Which class should I choose?
At Bristol Yoga Centre, we offer lots of different Yoga and Pilates classes. Whilst it’s great to have so many options, it can be difficult to know which to choose. To help you decide which is best for you, we have created these handy descriptions of different classes currently available at the studio:
The best way to find out what a class is like is to simply go and see for yourself. Most of the classes accept drop-in students. Once you have chosen the right class for you, you might want to sign up for a term or buy a multi class pass to save money.
Yoga / Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is actually an umbrella term for all the styles of yoga. When the classes are described as yoga, this normally means Hatha Yoga. In a typical Hatha Yoga class, you will usually learn classical postures, breathing techniques, relaxation methods and meditation. The classes can vary widely depending on the teacher but all of our Hatha Yoga classes are suitable for beginners as well as more seasoned practitioners.
Hatha Flow / Vinyasa Flow
Both Hatha Flow and Vinyasa Flow use dynamic movements combined with the breath to flow from one pose to the next to form a flowing balanced sequence. It’s an excellent way to energise and deepen our connection with our breath. Hatha Flow and Vinyasa Flow are very similar but Hatha flow tends to be more gentle and slower in pace. The practice requires some coordination and it can be physically challenging but all our teachers know how to accommodate beginners as well as more experienced pupils.
In Restorative Yoga, poses are held for a longer period to encourage the mind and body to release deeply. Yoga props such as bolsters, blocks and belts are commonly used to support the body. Some of the poses are held for a long duration so the practice can be quite strong. Restorative Yoga places an emphasis on stillness and relaxation. It’s an excellent way to unwind after a long day and a great therapeutic way to practice.
Gentle yoga is perfect for beginners, older students and those suffering or recovering from illness or injury. Our gentle yoga also welcomes prenatal and postnatal women. It’s also a great way to learn a subtle way of practicing and perfect when you want to slow down and take it easy.
Women’s Yoga class or ‘Shakti Yoga’ honour and reverence the feminine energy to help heal, restore and energise. The class is suitable for all women, including pregnant, postnatal and menopausal women. The class uses fluid and feminine movement, breathing techniques, meditations, chakra healing and ‘Yoga Nidra’ (yogic sleep) to restore our senses and our bodies.
The Scaravelli Yoga classes explore a free-form, intuitive approach to practice, with a focus on how to move in a more connected, harmonious way. Inspired by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli, you will learn to move sensitively, avoiding imposing on the body and helping you to move with ease towards each Asana (posture).
This is a 2 hour monthly session on Sundays at 11:30 - 13:30pm
Meditate, Relax and Stretch
The classes offer an opportunity to experience guided meditation, and to learn simple practices you can take into your life to support and nourish yourself towards greater stillness, peace and harmony. Some simple stretching & body work is also included in the class. It's a great class to deepen your yoga practice.
Pilates & Yoga / Yogalates
This class combines Pilates & Yoga to create an enjoyable way to get you moving and draws from the benefits of both disciplines. It is effective for promoting strength and suppleness of body and mind. Pilates & Yoga combined is a powerful tool to advance your overall fitness.
Pilates is a holistic form of exercise that is designed to strengthen, elongate and restore the body to balance. Connecting mind and body, Pilates re-educates movement patterns and rebalances the underlying muscular and structural systems of the body. This results in a heightened sense of awareness, ease of movement, the reduction of pain and tension, better posture and an increased sense of wellbeing.
During pregnancy hormones, postural changes and the weight of the baby can cause discomforts in the body. Particularly in the back, pelvis, neck and shoulders. In these classes we work on safe yet effective exercises to strengthen and relieve tension in these areas and maintain a healthy posture. We also focus on building strength and control in the pelvic floor muscles to prevent incontinence and prepare for birth. The classes include breathing techniques to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Mon 17:00 - 18:00pm
During these classes we focus on regaining core strength, realigning posture and re-training the pelvic floor muscles. This will enable the body to cope better with the physical demands of motherhood as well as helping to prevent back pain, incontinence and prolapse issues. The teacher will check for any separation of the tummy muscles and give advice on how to gently encourage them to draw back together. The classes also include some breathing exercises and relaxation, which is so important for mums!
Ashtanga Yoga is an energetic form of Hatha Yoga that follows a set sequence of postures (asanas), joined together through the synchronisation of movement and breath (vinyasa). It is often referred to as a moving meditation, helping students to become stronger and more flexible, while simultaneously calming the mind. This is a great style of yoga to do in the morning to help you feel energised and relaxed for the rest of the day!
Yoga for Sports
This is a dynamic yoga class that will flow through various asanas (poses) to improve flexibility, fascial patterning, functional movement, core stability, strength and balance. Classes work within normal range of motion and are particularly good if you are interested in improving your quality of movement, building your performance in sport and bulletproofing your body for the future.
Yoga for Backs
This class is a great way to get in touch with your 'Core being' accessible for all of you who have an interest in looking after yourselves. Whether you are approaching movement for the first time, wish to maintain good movement or need a practise to help you in your working life or retirement, yoga can make a real difference. This practice will help to bring bodies back into balance and releasing tensions.
Mindful Yin Yoga
Mindful Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures held for longer periods of time between 3 to 5 minutes. The passive nature of long held postures gives time for a deeper journey to unfold into the meditative aspects of yoga. Yin Yoga is the practice of floor based postures that apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of ligaments, fascia, joints, bones and the energetic channels of the meridians, nerves and blood system.
Anusara Inspired Yoga
Anusara is a form of yoga developed by Iyengar-trained American teacher John Friend and actually means 'flowing with Grace'. You can expect to work hard, breathe deep, and connect to your essence in your practise. This is a flowing Vinyasa form of yoga rooted in positive and uplifting Tantric Philosophy. What this means on the mat is the celebration of life through the vehicles of the body and the breath, so your yoga practise becomes the celebration of who and what you are, and a chance to connect to the beauty deep inside each one of us and wake up every cell through its cosmic dance.
Slow Flow Yoga
This class explores conscious, sustainable movement to build strength and awareness. Unhurried breath to centre and ground. An open level class suitable for anyone that likes to move and has some knowledge of yoga, whether it be basic or advanced. A secular approach to Yoga in which shape, form, movement, breath, effort, relationship, gravity, levity etc become tools for inner listening, not something to achieve or get right or wrong.
This class is informed by therapeutic approach to teaching yoga. Using a combination of yoga postures, mindful movement, breath awareness & relaxation practices. Space is given to explore postures & to encourage a deeper awareness of body & breath - which has so many potential benefits for physical and psychological health & wellbeing.
This class would be suitable for people with injuries, returning to yoga after a break, wanting to improve energy levels, improve sleep, reduce pain, lessen worry, irritability, feel happier, reduce stress levels or simply have the desire to find space to slow down.
Kirtan is a simple yet powerful practice that opens the heart & frees the mind through simple, call & response, chanting. It's power is beyond words. During these gatherings we will share simple chants & spiritual songs, drawn mainly from the Yogic & Buddhist traditions, with other old favourites. First timers need not worry - these sessions will be friendly, informal and simple... there's not even any obligation to sing if you don't feel you want to!
So come & sing, dance, make some noise....or just come, listen, be...in a non-judgemental sacred sound space. No experience necessary, just openness of heart....