Yoga increases flexibility, improves posture, boosts fitness and tones muscles. Through practice you can learn to quieten the mind, reduce stress and increase your ability to focus. You become very aware of yourself, so you are able to self heal and prevent disease within your body.
Learning the correct yoga relaxation techniques will flood the body with oxygen and as a result the muscles will release and the body will be able to fight fatigue. At the end of a class you should feel ‘worked’ but at the same time should be in a relaxed and peaceful state.
At the West Bay Country Club & Spa we offer a wide range of yoga classes with something for everyone irrespective of age, ability or current fitness level. With our new spring-summer programme we now have 12 yoga sessions a week and 6 different classes, so there is plenty to choose from.
We’ve created a guide to choosing the right class for you and we hope it helps you find your way to a class you love. Whether you want to relax, have a real workout or get in touch with your spiritual side, there is a yoga class to suit you. And you don’t even have to be bendy…
Aqua yoga adapts the postures and principles of yoga and qigong, including breathing and mindfulness, to an aquatic environment. It is a particularly relaxing, soothing and restorative form of yoga due to the effect on the body of being in water, supporting your own bodyweight, making it excellent if you are recovering from an operation. Physically, Aqua-Yoga is said to be helpful in a number of ways as it stimulates the lymphatic system, strengthens the whole body and improves range of motion and flexibility. Because the buoyancy of the water, Aqua-Yoga allows the stress of weight to be taken off of the joints, and this can make some poses, such as balancing or standing postures, feel much easier. It may also help you find your optimum stretch. As well as strengthening and toning, this fantastic class also works to relieve muscle tension and stimulates the lymphatic system to help with detoxification to renew energy.
Poses are straightforward, and the pace unhurried with a combination of static held postures (asanas) and vinyasa flow (flowing sequences of postures). It is a basic and classical approach to yogic breathing exercises and postures. You do a pose, come out of it, and then do another. It’s an excellent style for beginners. But it’s not just about the body, as our instructor, Jenny, will also encourage you to focus on breathing and relaxation. This mindfulness has real-world benefits: A study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that women who practice Hatha yoga once or twice a week recover from stress faster than those who don’t. You probably won’t work up a sweat in a hatha yoga class, but you should end up leaving class feeling longer, looser, and more relaxed.
In these classes, temperatures anywhere from 85 degrees to 105 degrees Fahrenheit are said to help you sweat out toxins while you work toward increased strength and flexibility. Our hot yoga studio has the added benefit of infra-red heating which also helps the muscles repair. Hot yoga is a strong form of yoga where the postures require lengthy, controlled holding involving forceful contraction of all major muscle groups with a real focus on the constant flow of breath within the body. The heat is designed to raise your heart rate and make your muscles more flexible. In this environment, the unique sequence of postures pushes your body to its full potential while detoxing the whole of your body, while you are encouraged to remain still, calm and composed. The heated room helps you to stretch more and get your cardio, but it also helps you sweat. The postures themselves are detoxifying for your muscles, organs, and glands and sweating furthers that.
We all know that yoga is incredible for improving strength and flexibility, but have you heard of Yoga rehabilitation? Our Yoga4Health sessions embrace yoga therapy or rehabilitation to help bring the body back into balance after injury and illness – whether physical or emotional – and treat the body as a whole. A series of therapeutic exercises and tools are used, including pranayama (breath control), joint freeing, hip and shoulder balancing techniques, yoga asanas (postures), shiatsu massage, body alignment skills, meditation and yoga nidra. It also creates an awareness of dietary requirements and how diet affects the whole body.
Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation which consists of focusing attention on your breath and observing your thoughts as they arise in your mind. The practice is proven to bring about long-term changes in mood, happiness and wellbeing, making it the perfect complement to your exercise routine. A session is a little holiday from your everyday mind, combining elements of qigong, a mindfulness gentle yin practice of movement for body focusing highly on slow movements cocooned by the breath. Our class finishes with a full yoga nidra so bring your blankets. Open to all levels, we can’t recommend this class highly enough, especially if you’ve never tried mindfulness or meditation before.
Sun Power Yoga
Not for the faint hearted, this class is yoga’s answer to INSANITY™ with the focus on strength conditioning rather than flexibility. It’s ideal for those wanting to develop strength and progress to the more advanced yoga postures – especially arm balances, as well as for sports conditioning. This class is at an intermediate to advanced level and participants must have real body awareness and already take part either in regular sporting or yoga practice. The session combines the regular benefits of yoga with a killer cardio session, focus on flowing from one pose to the next without rest—making for a terrific calorie burn.