Vinyasa Flow › Yoga Philosophy
Buddha's Teachings: Yoga for Sympathetic Joy
This yoga class focuses on the third aspect of the Buddha's teachings to awaken the heart, Mudita. Mudita means finding joy in the happiness and success of others. It is the third of four boundless states, or brahmavihārās. This well-rounded class has a particular focus on the hips and the hamstrings, two areas where many of us are tight due to either a sedantary lifestyle, or strengthening workouts. Being happy for others when they are happy are we are not, or they achieve things that we haven’t not the easiest practice. Indeed, ours is a world where comparison, judgement, envy and aggression are rife. Learning to be happy for someone when they are truly happy and shining usually requires a deliberate effort. When we can summon sympathetic joy, the rewards are magnificent and freeing. Through a cultivation of mudita, we can pull out the weeds of pettiness, envy and comparison. We become less selfish and self-centred, and grow into more tolerant, generous and compassionate individuals. Our actions can then create a chain-reaction, where a joyful and charitable heart ripples out into the world. You will just need a mat.
Buddha's Teachings: Yoga for Compassion
This yoga class focuses on cultivating a strong and resilient heart that awakens karuna, or compassion. It is the second of four boundless states, or brahmavihārās. Compassion means to be with another’s suffering. It is the opposite of cruelty. It can be conflated with pity, which it is not. Compassion is born out of a selfless desire to stand in solidarity with those who experience misfortune. Misfortune does not have to be starvation, physical pain and loss; it can be as simple as wanting something to be other than it is, which the Buddha described as creating clinging as well as a pushing away of experience. When we begin to cultivate compassion, we start with extending compassion towards ourselves. By forging self-compassion, we create a springboard for extending compassion towards others and all beings in the world. This well-rounded yoga class focuses on heart opening and brings in qigong movements.
Buddha's Teachings: Yoga for Loving Kindness
This is a practice centred around metta, which means goodwill, care, or loving-kindness. It is the first of four boundless states, known as the brahmavihārās. The brahmavihārās are the Buddha’s primary teachings on how we cultivate an awakened heart. In this yoga class, we’ll do some heart-focused practices and gentle movements (including some inspired by Qi Gong) to explore metta, which is the wish for true happiness that you can direct to yourself and towards others. In Buddhist teachings, metta is the foundations to our heart’s love and strength as it is what guided the Buddha along his path to care for a world that was in so much pain. As we learn to cultivate metta, we can learn to support our capacity to extend care to ourselves and the world, and send wishes for true happiness to all.
Positive Psychology Series (2): Patience
Positive Psychology Yoga (1): Zest
This is the first of Mercedes' Positive Psychology infused vinyasa yoga sequences! Zest is a way of approaching life - it's an energy but also a way of cultivating a positive approach to problems. This fiesty, fast and fun vinyasa flow is not for attaining each pose, but about keeping a positive outlook even through challenge. This yoga class leads to advanced arm balance s- perfect for a well-rounded, energy-filled start to the day. But do be careful and only practice within your body's limitations. Remember that this class is about working on your an approach to poses and building courage rather than achievement!
Yoga For Happiness (4): Kindness
In this gentle vinyasa yoga class, the focus is on ahimsa (non violence). In the body, we can work with soft negotiation rather than force or brutality. In the mind, we can be aware of the tone with which we speak to ourselves. Pay attention to what you ask of your body in today's practice; notice when you are forcing it to do something it doesn't want to do / ignoring or overriding body wisdom. Pay attention to the internal dialogue and notice the tone of internal dialogue. Make a note of any recurring thoughts. Finally, write a mantra, something supportive and loving, that you can repeat to yourself (e.g. you are perfect as you are).
Slow Flow With Yoga Philosophy
A wonderfully balanced slow flow yoga class but with a difference. This class clearly explains how the philosophy of yoga can be integrated into the physical practice. This yoga class is steeped in the guidance of the ancient sage Patanjali, inspiring us to create an asana, how to practice and the results of practice. The goal is to deepen your meaning into the why and how, and to benefit from your dedicated absorption while practicing yoga. A wonderful full-body, all round practice.
Yoga For Happiness (3): Patience
In this yoga class, Nikita will take you through a slow vinyasa flow with a focus on patience. If you are able to see with honesty where you are, you are able to grow from this point of awareness. But growth doesn't necessarily happen quickly. Expansions will happen a a rate and pace that feels appropriate to the body, the heart, the mind. When we rush, when we push too far too fast, we can often be met with some form of shut-down. Without any harsh judgement of yourself, consider the ways that you could be more patient. It could be moving more slowly on the commute, it could be by allowing your loved ones to do things in their own way at their own pace. Where can you afford to introduce some more patience to your life? You may need a brick.
Yoga For Happiness (2): Gratitude
Adopting an attitude of gratitude is a game-changer for journeying into joy. Gratitude for your breath and your body; gratitude for your relationships and experiences; gratitude for who you are and what you bring to the world; gratitude for the opportunity to see yourself clearly and non judgementally. This beautifully paced and sequenced vinyasa flow yoga class has shoulder and upper back opening focus, great to release tight shoulders and stiffness in the upper back and perfect to open the heart to gratitude. This class is about shifting from our habitual responses. You will need two bricks.
Yoga For Happiness (1): Honesty
This is the first class in Nikita's Yoga for Happiness Series. This is a nourishing and supportive, mindfully paced vinyasa flow yoga class. A perfect to start your day with mindfulness, openness and honesty. With slowness to the flow comes depth of feeling and depth of breath. This class isn't complicated, but it does require that you come to the mat being honest with yourself, your needs or your limits; the boundaries being set by the body. Enjoy a simple, well rounded flow class where you'll find you're able to build self-kindness and self-confidence through an honest acceptance of your body in the here and now. The Yoga For Happiness Series is designed to help us move towards self-acceptance - meeting ourselves where we are, as we are, without judgement. This set of nourishing and supportive classes will invite you to really see yourself, both on and off the mat.