LEARN – EXPLORE – PRACTICE
At Washington Yoga Center, we do not teach only one kind of yoga which encompasses a wide range of practices for the mind and body developed over thousands of years. Different types of yoga serve the needs of different people, and of the same person at different times. We want you to learn and experience various yoga practices to get the maximum benefit of this ancient art. Some of the yoga we teach are:
This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of asanas (postures), one flowing from the other. This process produces internal heat and a profuse purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs, resulting in improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind. It builds core strength and tones the body. Ashtanga Yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Intended for students that benefit from the support of a chair to move through the poses.
In this class we you will explore asana, pranayama and meditation from the Bihar School of Yoga tradition. This holistic approach begins with a short settling, followed by individual asana performed mindfully, building to the sequence of Surya Namaskara.
Integrated flowing postures designed to increase flexibility and build strength, followed by a slower paced meditative series of poses, and sometimes breathing and philosophy practices.
Vinyasa, or “Flow”, is a style of yoga characterized by a smooth transition of asanas (postures) so that you move seamlessly from one to another. This aerobic form of yoga is a great way to boost strength and flexibility. Since there is no standard sequence, the style, pace, and intensity vary depending on the teacher. The class may be dynamic and focus on strengthening postures, or it may be a slower flow with an emphasis on mobility and flexibility in the spine or the hips.
Hatha is a branch of yoga that concentrates more on body and health. Hatha is a gentle yoga that focuses on static poses and pranayamas (breathing techniques) and is great for beginners and seniors. Even though it is gentle, it can still be physically and mentally challenging. Hatha classes provide an opportunity to stretch, unwind, and release tension, as they provide a good counterpoint to both busy lifestyles and cardio workouts.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of yoga as exercise with a focus on the structural alignment of the physical body through the practice of asanas (postures). During class, any misalignments and errors are actively explained and corrected, as accuracy is a priority. Postures are held for a relatively long period of time to allow the muscles to relax and lengthen. Props including belts, blocks, and blankets are freely used to assist students in correctly working the asanas, and are great for helping those with physical ailments practice safely. In sum, it is an embodied experience of concentration and unity of body, breath, mind and soul.
Jivamukti is a Vinyasa style practice where the asana is vigorous, and classes are upbeat and energetic. Each class has a theme that is explored through yoga, meditation, asana, and music, appealing to those who seek more than a great workout. Jivamukti’s philosophy is centered around yama ahimsa, which means non-violence. Therefore, the practice is a way to improve your relationship to all others and lead to enlightenment.
Kripalu yoga is a gentle Hatha yoga practice with a compassionate approach. It places an emphasis on meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation that flows from the yoga mat into daily life. Kripalu’s teachings of adaptability and acceptance help you learn to observe your thoughts without judging and to accept and love yourself as you are. In a Kripalu class, you find your own level of practice on a given day by looking inward. Classes usually begin with pranayama exercises and gentle stretches, followed by asana practice and ending with final relaxation.
Power Yoga is a fitness-based Vinyasa practice. An offshoot of Ashtanga yoga, it has many of the same qualities and benefits, including building internal heat, increased stamina, strength, and flexibility, as well as stress reduction. It incorporates the athleticism of Ashtanga and the flexibility of performing Vinyasa in different orders. You learn to synchronize your breath as you flow, helping to optimize your energy.
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation method for achieving total muscular, mental and emotional relaxation. Practicing Yoga Nidra regularly yields enormous physical and psychological benefits over time, including better sleep hygiene, improved mood, and reduced stress. Coming from ancient teachings, the practice was updated for modern life and refined for more than 70 years to create today’s highly effective meditation practice.
Focus on breath to deepen your practice.
Viniyoga is a personalized style of Hatha yoga to suit each individual yogi. The differentiators of Viniyoga are the connection between breath and movement, and the combination of movement and staying in poses. This helps re-train habitual patterns of movement so that each is more powerful and mindful. There are no “correct” forms during Viniyoga, since poses are adapted for each yogi in order to feel the benefits of each posture.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga, where asanas (postures) are held for longer periods of time than in other styles. For beginners, asanas may be held from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more. The sequences of postures are meant to stimulate the channels of the subtle body known as nadis. The poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body in order to increase circulation and improve flexibility.
Washington Yoga Center offers yoga for everyone and teaches a variety of classes at different levels. The following descriptions provide broad guidelines to help determine the right class for you.
During any class, you can always modify or skip poses, as you need to. Always listen to your body and do what feels best for you.
If you are new to yoga, getting back into practicing, looking to refine your practice, or maybe need a day to move at a slower pace, this is the level for you. The classes are slower paced, less physically demanding with the basic asanas taught along with introduction of the use of breath. Ample time is given to move into the poses correctly. Depending on the students, the teacher may begin to introduce more challenging poses.
Classes are intended for those who have gone beyond the beginner level, but are not quite ready for the intermediate Level II. Thus, they combine both the basic asanas with the more advanced ones and the relationship between breath and movement is explored more fully.
These constitute the full intermediate level and are suitable for only those who have knowledge of basic yoga. It consists of some challenging poses that require more strength, flexibility and balance and are moderately physically demanding. The teachers offer more detailed instruction in intermediate balancing postures. There is more focus on alignment and coordinating the breath with the asanas.
At this level classes are beyond intermediate level, but not at the fully advanced level. They require a considerable background of yoga practice and the ability to easily do the basic and intermediate asanas. Mastery of coordinating the breath with movement is closer to realization.
These are designed for the most experienced yogis with solid understanding of intermediate yoga postures and are comfortable performing the advanced poses at a vigorous pace. The student practices yoga regularly and is shown how to master the connection of breath with movement.
These classes are for people of all levels. Clear instructions are given during practice, including breathing techniques and alignment in poses. Different options are provided for the poses so students can choose the level at which they feel most comfortable.
The Living Well Review
What our students are saying
“Thank you SO much for mounting an amazing line-up—virtually the full schedule— of yoga classes. I really count on them,”
JE, April 2020
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