Yoga (Sanskrit: योग) is a commonly known generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in Ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace. Specifically, yoga is one of the six āstika ("orthodox") schools of Hindu philosophy.
Naked Yoga is a practice which has nothing to do with sex, but is a liberating and beautiful form of yoga where the student can truly learn to let go of the ego, and focus on the body, mind, spirit connection. Naked yoga gives you a feeling of freedom and acceptance rather than judgement and comparisons regardless of your age, body type, size or ability. Byproducts of practicing Naked yoga will help you to be loving of your own body. There is an expectation that you bring a couple of towels with you, and that you also bring your own mat. Students dress and undress when the teacher has set up the room appropriately. Usually doors are shut on commencement of classes so don’t be late!
Advanced yoga is the next practical step for anyone ready to perfect their postures, anchor their alignment and pursue a deeper understanding of yogic philosophy. These classes help you approach challenging poses correctly, refine your awareness and solidify a holistic, balanced practice.
Yoga has long been used to raise perspectives, and aerial yoga takes the practice to new heights. This practice offers a truly elevated experience for beginners and experts alike as supportive silk slings allow students to gracefully access the full extent of each posture.
AntiGravity Yoga is a fitness regime designed to increase one's overall health and physical agility in a fun and graceful way. Using a specially designed silk hammock, this style of practice was created by gymnasts for the sake of exploring the air, and has been modified and enhanced to fit into the yoga mold. With additional techniques borrowed from dance, pilates and calisthenics, AntiGravity offers a complete workout to keep you in shape and proper alignment.
Anusara is a school of hatha yoga with an uplifting philosophy, epitomized by a "celebration of the heart" that looks for the good in all people and all things. Increasing rapidly in popularity since it was founded in 1997, Anusara honours students of all levels of ability and experience for their unique differences, limitations, and talents. This celebratory vision sets the basis for a yoga school in which the harmony and joy of a tightly knit community of highly trained teachers and fun-loving students is exalted. The Anusara community has the tightness of a family, yet the looseness of a merry band of bohemian artists.
Ashtanga is based on a series of asanas that increase in difficulty, allowing students to work at their own pace. This particular system is based on self-practice in which you memorise the series and slowly add new postures when you’re ready. A relatively active style of yoga, Ashtanga requires firm dedication, though is suitable for all ages – originally it was taught to young boys as a way to focus their energy and calm their mind.
Ayurveda is often called the sister science to yoga and holds many truths about health and longevity. Ayurveda is based on the 3 doshas and 5 gunas, which are used to explain all natural phenomena - the doshas include Vatta, Pitta and Kapha which then are made of the 5 Gunas or qualities including: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth. During an Ayurveda consultation, your practitioner will ask you a series of questions and take your pulse while he/she decides which Dosha you are. The resulting treatment can include herbs, body treatment, dietary recommendations, yoga poses and other advice.
When you take a Bikram yoga class, expect to sweat. Each studio is designed to replicate yoga's birthplace climate, with temperatures pushing 37 degrees centigrade. Inducing sweat to help move toxins out of your body allows fresh blood and oxygen to circulate and helps to keep your immune system running smoothly. Taking its name from founder Bikram Choudhury, this practice involves a sequence of 26 traditional hatha postures used to address the proper functioning of every bodily system.
Dance yoga is a celebration of joy, breath, music and movement. This style of practice offers students a full-body workout that allows them free-expression as they move through a choreographed series of traditional yoga postures. The vibrant, fluid nature of each class works to boost energy, loosen the mind, body and spirit. The rooms may not be heated, but you’re likely to raise a sweat.
Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on soft flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation. With its foundations set firmly in ancient yogic tradition, Dru works on body, mind and spirit—improving strength and flexibility, creating core stability, building a heightened feeling of positivity, and deeply relaxing and rejuvenating your whole being.Designed to be practised by people of all abilities, all fitness levels and all age groups, Dru is a style of yoga that can be quickly dipped into or learnt in more depth over a lifetime. Dru Yoga classes are available in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and across Europe, Australia and Canada. Short Dru Yoga retreats and yoga holidays in these countries are also very popular. 'Dru Yoga should be available in every GP surgery.' Dr Hilary JonesIn 2005, 450 graduates and participants in Dru Yoga Courses all over the world were asked about the effects of their practice.* 72 % found Dru Yoga reduced back pain* 93 % experienced improved spine flexibility* 86% enjoyed increased energy levels* 89% experienced improved breathing with yoga* 89% can now reduce and control stress levels* 81% have greater confidence and self-empowerment* 84% benefited from enhanced mood since practising Dru Yoga* 83% felt emotionally balanced* 91% gained peace of mind by overcoming negative thinkingWhatever your yoga ambitions, you’ll find Dru Yoga a fresh, energetic, positive and complete approach to health and wellbeing.
Dynamic Yoga is a generic term for any active yoga. It normally is based on Hatha Yoga poses with an emphasis on movement and breathing. The class will probably start with several rounds of Sun Salutations, followed by a variety of standing poses. As the name suggests, dynamic yoga is movement based and will probably not involves as much deep stretches as a hatha class. It will increase the heart rate and probably make you sweat. Often Dynamic classes are based on the standing series of Ashtanga, without the strict adherence to a specific sequence of Asanasa (poses) and Vinyasas (breath). There may be some time at the end for inversions and back bends, normally finishing with sivasana.Bring a towel and make sure not to eat at least 3 hours before the class. Probably best to wear stretchy clothes as well.
Fusion yoga is a dynamic practice that blends traditional postures with dance, martial arts and a range of other movements. Connect with your breath, strengthen your body, free your mind, and forget what you know about set structured practice. These classes draw from different yoga traditions and build upon each teacher’s creative direction, helping cultivate alignment and focus, along with inner and outer freedom.
There are many different schools of Yoga, although when people speak of “general yoga” they’re usually referring to Hatha yoga. Structured around movement, breath and meditation, yoga works to help individuals connect with their mind, body and spirit through a series of movements and postures. General yoga classes are suited to brand new and experienced practitioners alike, helping to improve strength, flexibility, control and self-awareness.
Originator of Gentle Yoga with Naomi®"My mission is to inspire health and wellness by educating and supporting individuals to love, nurture and value themselves; to teach people how to take time out and create balance in their lives; and to empower women in feeling safe and comfortable just the way they are." - Naomi JudithYoga Teacher - Weight Management Specialist – Stress Reduction ExpertNaomi Judith is an acclaimed yoga expert, stress management specialist, and nationally known professional speaker who educates people on relaxation, healthy breathing, rejuvenating body stretches, weight management awareness, and how to achieve stress reduction. She is the producer of the instructional video, "Gentle Yoga with Naomi®," which features a form of hatha yoga she originated based on her classical training. Her simple, slowly-paced practice makes the exercises doable for anyone, and the video also addresses key issues of stress and weight management. You can download a preview of the video here (1 mb).Yoga DVDs - Yoga MP3s - Yoga E-Books - Yoga Classes by Yoga Author and Teacher Naomi JudithA Daniel's Cable Television grant allowed Naomi to develop her own yoga program on cable television. Created in 1991, it still airs on cable television. She has been featured on national TV as well as in the Yoga Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union, Changes Magazine, among other media. Gentle Yoga with Naomi®; has been presented in various venues including the Palms and Rancho La Puerta spas. Naomi is also the author of 108 Ways to Balance Your Weight and Health Naturally and two Gentle Yoga audio programs, as well as the Gentle Yoga with Naomi®; Teacher Training Manual and the Student Manual.Naomi has served as stress management specialist at Scripps Health in the Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease and she has also been on staff at UCSD. Her private yoga practice, including classes, workshops, and private sessions is in North San Diego County. A graduate of Yeshiva University (B.A.) and Brooklyn College (M.A.), Naomi has earned yoga certifications from Sivananda Yoga-Vedanta Ashram and Ananda Yoga, as well as from the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy system. She is a member of the Yoga Education Society and the Yoga Alliance.
Informative and educational, Gita yoga draws on the age old wisdoms to teach students ways to live well in the 21st Century. Acclaimed as Australia’s first full-time Yoga institute, Gita was established in 1954 and has been an established name in yoga training since. With serene and beautiful facilities that offer a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, Gita seeks to nurture body, mind and spirit while providing life education, support, understanding and growth.
Well-balanced by name and by practice, Hatha literally means Sun and Moon, denoting the inseparable active and passive aspects of nature. In western yoga studios, hatha yoga classes tend towards a more passive style that involves longer-held poses with a focus on mediation and slow, controlled breathing. Occasionally studios offer dynamic hatha classes that provide students with stronger, faster-paced physical workouts.
Most active yoga practices will raise a sweat, though hot yoga guarantees it. Using infrared heating systems, forced air systems or space heaters, these classes can vary between 32-40C depending on the style – although commonly associated with Bikram, Power Vinyasa and Moksha also use heated rooms as part of their practice. Hot yoga raises your heart rate to increase your workout, encourages detoxification through sweat and helps to warm up your muscles quickly, making deeper stretches easier in a shorter period of time.
Intregral Yoga brings together the various branches of traditional yoga in an all-encompassing practice. Integrating mind, body and spirit, it seeks to create balance and flow in all aspects of life. This style offers a holistic approach to yoga, consisting of gentle active movements and postures, breathing exercises, philosophy, active selfless service, chanting, diet and meditation.
If you’ve mastered a basic practice and are ready for more advanced postures and sequences, intermediate yoga classes offer students the next step. With a deeper awareness, these classes can help develop body-alignment and really ground your understanding of yogic philosophy, while having some fun with exciting and impressive physical disciplines.
Iyengar yoga encourages students to penetrate deeper into the experience of each pose. This style of practice, as taught by B.K.S Iyengar, is based on the traditional 8 limbs of yoga as set out by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutras. Expect to spend time in each posture to develop proper alignment, strength, stamina and flexibility. Water is not normally permitted within classes so it’s recommended you come well hydrated, and to further promote focus and dedication, students are encouraged to develop their own home practice.
Deeply rooted in the flow of nature, Japanese yoga changes every season to suit internal and external changes, both in your body and the surrounding environment. This style of yoga incorporates diet, oriental medical practices, and relates meridians and organs within the body to external elements in nature. Known by a few different names, Japanese yoga has also been called Ryoho, Oki-do, Oriental, Ki FUSION Yoga or Ki.
Jivamukti yoga offers students a stimulating practice both physically and intellectually. Drawing its name from the Sanskrit term Jivanmukti, which essentially describes the state of enlightenment, the name Jivamukti means “liberation while living”. This style of yoga aims to help students along the path towards liberation, involving asana sequences, yogic breathing practices, music, readings, chanting and references to scriptural texts.
KHYF yoga takes an intelligent approach to the practice by applying different techniques depending on the student’s individual needs, abilities and requirements. Pioneered by Professor T Krisnamacharya, who counts BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois and Indra Devi among his former students, KHYF revives the ancient teachings of yoga and preserves their relevance in the modern world.
Kids yoga classes are fun, educational and a great way to cultivate self-awareness while balancing energy levels. Ever noticed how babies and children naturally stretch out into common yoga poses? Helping your kids establish their own practice early on can build their self-esteem, strengthen their focus and concentration, and develop other important life skills.
Whether you love to sing or are finding your voice, Kirtan and Chanting yoga are an expressive way to still your mind and open your heart. Based on traditional India devotional music, these classes generally involve a call-and-response style of singing and chanting matras, both in Sanskrit and English phrases. This style of practice can help students struggling to settle into mediation as the actively repetitive nature of chanting helps to focus attention away from the self, while leaving you feeling elevated and peaceful.
Kriya yoga is primarily based on pranayama, or breathing exercises. Initially popularised in the west by Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi, this practice emphasises the relationship between breath and mind. Kriya yoga states that by developing the mind, body, intellect and awareness of the soul, students have the opportunity to change their lives, reaching higher states of consciousness.
Kundalini Yoga has been described as more than just a system of physical exercise, but a dynamic, powerful tool for expanding awareness. Influenced by the Tantra and Shakta schools of Hinduism, this style of yoga consists of physical asana, meditation, pranayama and chanting mantras. Known to help cope with the daily stresses of modern life, this practice promotes physical health, stimulates the mind and helps students connect spiritually.
Massage yoga follows centuries of therapeutic knowledge, drawing together the principles of yoga and Ayurveda. Commonly this practice consists of a full body massage, focusing on healing pressure points to heal the body naturally by releasing emotional and energetic blockages. This style of massage can help relieve tightness, tension and pain, while promoting energy levels and overall health.
Traditionally, meditation is a core aspect of a holistic yoga practice. While there are many different styles of meditation, most encourage students to develop a loving awareness of self, identifying with the spirit in all living things. This practice can help you achieve a calm, peaceful state in which the mind, body and senses are brought into balance. Proven to ease anxiety, stress and depression, meditation relaxes the nervous system, increases positivity and makes it easier to focus.
Men’s yoga classes are tailored to suit masculine bodies, mindsets and lifestyles. Often focusing on areas of the male body prone to tightness, such as hamstrings and shoulders, these classes help improve flexibility, improve posture, build strength, balance and stamina, clear the mind and develop a better sleep pattern. It’s no secret that male and female bodies are different, however these classes embrace those differences and help mnodern men get the most from their practice.
Once mothers begin to share the world with their child, rather than their body, Mums and Bubs yoga is an excellent way to nurture through the transition. These classes typically consist of gentle postures that benefit areas most affected by pregnancy while expanding your range of movement, strengthening your core and reconnecting with your body. Perfect for mothers with babies from 6 weeks to 12 months old, this practice offers new mothers another way to bond physically, emotionally and spiritually with their child.
Yoga is every new mum’s secret weapon! Mums and kids yoga are a great way to reclaim and maintain your fitness, socialise with other mums and bond with your child through active spiritual exercise. Generally suitable for all skill levels, these classes are a great way to keep a clear head, regulate your energy levels and shake off the stresses that come with being a parent.
Yoga centres on the philosophy that mind, body and spirit are all connected. Much more than sweaty exercise, deep breathing and stretchy clothes, yoga offers a wide range of philosophical ideals that allow students to examine their bodies and behaviours, cultivating an awareness of the world that exists both inside and outside of us all. Often known as Raja yoga, this practice works through traditional yoga sutras to expand your understanding of life, helping to develop a peaceful and mindful disposition.
Pilates and yoga may have their differences, but they can agree on a few things. In particular, they both promote the importance of breath, relaxation, concentration, centring, whole-body movement and balanced physical development. The combination of Pilates, which aims to develop the perfect mind/body balance, and yoga with its aim to develop a mind/body/spirit balance, is becoming increasingly popular as each practice benefits the other. Meeting somewhere in the middle, these classes are a great way to develop your core strength and flexibility.
Postnatal yoga is an excellent way to nurture both mothers and children through the transition to of sharing the same body for nine months into sharing external living spaces. These classes typically consist of gentle postures that benefit areas most affected by pregnancy while expanding your range of movement, strengthening your core and reconnecting with your body. Perfect for mothers with babies from 6 weeks to 12 months old, this practice offers new mothers another way to bond physically, emotionally and spiritually with their child.
Power yoga is a dynamic approach to Vinyasa-style yoga. Often considered to be the modern-fitness style of yoga, this practice was originally based on the Ashtanga method, however doesn’t follow the same set series of postures. These classes are highly active, and whether or not they take place in a heated room, you’re likely to raise a sweat.
Pranayama is the practice of breath control to attain higher states of awareness. Translated from Sanskrit, the term ‘Prana’ means breath, or vital energy, and ‘ayama’ means control. This style of yoga was expressed as highly important by Patanjali in his yoga sutras, and when practiced correctly can help alleviate stress, boost positivity and energy levels, along with clearing the nose and other internal blocks. As this particular practice can be very powerful, it should be performed as instructed by a trusted teacher.
Health, happiness and grounding are all incredibly important during a pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is a great way to cover all those bases and more. This practice can help soon-to-be mothers stay active and flexible, and de-stress while connecting internally. Expect these classes to be gentle, nurturing and informative, and even discover ways to help ease the birthing process naturally.
Qigong is a traditional Chinese practice that uses physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intent to achieve its namesake of ‘cultivating energy’. This practice includes similar elements to those found in Yoga and Ayurveda, and is often referred to as Chinese Yoga. You’ll notice distinct martial-arts style actions, as Qigong provides the foundation for both Kung Fu and Tai Chi. These classes help students cultivate strength, flexibility, self-awareness and personal healing.
In essence, Restorative Yoga is active relaxation. This practice is commonly a gentle style of Hatha Yoga that uses postures and controlled breathing to work deeply into stretches, helping to strengthen and release throughout the entire body. You may not raise a sweat, but for many the challenge comes from settling the mind and body into long holds, and as such these classes are incredible for cultivating patience, balance and a sense of inner peace.
Satyananda draws together many traditional forms of yoga into one that suits modern lifestyles. This practice uses active postures, controlled breathing exercises and meditation to help relax and tone the physical body, balance energy levels, reduce stress and cultivate a peaceful, focused mind. Working from the inside out - and the outside in - these classes raise awareness of all aspects of being, and they’re suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
Shadow Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga developed by Shandor Remete, including asana, bandha, pranayama, mudra, and meditation aspects. The term "Shadow" is a direct reference to ancient yogic texts that directly influenced Remete. These classes usually do not use yoga mats, and involve a range of twelve positions and movements adapted from martial arts and dance, as well as the plant and animal kingdoms.
Sivananda yoga is a slow, gentle practice that follows the teachings of Swami Sivananda. One of the first styles to be practiced in the west, these classes are generally slow and steady, allowing students to work fully into each pose. Ideal for anyone who likes their yoga softer, filled with opportunities to in-tune to their bodies while cultivating physical health, mental clarity and spiritual connection.
A unique take on Vinyasa flow, SomaChi yoga offers students a strong, fluid practice. This style includes traditional Hatha postures with influences in martial arts and tai chi, and helps students cultivate a peaceful mind while energising the body.
Svaroopa yoga teaches different ways of doing familiar poses, emphasizing the opening of the spine by beginning at the tailbone and progressing through each spinal area. Every pose integrates the foundational principles of asana, anatomy, and yoga philosophy, and emphasizes the development of transcendent inner experience, which is called svaroopa by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra. This is a consciousness-oriented yoga that also promotes healing and transformation.
Yoga Synergy is a Vinyasa flow-style meditative practice. These classes focus on linking breath with each movement and posture, helping to cultivate body awareness and alignment. Run in series, each 9 weeks a new series of postures and exercises are taught, taking into consideration the time of year and skill level of current students.
Tai Chi Yoga blends the ancient martial art form with Hatha yoga. Founded in 1977, this style of practice focuses on the act of doing, rather than the goal of achieving. Open to all ages, sizes and body shapes, Tai Chi yoga encourages students to perform at their own level. These classes are filled with slow, focused movements, deep spiritual insights and joyful experiences.
While the word Tantra is well known, it is not so well understood. Based on traditional Indian teachings, the practice of Tantra uses discipline, practice and understanding to access the inner self and expand personal consciousness. Tantra yoga classes teach the principles of the Tantras, involving mantras, meditation, yoga and rituals.
Adolescence is a challenging time on all fronts. During this transitional period it is important to cultivate physical and mental disciplines that will last well into adulthood, and a firmly grounded sense of self-esteem. Teen yoga classes are fun and active, filled with exercises and philosophy to help identify with real with self, the surrounding environment and the world at large, while encouraging physical fitness and compassion.
Vinyasa is an active style of yoga focused on asanas, breath control and often integrated with meditation and philosophy. Translated as ‘breath linked with movement’, Vinyasa has a focus of connecting controlled breath with each movement and posture. This style of yoga is similar to Ashtanga, although classes are often taught in heated studios. Come well hydrated, wear stretchy clothes and expect to work consciously into the subtle depths of your body.
Just as it sounds, Women’s yoga is a vibrant practice tailored for ladies only. These types of classes are planned to help women maintain their happiness and health while dealing with physical and emotional stress, hormonal changes and more. Yoga helps to cultivate a loving awareness of self and an empowered self-identity that all women are entitled to. This practice can help overcome internal obstacles and de-stress while easing cramps, headaches and other symptoms associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced practice filled with longer-held poses that allow us to work deeper that normal into muscles and connective tissues. Typically each asana is held for five minutes or longer, applying moderate stress to tendons, fascia and ligaments to increase joint circulation and improve flexibility. Through deep breath and concentrated effort, this meditative approach to yoga helps students to cultivate an awareness of inner silence and peace.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice taught by a variety of schools. Based on ancient Vedic traditions, the system of practices, philosophies and principles aims to liberate individuals through expansions of consciousness. In western yoga studios, classes use movement, breath and meditation to help individuals connect with their mind, body and spirit through a sequence of actions and postures. While styles can vary greatly, they all aim to cultivate health, happiness and understanding.
Yoga for Special Needs is empowering as it meets individuals at their current level of functioning and moves forward from there. The limits of individuals are accepted, and with the help of the instructor, they work through those confines. Yoga poses are adapted when necessary to meet individual needs or goals. Yoga for Special Needs aids the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development of those with learning difficulties, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and other disabilities.
Yoga in Daily Life uses asanas, relaxation, pranayama and meditation to help students cultivate self-awareness, physical health and spiritual harmony. This school of yoga focuses on four main areas of health – physical, mental, social and spiritual – to correct the stresses, ill health and disconnection prevalent in modern life. These classes are open to all skill levels and age groups, through any stage of life.
Often known as ‘effortless relaxation’ or ‘psychic sleep’, Yoga Nidra is one of the deepest states of relaxation a person can experience while maintaining full consciousness. This style of practice is used to reduce stress and anxiety by rotating awareness throughout the body, singling out each specific body part and using both thought and breath to relax it. Some studios offer Yoga Nidra classes, or include the practice at the end of a class in place of savasana, though with guided recordings it can be practiced individually from anywhere.
Yoga therapy uses traditional yogic practices to address the health needs of an individual. This holistic approach uses postures, breathing techniques, meditation, diet and personal guidance to establish wellbeing in all aspects of a person’s life, as apposed to some modern forms of healthcare that focus on one specific ailment. Generally these treatments are one-on-one, however in some circumstances they may take place in small group sessions.
Yogalates is a fusion of yoga and Pilates. As a holistic integration of the two health systems, these classes blend the ancient spiritual practices of yoga with the core stabilising, functional, and regenerative dynamics of Pilates. This practice is suitable for any level of experience, working to promote unity of the body and mind, develop physical fitness and cultivate a sense of inner calm, relaxation and overall well being.
Yoga Month brings the Australian yoga community together to celebrate and raise awareness of the ancient practice, highlighting the amazing people and events that yogis are involved in all over the country. During yoga month, yoga schools and teachers are asked to offer special free yoga classes and events to encourage more people to practice.