Our Love of Yoga
In Sanskrit, the word yoga means “to yoke” or “to join.” Yoga is not part of a religious process but instead is an ancient art and science that is profound, beautiful and powerful. It is a series of physical and mental disciplines or techniques aimed at transforming and uniting your body, mind and spirit. The practice of yoga nurtures deep personal awareness and self realization in hopes of reaching your highest potential. It fosters inner peace, tranquility and wisdom, creating a sense of well being on every level...physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Yoga does not interfere or contradict with any religion and may be practiced by everyone.
Hot yoga is practicing yoga under hot and humid conditions. Temperatures in our hot classes range from 85 – 94º Fahrenheit with 50 – 57% humidity. The use of heat while practicing yoga increases flexibility and allows you to get into the poses more deeply and effectively. The high heat and profuse sweating helps facilitate the integration of strength and spirit.
Asana is defined as the physical poses or postures practiced in yoga, designed to master control of your body and improve how your body feels and functions.
Prana is your life force or vital energy; more simply your breath.
Pranayama is the practice of bringing awareness to your breath and regulating it through certain techniques and exercises in order to extend, lengthen, and channel your life force.
Mudra is a symbolic and spiritual ritual or hand gesture. Anjali Mudra, the most commonly known mudra in yoga, is performed by pressing the palms of your hands and fingers together and placing your thumbs at your sternum (heart chakra) or at your forehead (third eye chakra), accompanied by a slight bowing of your head.
Mantra is a word or sound repeated frequently to enhance concentration in meditation.
Om is a simple mantra or blessing to the universe. It is chanted at the beginning or at the end, or both, of yoga practices and meditation sessions. Om is considered to be the universal humming sound or natural energy that has existed for all time. This vibration continues to exist all around us and inside of us. Chanting this mantra represents the union of body, mind and spirit to the essence of the universe.
Namaste is an ancient Hindu salutation which serves as a greeting, a sign of respect, an expression of gratitude, and a form of meditation. Literally translated, Namaste means “I bow to you.” The gesture Namaste represents the belief that the Divinity, or life force, within me is the same as the Divinity within each of us, and because of this, we are “one.” Namaste recognizes and honors this “oneness.” The light and life within me, sees and honors the light and life within you.
Drishti is a point of focus; a soft positioning or placement of your eyes during your yoga or meditation practice. Focusing your gaze on one spot assists in focusing your attention. Gazing outward helps to draw your energy and awareness inward.
Savasana is defined as corpse pose. It is a pose of deep relaxation that requires a conscious quieting of the body and the mind while being both fully aware of and unattached to the present moment. Savasana takes much patience and practice and is considered to be one of the most difficult poses in yoga. Practicing Savasana gives you the opportunity to become aware of your innermost, authentic self and to let go of your individual limitations.
Bandhas are interior body locks used in asana and pranayama to control your flow of energy. Bandhas consist of the Mula Bandha (pelvic floor lock), the Uddiyana Bandha (abdominal lock) and the Jhalandara Bandha (throat lock).
Vinyasa, literally translated from Sanskrit means “connection." It is also defined as movement without resistance or to flow. Essentially, Vinyasa is any yoga sequence performed with the breath, as you move smoothly from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. But it is often referred to as a specific yoga sequence consisting of Plank Pose, Chaturanga Dandasana, Upward Facing Dog and Downward Facing Dog.
Gifts of Hot Yoga
Hot Yoga offers many incredible health benefits. The following gifts are available to you as a result of a consistent yoga practice. Hot Yoga...
- Makes your body stronger, more balanced and more flexible.
- Promotes profuse sweating, releasing toxins and re-energizing your body.
- Improves posture and heightens awareness of your body’s alignment.
- Increases your tolerance of pain, as well as your endurance.
- Improves the functioning of your respiratory, circulatory, digestive and hormonal system.
- Speeds up your metabolism so your body is able to burn calories more efficiently.
- Brings emotional stability and cultivates a calmer, refreshed peace of mind.
- Sharpens your focus and mental clarity.
- Improves and deepens your sleep.
- Strengthens your will power, self control, concentration and determination on your mat and in your life.
- Draws your attention inward, empowering you to be your best self.
- Feels awesome!
- Transforms your life!
Our Love of You
Yogi Things to Know
- First and foremost, relax and enjoy! Yoga is an incredible gift to yourself! It is a practice of love, not intimidation. It is not a practice reserved only for the nimble of body and zen of mind. It is available to all of us. Accept wherever you are without judgement, without expectation and without ego. Come with an open mind and heart. Be patient, be positive and practice!
- Wear comfortable, stretchy clothing that moves with your body. Best if it is breathable and moisture wicking.
- Drink more water than you ever have, and then drink some more! Before, during and after class! It’s likely that you will sweat A LOT! It is important to replenish all of the hydration that you will lose.
- Avoid eating 2 hours prior to class if possible. If it is not, choose something light like a piece of fruit.
- Bring a yoga mat, as well as a skidless yoga towel to absorb sweat and improve traction when you practice. Both will be available to borrow or purchase at the studio if need be. Small hand towels will also be provided for your use during class, along with blocks and straps to modify or amplify your practice.
- Try to arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the start of class to allow time to sign in and settle onto your mat. Advance sign up (online or in person) is recommended to secure your place in class, as space is limited and classes tend to fill up quickly.
- Remove shoes and keep personal belongings in the cubbies outside of the practice space, including cell phones. If your cell phone is needed with you in class, please put it on silent.
- College Park has changing areas and showers available for your use. Personal belongings may also be kept in the club’s locker rooms during class.
- Listen to your body and pace yourself. Pay attention to how you feel physically and mentally. And adjust your practice to fit your needs. If you ever feel dizzy, light headed or fatigued in class, please take a resting pose such as child’s pose; relax, regroup and return to your practice when your stability and strength resumes. Over time, with consistent practice, you will see change in your body, in your mind, and in your life.
- Please respect the yogi 'space' in the studio...enter quietly, speak softly, act kindly, show compassion, express gratitude, and share love.