To help you understand the types of classes we offer, here is a brief description of Yoga styles taught at Shanti Yoga Center. Some styles overlap, but that’s completely normal. We also have various levels so you can start slow and build up to the expertise you’re wanting to achieve. Ready to sign up?
Hatha Yoga – a balanced practice, a great place to start
Hatha Yoga provides the ‘blueprint’ for all contemporary, physical yoga practices. It’s usually slower-paced and most likely to include asana (poses), breathing techniques and meditation. “HA” means sun and “THA” means moon. Branches of the yoga practice that involve physical exercise, breathing practices, and movement. These exercises are designed to have a salutary effect on posture, flexibility, and strength and are intended ultimately to prepare the body to remain still for long periods of meditation. It’s a great place to start if you are new to yoga or if you want to advance or deepen your practice because you get the time and space to become familiar with yoga poses, Pranayama and relaxation techniques.
Vinyasa – helps build overall strength and flexibility
Vinyasa (pronounced "vin-yah-sah") is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as "to place in a special way," referring—in hatha yoga—to a sequence of poses. Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Vinyasa teachers sequence their classes to smoothly transition from pose to pose, with the intention of linking breath to movement, and often play music to keep things lively. Though many Vinyasa classes begin with Sun Salutations, there is no set sequence and the style, pace and intensity will all vary depending on the teacher. Classes may have a focus on a category of poses such as backbends, or they may be sequenced around a theme such as the chakras. The intensity of a Vinyasa practice is like Ashtanga, but no two vinyasa classes are the same. If you don’t like repetition and routine and love to test your physical limits, vinyasa may be just your ticket.
Yin Yoga – develops a deeper sense of stillness
The founding or initial development of Yin yoga (originally called Taoist yoga) is attributed to Paulie Zink, who first started doing yoga when he was 14. This yogic style was further developed by Paul Grilley, stressing the importance of muscle temperature and static stretching, or the duration for which asanas are held. Yin Yoga is Vinyasa yoga’s polar opposite - a slow-paced, meditative form of yoga. Typically, poses are held for around 3 to 5 minutes and work on the connective tissues - ligaments, joints, bones, and the deep fascia networks of the body - rather than the muscles. Though slow, Yin Yoga can be far from easy: staying with a pose while keeping the mind calm and steady can be especially challenging.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga – builds stamina in body and mind
Ashtanga is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularized and brought to the West by K. Pattabhi Jois (pronounced "pah-tah-bee joyce") in the 1970s. It's a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, as each style links every movement to a breath. The difference is that Ashtanga always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order. It is made up of six 'series' (Primary, Intermediate and four Advanced series), each of which has a fixed order of poses. This set sequence requires both mental and physical discipline, and can help you establish a regular yoga practice. Ashtanga yoga’s emphasis on weight-bearing can also improve bone density.
This style of yoga is not to be confused with traditional practice and term ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ which refers to an eight-fold path, as organized by Sage Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras. The Sutras outline certain steps or ‘levels of progress’ that one must follow on the yogic path in order to reach the goal of Self-Realization. These eight stages, or aspects of yoga are 1 Yama (morals); 2 Niyama (ethics); 3 Yoga Asana (posture); 4 Pranayama Yoga (breathing); 5 Pratyahara (sense withdrawal); 6 Dharana (concentration); 7 Dhyana (meditation); 8 Samadhi (absorption).
More About Our Styles
At Shanti Yoga Center we offer classes in the traditional style of Hatha Yoga. We also have opportunities to explore more modern practices; Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and Yin Yoga. There will be classes taught that guide you into deeper meditation and pranayama (breathing) practices as well as workshops, specialty class series, training and certification opportunities.
You will find all our classes are infused with one of the styles listed above and taught from the experience, wisdom and authenticity of our teachers. There will be some classes that include the element of heat – to expand on flexibility, strength and cardiovascular health. At Shanti Yoga Center we have chosen to use the term “hot” in our various descriptions to indicate a temperature variance and heat element. For example, “Hot Hatha” will have the basic foundations of movement, breath and meditation but the room will be heated to a fixed temperature. This will be true for our “Hot Vinyasa” style as well.
There will be several Hatha classes to choose from; Hatha Multi-Level, Hot Hatha and Beginner Foundational Series which includes the postures, breathing and meditation of Hatha. Our Vinyasa classes involve moving from posture to posture with breath and control. You can try a basic Vinyasa class or any of the following variations: Hot Vinyasa, Vinyasa Strong, or Vin/Yin (a sweet combination of Vinyasa and Yin yoga). The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga classes will focus on a modified version of the six series or level of the practice. This yoga style was developed by K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore India and is sometimes referred to as Mysore Yoga and is one of the most common styles of yoga being practiced today. Our kundalini classes are intended to increase your awareness around mantra, chanting, kriyas and increased capacity for meditation and breath control.
In addition to the traditional and modern styles of yoga, Shanti Yoga Center will offer classes based on the time of day, season, and/or teacher expertise. Our early morning class will be called, Salute to the Sun, it will include the foundational poses found in Syura Namaskar (Sun Salutations). Vinyasa Express will be a 45-minute class featuring vinyasa style flow (at a slower pace) as well as restorative postures and mindfulness. It will be a class designed to rejuvenate and relax the busy body and mind in the middle of the workday. Moving into Meditation explores basic yoga postures in preparation for a longer period of meditation. Finally, Advanced Practice is for students who have practiced yoga for at least one year – it is designed to deepen students’ understanding in postures, pranayama (breath), and meditation.