I share a variety of styles of yoga asana: Mindful Yoga, Pralaya Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Restorative Yoga, along with breath work or pranayama.
For those who are new to yoga or have physical limitations, I prefer to teach a blended form of Hatha yoga asana and Mindfulness that I call Mindful Yoga. Ultimately, I encourage you to slow down, check in and pay attention to your body and what it needs. Together, with your clear communication to me and with my experience and trained senses, we create a personalized practice for you that day. There is always an emphasis on breath and awareness of what is happening in the moment. When we practice mindfully, it is easier to really investigate, sense, and feel what is happening within the body, within the breath, within the mind. This does not mean the practice is ‘easy.’ In fact, many of my clients are surprised at the challenge this type of practice brings, how much they learn when they listen to and trust themselves, and how open and strong they feel after the session!
For those who are physically active or consider themselves athletes, and for those with postural problems (low back pain, tight hips, knee pain, neck strain), I emphasize Pralaya Yoga (Robert Boustany, Houston), since it is the most functional form of yoga I know. When you do repetitive movements in one plane of motion, much like cyclists, runners and swimmers, you lose strength and range of motion in parts of your body that you aren’t using. It seems like you are ‘tight,’ but often, you are weak on one side of the joint and strong on the other — or your body has just forgotten that it has other movement choices since you’ve emphasized one plane of motion for so long. Essentially, you are not in balance where movement can occur. This kind of yoga is efficient and effective, and at the ripe age of 46, it has greatly extended and enhanced my own functional fitness.
For those who enjoy Vinyasa (flow), I usually slow the speed way down, and build from easier postures upward so you can choose which posture feels best along the way. It has been my experience that clients who come to me have been injured during Vinyasa because they were unable to pay attention to breath or form AND stay up with the movement speed. In our private sessions, I am there to guide you to watch your form and listen to your breath, and make adjustments that offer a Mindful Flow.
For those who have chronic tension or anxiety, racing minds, difficultly sleeping, or stressful lives, I love sharing Restorative yoga. This practice of holding gentle postures that require no physical effort is counter-intuitive for many, but this is a great practice to have in your repertoire to calm and reset the nervous system. It’s like the rest phase of your training cycle — you don’t just keep adding mileage each day you run, or increasing the resistance every time you strength train. In order to heal and get stronger, you must also make time to rest, recover and recuperate so the healing and strengthening can take place behind the scenes (a.k.a. in your body tissues).
I prefer teaching Restorative yoga in a 2-hour workshop where you can get deeply restful, and yet there are benefits with Restorative yoga in shorter segments of time. Many of my clients use these postures prior to bed so they can fall asleep (or stay asleep), or as a transition marking the end of their workday and the beginning of family or personal time. These restful postures trigger the nervous system to move toward a state of dynamic balance, where the fight/flight/freeze state can tone down as the rest/digest/heal state can tone up — something we all need. The body was not designed to endure distress for the length of time we all perceive as ‘normal.’ Things break down, systems malfunction, and problems or diseases occur when we stay in this heightened state all of the time.
For clients who are curious and receptive, I enjoy weaving in Pranayama (yogic breathing). How you breathe affects every system within the body. Often we find patterns of holding or restriction or reactivity when we start to practice breath control, and this can serve as yet another doorway into shifting patterns that are no longer serving you.
For more detailed information about my movement education, click HERE for Amy’s Credentials.