinyasa yoga with the lineage of Ashtanga and alignment deeply rooted within. Postures are practiced in a powerful flowing sequence, strung together on the thread of the breath. In each class or private yoga session, a close observance and study of the internal forms of the practice—the breath, gaze, mudra (joining together) and bandha (holding in concentration)—will allow for a strong and meditative practice to spontaneously arise.
In Vinyasa yoga there are seven series of postures, each designed to balance and fortify specific areas of the body and mind. Each series begins with the same standing postures and finishes with the same sequence of postures at the end. For each series, different postures specific to the teaching of the series are marinated between standing and finishing postures. All postures are linked together through the breath into a continuous flow or sequence (Vinyasa) of movements.
Through studying Vinyasa, yoga students gradually cultivate a “self” practice, or the intention and ability to develop a fully focused yoga asana practice that is specific to their needs for balance and radiant health.
Vinyasa yoga has become known for its intensity and rigor because the flowing form allows students to work “on their edge.” It demands concentration of mind, which causes internal heat (tapas) to arise in the body that can cause the body to sweat.
At the intermediate and advanced level, a Vinyasa practice may include more extreme postures, such as very deep backbends, and contorted looking poses, including the eka pada family (postures where the leg is put behind the head). For this reason, many who are new to yoga mistake Vinyasa yoga as a “hard core,” for “jocks-only,” ego building, or a “competitive sport” where the slogan, “no pain, no gain” must apply.
Hayley works deliberately, consciously and consistently to draw students into the internal forms that lie along the central channel of the body, allowing the mind and ego to be released as the asana and practice deepens. This results in a practice that is safe, healing, and appropriate for each individual’s body and life circumstance.
All of Hayley’s classes with you will make you feel grounded in these internal forms, movement and alignment. The continuous linking of the postures with the movement of the breath balances structural, mental, and emotional patterns resulting in strength, flexibility and radiant health. The practice then spontaneously awakens the central axis of the body bringing the mind into deep meditation.
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