Yoga must be made to suit the individual, not the individual to suit the yoga
– Sri T Krishnamacharya
A personal approach recognises that each individual is unique. There is not just one approach which suits everybody.
There are different tools and techniques available to help us develop an appropriate practise for each person at particular stages of life.
Students are encouraged to be aware of and to acknowledge their own ‘starting point’, to practise at their own pace, and emphasis is placed on combining movements with the breath. A range of modifications are offered to suit each student’s particular needs where required.
Yoga can be practised by anyone, irrespective of their age or ability and should be relevant to the student’s age and stage of life. Some of my students are in their 60s and late 70s and still attend a weekly class.
Children as young as 3 years can begin yoga, however the focus for them is more on having fun with the poses, using their imaginations and developing their motor skills.
As children become older, the practise changes and over time becomes more like a regular yoga class, building strength and flexibility in their growing bodies and helping to provide focus for their minds.
As we get older, the focus for yoga practise shifts to one of maintenance of our health, flexibility and strength. We can begin to develop breathing practices and incorporate meditation into our daily practice.
Prenatal yoga classes are designed specifically for the changing needs of pregnant women. Appropriate yoga poses, breathing practises, the use of sound and visualisation are all used in prenatal yoga and as a preparation for labour. Some of these breathing practises and poses can be used during labour to provide a focus for the mind and to aid in the relief of discomfort during contractions. Feedback from students has been positive and for most, the breathing practises have been the most valuable tool during labour and birth.
The benefits of a regular yoga practise include increased energy, reduced stress, improvement in strength and flexibility, vitality and an improved state of mind.