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Super Gentle Yoga

Super Gentle Yoga

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength” ~Saint Francis de Sales

In yoga, we often hear Yoga Sutra 2:46 Sthira Sukham Asanam which translates to the posture should be a balance between effort and ease. And with how yoga has progressed in the West, there’s been a definite emphasis on the effort, a reward for how physically demanding a practice is and a shift away from the importance of the ease or comfort in the asana. If you feel like you’ve lost that balance and want to shift toward a softer yoga class, focus on gentle yoga.

What do we mean by gentle yoga? Plenty of variety exists but in general, gentle yoga classes move at a slower pace, encourage using props and modifications, and emphasize “trying easy” instead of pushing yourself to your edge in each moment. Perhaps a gentle class spends more time in seated or supine postures or features extended pranayama and meditation instead of asana. If you’re looking for a gentler class, usually ones titled Hatha or Restorative will feature that more mellow pace.

If you usually practice intense Ashtanga or Power Vinyasa, try mixing up your routine with a gentle class. Sometimes moving slow and steady will enable you to drop into your emotions and thoughts more deeply. Taking a variety of styles of classes will help you stay healthy, decrease risk for injury, and boost your overall wellness.

If you’re recovering from injury, have some physical limitations, or are simply shifting into a different season of your life, gentle yoga might be your new favorite way to spend time on your mat. Gentle yoga offers all the same physical benefits of more vigorous classes, like building muscular and bone strength, maintaining and extending flexibility and mobility, and keeping digestion and elimination flowing. On the emotional and mental level, you’ll release stress, clear your mind, and feel happier.

Whether you’re in a phase where you’re craving a quieter practice or are healing, gentle yoga is for you. This week’s classes offer some accessible options, so check them out or bookmark them for when you need them. 

Chair Yoga for Everyone - Jackie Casal Mahrou

Pranayama and Visualisation - Joanna McEwen

Gentle Yoga for Post Illness Recovery - Joanna McEwen

Mindful Motion for Healing - Shannon Paige

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