What makes Go Yoga classes different?
Go Yoga classes don’t focus on individual postures (asanas) – there are plenty of yoga studios and classes that already do that. A Go Yoga practice is not that passive. Instead, classes are steeped in the Jivamukti Yoga tradition of sequencing asana integrated with pranayama (breath control). Through a combination of asana that enhance the body, as well as reflection on ancient Yoga teachings that refine emotions and challenge the intellect, the true soul can be revealed. Students can apply the classes to whatever their experience and whatever traditions they have in their own life. In doing so, they begin to have their own insights on how their life is affected by what they do right now.
Jackie teaches what comes from her studies and from her own observations and experiences in life. She acknowledges her words and her sequences in class are just a guide for her students to explore their own body, the workings of their mind and ultimately their spirit. All classes use music, ranging from dynamic, energetic and uplifting to soothing and introspective. All classes also carry a theme of contemplation, in Jivamukti Yoga this is known as “The Focus of the Month“. In any class you attend, many variations of the asana are given, so you have an opportunity to either challenge yourself or to modify and do what you know in your heart is what you need in that moment. A typical Go Yoga class consists of sitting, standing, back-bending, forward bending and inverted postures with breath awareness, meditation, hands-on alignment and relaxation. However as detailed below, the pace and levels vary.
Jivamukti Yoga Open
Created by Sharon Gannon and David Life, Jivamukti Yoga is one of the nine internationally recognised styles of Yoga and is open to all levels.
Whether you’re a beginner, deciphering the difference between vrksasana (tree) and sirshasana (headstand) or an advanced yogi who can put both feet behind their head, open class is for you.
The class is called “Open” because it is open and suitable to all levels of practitioner. Asana options are provided for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Even so, beginning level students should know that there will not be much detailed “how to do” descriptions; for that a student is advised to attend a Basic or Beginner Vinyasa Class. The length of an Open class differs at times, so please check the schedule before attending.
Every class includes Sanksrit chanting, breathing practices, flowing vinyasa and asana sequences, physical alignment exploration, Yogic philosophical teachings drawn from the Focus of the Month, meditation and deep relaxation. Music plays an integral role and each class features an eclectic playlist ranging from Indian kirtan to hip-hop, rock, funk, trance, classical and spoken word.
In short, Jivamukti Open is a comprehensive yoga class that transforms, invigorates and energizes, while at the same time grounding and leading the student inward on an exploration of the deeper spiritual aspects of the self.
Jivamukti Spiritual Warrior Classes are designed for busy people who only have an hour to practice. The class is fast paced and invigorating and is certainly a “get-in-shape” class. The structure is a fixed set sequence instructed in a vinyasa style. It is a fully balanced class which includes asana warm-up, chanting, setting of intention, surya namaskar, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, inversions, meditation and relaxation. The teacher focuses on keeping the pace moving and does not stop to give spiritual discourses. Since the asana sequence is always the same, a student will pick it up quite quickly after only a couple of classes.
Spiritual Warrior Classes are best for intermediate and advanced students, although beginners as well as anyone with a sense of adventure are welcome!
Gentle Hatha Yoga
This class is perfect for beginners, older students and students recovering from or facing injury or illness, but is open to all students looking for some deep rejuvenation and restoration. It is a slow moving, deep exploratory class that is presented in a more relaxed way than vinyasa. It focuses on regenerative yoga poses that are profoundly healing and detoxifying. Additionally, pranayama and meditation provide precious time-out and a return to self-awareness. Much time is dedicated to helping students understand how to move with the breath and hands-on assistance is readily given in this class. If the students need a rest period, they are encouraged to relax into child’s pose before continuing. As with all Go Yoga classes, any asana can be viewed as optional. The aim of Gentle Hatha is to ground and lead the student inward on an exploration of the deeper spiritual aspects of the self.
Beginner Vinyasa classes provide a good transition for a beginner student from Basic classes to Open classes. Additionally, they provide an opportunity for a more advanced student to refine their skills through more detailed exploration of the asanas and how they can flow together seamlessly by means of steady paced ujjayi breathing.
This slow moving, deep exploratory class provides students with the underlying basics of how a vinyasa practice works. Vinyasa is a method of practicing asana (physical poses), where the asanas are presented in a sequence, flowing one to the next. The practice focuses on aligning one’s breath and spiritual intention with movement. The class follows a set sequence of asanas and is presented at a slower, more relaxed pace than in the Open classes. The main emphasis is on breathing while holding asanas as well as on transitioning into and out of asanas gracefully and safely. Because the teacher speaks almost continuously to keep the breath pace steady, the students main focus is to listen to their own breath and silently count to themselves. Time is given to help students understand how to move with the breath and learn how to do it on their own without the teacher calling out every single breath count.
This class is suitable for beginners, but open to all levels of practitioner.
Jivamukti Yoga Basics
Jivamukti Yoga Basics is ideal for those never attended Yoga class before, those looking to transition from Gentle Hatha classes to Vinyasa, or experienced practitioners who want to refine their skills and revitalize their current practice. Each Jivamukti Basic class is part of a four-week fundamentals course that explores a different theme each week:
- week one: standing asanas
- week two: forward bending asanas
- week three: backward bending asanas
- week four: inversions, meditation and “putting it all together.”
Whereas in the Vinyasa class vinyasa is emphasized, in the Basic class alignment is the emphasis. Students are taught “how to do” asanas as well as the use of props. The Basic Class provides the underlying structure to help a student be able to eventually enter into Vinyasa class intelligently and safely. Beginners are encouraged to take all four weeks of the Basic course. Intermediate and advanced students will also benefit from exploring the alignment essentials presented in these classes. Students register for the full 4 week program starting with week one, but it is advisable that they also attend any other classes at any time during the month in order to help put the teachings to practice.
Advancing your Yoga Practice Workshop Series
To become a great student of Yoga you must never stop growing and learning. A Yoga student with 40 years of experience must continue to develop and modify their practice, just like a beginner. This series of workshops speaks to dedicated Yoga students looking to deepen their practice. Jackie brings her tremendous practical understanding of the living anatomy of the human body to this course, enabling students to access poses they’d never thought possible. Workshops may dissect any of the challenging standing, twisting, back-bending, inverted, balancing or forward bending poses, as well as pranayama, meditation and mantra. Students learn why and how the breath is integral in bringing more strength, ease and precision to poses. By refining both the physical and subtle alignment of the body, the student learns not only to free the energy within (prana), but also to conserve it and expend it on gaining greater sensitivity and awareness in their asana practice.
Students may sign up on a casual basis for single workshops, or save money by signing up for the entire series.
This course and /or classes are especially for women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Antenatal Yoga helps women adapt and prepare physically for the stresses that pregnancy and childbirth place on the body, in addition to aiding post-natal recovery and care. The specifics of practice vary from week to week for each woman, as her body and energy levels change throughout pregnancy. In general, however, antenatal Yoga provides muscle conditioning, posture and pelvic floor awareness, pranayama and relaxation techniques.
Women enrolled in the Antenatal Yoga course or class form a special bond and are free to relate their experiences without judgment in a divine circle of supportive Yoga mamas. Jackie also encourages women to talk about their specific needs regularly as their pregnancy progresses; that way she can adapt the antenatal Yoga practice to suit every woman’s need.
Above all, antenatal Yoga with Go Yoga teaches that every woman’s experience of pregnancy is unique and every birth, be it natural or C-section, is a sacred and blessed experience.
Please email Jackie at email@example.com to register!
School Term Family Yoga
In these special school term classes, children aged 8-14 and their parents or guardians practice yoga together. As kids learn through games, play and storytelling, these classes are not as structured as a regular yoga class. A sense of fun, lightheartedness and creativity is the focus in family yoga, where every student is free to express their own individual self without judgment or expectation. In a safe place free of competition, both adult and child can explore their full potential at their own pace. Students learn yoga poses that encourage creativity, coordination, concentration, flexibility and balance, all the while stretching, strengthening and releasing tension in the body and mind, developing respect for their bodies and each other. Storytelling and imaginative play teaches the basic yoga philosophies of giving, caring, friendliness and happiness for all. Guided breathing, meditation and relaxation practices relieve anxiety leave kids feeling calm and peaceful.
Family yoga is ideal for adults and kids alike to develop or improve body awareness, concentration, emotional intelligence, self-confidence and self-esteem.
*Family yoga classes are sold as a double class pass for the child and their parent or caregiver just for an 8-week course during the school term. The next course for Term 3 2017 begins Thursday July 27 at 4:30pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest for the upcoming course*