The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. ~Carl Jung
Every body benefits from time spent in Gentle practice
This is the belief and core teaching principle of The School of Gentle Yoga: Every body benefits from time spent in gentle practice. Gentle Yoga is for every body – every ability, every age, every temperament, every constitution and every bodywithin Yoga philosophy. It is only a matter of finding the entry point.
Gentle Yoga is not only for seniors, injury, or illness. Gentle does not mean easy. Gentle does not mean for beginners only. Gentle does not mean un-challenging or un-stimulating. And gentle most certainly does not mean simply modifying the asanas.In fact, Gentle Yoga is a deep, advanced practice.
- It is a practice of being present with Self, observing what is so, and moving through it with grace and ease.
- It’s the experience of slowing down long enough to really be with the softer and subtler elements of Self without fear or avoidance.
- It is the recognition through being present and slowing down that we are so much more than simply our physical self.
- Gentle Yoga is a gateway to Harmony, moving through the layers of Self, referred to in Yoga philosophy as the Koshas.
To really be with one’s self, with love and authenticity, requires vulnerability. Yoga gives us structure and support to be with that vulnerability, most especially in a gentle practice.
Principle #1: Breath as Foundation
Conscious breath is the gateway to exploring the natural balance between expansion and contraction. A primary focus of this training is to learn to balance and move between expansion and contraction, harmonizing the body and mind. Principle includes:
- Establish a felt sense of the natural qualities of the breath prior to movement.
- Inhalation is naturally expansive; Exhalation is naturally stabilizing
- Pause frequently to maintain and reestablish deepest expression of breath
Principle #2: Form Follows Function
Life is most recognizable in its dynamic expression, allowing innate gentleness to filter through, which influences our every action, thought, relationship, and the form of our lives. Principle includes:
- An abundance of space in practice for personal exploration and inquiry
- Practices designed to resolve and undo patterns of constriction, revealing true form
- Intention of the practice honors the individual body and constitution
Principle #3: Movement as Meditation – Flow
Moving in rhythmic, breath-led arrangements allows even the most active practice to feel meditative and gentle. Principle includes:
- Inhalation movements expansive; exhalation movements grounding
- Movements flow dynamic to static, establishing felt sense
- Movements arranged to create stability in freedom and expansion
Principle #4: Developing Felt Sense
Learn to read the body as a map of sensation, with each sensation a cue to cultivating internal body awareness. Principle includes:
- Greater connection between the mind, body, breath, and spirit
- Embodiment of sensory, energetic, and emotional landscape
- Moves focus from things outside of us to qualities of our present, internal experience