According to yoga practitioners through the ages, the way to approach serenity and aliveness is through the various levels of the self, from the gross to the subtle. With this in mind, we design your yoga class to relax the body, relax the breath, and relax the mind.
The writer Patanjali set out the path 2,500 years ago, in what are called the Eight Limbs (Ashtanga), and the General Classes take you on this path. These include the physical postures, breathing, withdrawal of the senses, meditation, and mindfulness about how we respond to the world.
The postures that we go through are achievable yet challenging. They are not about perfect form and perfect technique, at least not by any objective standards. This is because everyone is different; different ages, different shapes, different history, different states of mind.
The postures are about moving into a position, and bringing all your awareness into it. Am I reasonably comfortable? How does my body feel? What is my breath doing? What is my attitude? As you gain more experience, you go deeper and deeper, and you become more and more stable. The stiffness starts clearing. Your energy starts flowing. You gain more and more insights into your habitual thoughts.
Apart from postures and movements, every class will explore a breathing technique, and finish with a guided relaxation. You are gently encouraged to maintain mindfulness throughout the class; and this becomes easier with practice.
So, the General Yoga class is not for anyone in particular. Whether you think you are a "beginner," "intermediate" or "advanced" practitioner, that is only a label. It is for everyone who is open to me guiding you through the yoga journey. Every class is a different journey, with rhythms and interludes, finally leading to a space where you are able to get back in touch with yourself. For many people, this is profoundly restful and rejuvenating.
I look forward to seeing you at our General Classes on Mondays at 6.45 - 8 pm and Wednesdays at 6.30 - 7.45 pm.
Gerald has taught thousands of classes over 14 years; in Community Education, gyms, corporate groups, and now at Yoga Therapy Centre. His teachers are from the Satyananda tradition, and he holds a Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Wellpark College. He is President of the NZ Ayurveda & Yoga Therapy Association, and is undergoing a postgraduate diploma course in Mind-Body Healthcare at AUT.