At SoniYoga our focus is on Hatha Yoga, the root of all asana-based yoga practices. “Ha” means "sun" and “tha” means "moon" so Hatha yoga is commonly translated as the yoga that brings union of opposites. Sometimes Hatha Yoga is also translated as the "forceful yoga", because it can require the most physical exercises of all yoga types. Hatha Yoga is certainly the yoga that is the best known in the West, which is probably why so many definitions of Hatha Yoga exist.
Exercising postures, or Asanas, in Hatha Yoga has two essential objectives. The first objective of asanas is to bring health and energy to the body and the mind. When these exercises are performed regularly our health is preserved and strengthened, and the path of hatha yoga is opened. Mastering of postures is not the objective in itself, though mastering postures certainly strengthens the power of will and concentration.
The second and more important objective is to prepare to practice meditation. Real meditation requires us to be able to relax the body and focus the concentration or inner gaze for extended periods of time. Posture practice prepares us for this and provides a better the basis for developing the inner meditation techniques.
We are also delighted to be able to offer classes in Restorative and other yoga styles. All classes are intended to be accessible to all levels of students. Advanced students can learn new things even in a basic class, and new students will benefit from seeing more experienced students practice. So choose which ever type of yoga class your body, your mind or your spirit is calling for today. Come, smile, grow.
We have the following classes which vary in intensity and focus.
Hatha - Level 1: This yoga class slows down the pace of a regular Hatha class and breaks down poses in order to focus on the Basics: breath, alignment and bandhas. Breath is our life force, and alignment keeps our bodies safe in postures. Sun Salutation postures are performed slowly, with conscious awareness to detail and alignment. Bandhas, or energy locks, help us retain our own energy. In this mindful yoga practice, you will release tightness and gain strength and balance in a nurturing environment. Great for beginners and those with injury.
Hatha - Level 2: A broad spectrum yoga class appropriate for all levels, including beginners. More postures will be introduced and the class will move from one asana to another with vinyasas. There will be standing, seated and lying down postures; plus balance postures including arm balances and inversions. Breath and proper alignment based on your unique body structure will continue to be emphasized as you grow even stronger. Yoga stretching will be an integral part of every class with a period of meditation at the end.
Hatha - Level 2.5: This is a more challenging yoga class and requires a good-working knowledge of the basic yoga postures. The class leads through a series of breath-synchronized postures which are linked to one another through a flowing movements and vinyasas. Even more challenging poses, binds and balances will be explored. The class harmonizes each movement of the body to each breath taken, so the breath is not forced to follow the actions of the body as occurs with other forms of exercise.
Yoga Stretch: This relaxing yoga class is open to everyone, as stretches are customized to each session’s attendees. As we learn to lengthen the time we hold our stretches, we gain the ability to release deep-rooted tension and rejuvenate our bodies. If we always just flow from one posture to another we only gain a partial stretch. Moving too quickly can also strain our joints and create undesirable contractions in our muscles. It takes time for our muscles to lengthen and achieve their maximum--or "Optimal"—flexibility.