If you have never practised yoga before, or are a lapsed yogi, then this class is for you! It is open to men of all ages and fitness levels. Your teacher walks you through yoga fundamentals, from how to breathe properly to how to safely move in and out of yoga poses (asana) at your own pace. This class is also open to more experienced yogis looking for a slower-paced class where they can revise and fine tune aspects of their individual practice.
This dynamic class assumes that all yogis have an established practice. Along with continuing to work on the fundamentals, the teacher may introduce the students to more advanced asana.
Open to all men regardless of experience or fitness level, the teacher varies the pace and content of the class depending on who is present. More experienced students build on their existing knowledge, while students new to yoga continue to develop their practice.
The content of the class varies depending on the type of class (beginners, intermediate, or open-level), the experience level of the students, and the teacher. However, all yoga classes conform to an underlying format that consists of eight parts:
Part One: Arrival
Students start to arrive up to 30 minutes before the class is set to begin and usually get undressed immediately, then find a mat, and spend the time before class either catching up, getting to know any new students, or just relaxing.
If it is your first class, arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes before the class is due to start. Try the door first. If it is unlocked, come right on in. If not, push the doorbell and wait for the teacher to unlock the door for you. Kick off your shoes and socks, remove your clothes and stow your items in the pigeon hole provided. Grab your towel and go and find a vacant mat. Your teacher will hand you some introductory paperwork that you will need to fill out. You must complete this paperwork, which includes a confidential health questionnaire and release form, before you can participate in the class.
Part Two: The Breath
Yogic breathing (pranayama) is the foundation of hatha yoga. During this 10 minute exercise, students assume a posture on the mat and begin to slow the breath. This short meditative practice prepares the body and the mind for yoga.
Part Three: Warm Up
Students practice joint articulation to ready their bodies for yoga asanas (poses).
Part Four: Yoga Asanas (Poses)
The teacher takes the class through a sequence of yoga poses. The pace, order and nature of the asanas depends on the the type of class and the experience level of the students.
Part Five: Partnerwork and Massage
Partnerwork consists of partner-assisted asana. This section concludes with each student enjoying a well-deserved two- or four-handed massage.
Part Six: Savasana
Everyone's favourite asana: Savasana. Students lie down on their backs and simply relax for a few minutes. This time is given over to resting the body.
Part Seven: Teatime
Students gather over tea to talk about the class and ask the teacher any questions.
Part Eight: Pack Up
All the students help with cleaning and putting away the yoga mats and props. Finally, and very reluctantly, everyone puts on their clothes and so ends the class.