I don’t really know much about yoga and whether it’s for me – is it like Pilates?
Both yoga and pilates have many health and wellbeing benefits through the active engagement of the body during classes. However, yoga is much more than just physical movement. It is a practice evolved over thousands of years that encompasses the entire human being (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual). The Integral Yoga approach is holistic and assists the body to be more easeful, the mind to be more peaceful and ultimately to help you as a person to be become useful in service to humanity.
Many people think that ‘yoga’ is only the activity undertaken when you attend a class. Yoga is also a philosophy and provides some helpful guidelines to living your life in a more easeful and peaceful way. Thus we invite you to join us in the other activities that we offer – attending an evening event (Satsang), or a workshop or retreat. Information about these activities are provided throughout the website.
Your classes go for 1 and a half hours – I can’t imagine doing yoga for that long
Many yoga classes in our busy western lifestyle are structured as a 1 hour "workout" and often miss the critical elements of deep relaxation and meditation. As the Integral Yoga approach is holistic and seeks to integrate elements of the many branches of yoga into a class setting, we invest the time needed to achieve maximum benefit from each class. As there is a deep mediative flow to the class, most people don't notice the time elapsed. Our classes are structured to not only release tension and stress, but to take your awareness deep within to cultivate stillness and peace. We encourage you to listen to your body and if you need a break during class that is fine. It is also fine to sit on a chair or use whatever props (cushions, blankets, bolsters) that you need. (These are provided at all venues).
We begin the class with some Sanskrit chanting, followed by warm-ups, salute to the sun and standing postures. We continue with mindful awareness of the body with backward bends, forward bends, inversions and twists. The body and mind can then fully let go with deep relaxation followed by breathing practices, a short meditation practice and closing peace chants to finalise the class. It is a beautiful practice that will leave you feeling refreshed, balanced and peaceful.
I am not as flexible as I used to be and have some health issues – will I be able to do Yoga?
Our yoga classes are for all ages, body types and abilities. There is no competition and you don't need to be a gymnast. There are always options to modify postures or take a rest. We always encourage students to practise in a way that is easeful and to be guided by your inner wisdom. It is important to let us know of any health issues so we can adapt practices for your needs. In some cases you may need your doctor's approval to practise. In general, most people are able to participate in an Integral Yoga class and feel the benefits during and after class.
How often should I come to class?
The maximum benefit comes from consistent and regular practice. Life can be challenging and busy and often people find it difficult to prioritise a regular yoga practice. However, coming to class regularly helps to motivate you and can also support a home yoga practice. To really notice improvement in your practice, more than one class a week is recommended. We invite you therefore to attend one or all of the classes offered by IYCM. It can be fun and interesting to experience different teachers’ styles and orientations. Our class passes are accepted by all IYCM teachers. The best advice is to give it a go and see whether it is for you.
As our students have said:
"The teaching style is very supportive and encouraging of everyone to practise at their own level" and "The teachers were clear, committed to assisting every student and so very encouraging and accepting of our different levels of ability".