Yoga is Connection. Yoga is Balance. Yoga is a Journey.
The word “YOGA” means connection or union. Usually interpreted to mean connection between the individual and divine consciousness, I also believe yoga is an opportunity to find other types of connections:
* Physical-Intellectual-Spiritual Self
* Self and Others
* Togetherness and Solitude
* Inner and Outer Truths
The list goes on and on! In a yoga class, workshop or retreat, we are able to seek out build connections that help us continue further along our path as a yogi/yogini.
We recognize that every individual has unique strengths and different needs.
Recognizing and honoring where you are in the moment is an important part of beginning any yoga practice. This is true for beginners as well as those further along the yogic path.
Building a foundation of basic poses and breathwork, we continue on our journey together, exploring more advanced postures and pranayama (breathing) practices in an effort to calm the mind and connect with our true inner selves. I invite you to join me on this journey and discover whatever may come your way, delving into each of yoga’s eight limbs.
Yoga is not just about the body. We focus on all 8 Limbs of the practice: Yamas (restraints), Niyamas (observances), Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breath), Pratyahara (control of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (higher consciousness).
What You Can Expect…
When you take a class with Hillary, you will begin with gentle opening stretches to prepare your body to sit comfortably. Once seated, we focus on breath and centering, with a guiding theme or intention for the practice. From slow movements to open the body (seated and on hands and knees), we move to standing postures, often including variations of surya namaskar, or sun salutations. As we wind down, we return to the floor for a series of seated and/or supine postures to prepare for a final period of seated meditation or savasana (corpse pose, for deep relaxation and de-stressing).
I believe that modern yoga has too often emphasized flexibility. While we certainly stretch muscles and build flexibility where needed, I like to focus more on stability and safe functional movement. Postures, then, incorporate both strengthening and stretching, with detailed alignment cues to ensure stable and supportive positioning for the individual.
Every class I teach devotes ample time to meditation and savasana — think 8-20 minutes! It often takes 4 or 5 minutes to settle in and find that space where the mind finally begins to let go and find quiet. We all deserve some time to let that simmer in order to restore ourselves and enjoy the main purpose of the practice. A good savasana = a good day ahead!