Yoga Classes in Sheffield
You might be wondering "what are the benefits of yoga" or "how do I find a yoga class near me?" or maybe "What IS yoga anyway?" We have answers to those questions and more below.
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Upcoming Yoga Classes
What is Yoga?
Yoga is thousands of years old. There are many different styles and approaches. This can mean that newcomers to the practise can feel a little overwhelmed sometimes but it also means that there is a lot of choice so there is sure to be an approach that suits you and your goals.
Breathing is one of the key elements in yoga. A focus on the breathing can have an impact on the mind and the body. A second element of yoga are postures (or asanas). There are a series or sequence of movements that are intended to improve health through greater strength and flexibility developing.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
There are many health benefits reported by people who do yoga though the valid scientific research into yoga is quite limited at present, despite yoga being around for thousands of years!
It is common for people to find that they become stronger, more supple, more able to concentrate, sleep better, lower blood pressure, deal with stress better and can help with back ache. Many find that issues such as depression can be eased as well.
Different yoga classes are taught in different ways
Different classes are taught or lead in different ways. This very much depends on the class organiser, their personality and the style they were taught or favour. Modern (and Westernised) yoga is different to the more ancient styles and there is some heated debate as to which styles are best for individuals. This debate is sure to run and run. What is clear though is that millions of people around the world find that yoga is an essential part of their health.
One style of class is Mysore style. Pete Gill is the person who teaches in this style and one of his colleagues, Matt, explains in this video what Mysore style is all about.
Where to begin your yoga journey…
This video for perfect for beginners. It is just 40 minutes long, is very accessible and is done by a very well respected yoga teacher.
Have a watch and maybe join in at home to begin with and just see what it feels like for you. After that you will have a much better idea of what yoga could be like and will help you ask questions of people running classes.
Is yoga different to just stretching?
Yoga is more than just a physical process. It incorporates the body but also the mind. This is done, in part, through a focus on the breath. This can help to increase our ability to focus inwards and it is this that can help us to become more aware of thoughts, feelings or behaviour that is not working for us and to identify solutions.
Yoga can lead to greater physical flexibility as well as greater mental flexibility.
I’m not very flexible. Will I be able to join a yoga class?
You do not need to start off flexible to enjoy and benefit from yoga. Greater flexibility will come with more practise. A good yoga teacher will help you to find your own way of joining in with the class while working around any physical limitations that you may have.
There are some more energetic forms of yoga where a good level of fitness would be required to keep up. There are yoga classes that are chair based though so you would not need to be getting up and down on a yoga mat.
Over time as your fitness and flexibility increases you might find yourself changing the type of class you do to reflect your developing skills and experience.
What style of yoga class should I look for?
As has been said earlier, there are lots of styles. Many teachers do not strictly teach one single style. Instead they develop their own style that draws on different influences. You will only find out more by asking questions.
A style of yoga that many people find accessible when they first look at yoga is Hatha style. This approach strips out some of the tradition and instead looks for the common ground between several other styles and takes the best bits of each.
This could be particularly helpful if you choose to move on to different styles in the future as there will almost certainly be a degree of familiarity thanks to learning Hatha yoga. Hatha classes tend to be quite gentle and have a steady pace which makes them ideal for new starters.
What do I need to start?
In terms of clothing you can wear anything that is loose (but not baggy) and comfortable. That being said, some people like to wear leggings. Sessions are usually done barefoot and on a yoga mat. Mats are sometimes provided as part of the session and sometimes not. Check with your teacher. If you need to buy one they are easily found online or in sports shops for about £10 – £20.
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