Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Nearly every type of yoga class taught in the west is hatha yoga. There are many styles of hatha yoga ranging from healing therapy to vigorous athletic flow. Some schools work with detailed physical alignment while others focus on the inner experience.
Hatha Flow tends to be taught using unique sequencing to promote a dynamic + relaxing experience. This class incorporates all aspects of a traditional Hatha yoga class – breath, meditation and postures – while challenging your co-ordination through movement. (This is more typical of Shannon's class.)
Vinyasa Flow tends to move at a faster pace using 'vinyasa' - the sanskrit word meaning a flowing sequence. You should expect an energetic class based around sun salutations, that synchronizes breath with movement. (Sara's class is generally in this style.)
Hatha instructors at Laluna Yoga take their cue from their students - offering a gentler or more vigorous practice depending on the needs and energy of the attending yogis. Regardless of whether you work up a sweat in a hatha yoga class, you should end up leaving class feeling longer, looser, and more relaxed.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time - generally from one minute to five minutes. Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. A more meditative approach to yoga, yin aims at cultivating awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
Yin yoga is based on the Taoist concepts of yin and yang, opposite and complementary principles in nature. Yin could be described as stable, immobile, feminine, passive, cold, and downward moving. Yang is understood to be changing, mobile, masculine, active, hot, and upward moving. The sun is considered yang, the moon yin. In the body, the relatively stiff connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia) are yin, while the more mobile and pliable muscles and blood are yang. More passive asanas in yoga are considered yin, whereas the more active, dynamic asanas are yang, because they stimulate the muscles and generate heat.
Although many Yin yoga poses or asanas closely resemble the asanas in Indian hatha yoga, they have different names, in part to alert those who are familiar with similar poses in hatha yoga not to perform them in the same way. In general, the poses of Yin yoga are performed with very little muscular exertion.
A barre is a stationary handrail that provides support for people during various types of exercise. Barres are used extensively in ballet training and warm up exercises, where such exercises are commonly referred to as barre work. Barres are also used for warm up exercises in other types of dance, as well as in general fitness programs.
At Laluna Yoga, the barre is used as a prop to offer support and expand your range of motion during various asanas/physical postures. It is an aid to provide stability in common exercises such as 'chair' or 'dancer pose' - known in Barre class as plié and arabesque. Barre-Assisted classes begin similarly to a tradition Hatha Class by focusing on your breath and setting an intention. From there we will warm up the spine with some floor exercises before moving to the barre for a combination of traditional yoga and ballet exercises. We will conclude the class back on the floor with some additional floor postures, and everyone's favourite posture of the class - savasana (corpse pose).