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Each of Shanti Yoga Glasgow's Group Yoga classes in the West End has people from all ages and genders that attend and many attend class for different reasons. Yoga effects us all in so many ways and the list of benefits is endless.

What is Yoga?

Upward facing bow

Yoga refers to many physical and mental disciplines originating from India. The Sanskrit word Yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root 'yuj', meaning 'to control', 'to yoke', or 'to unite'. Translations include 'joining', 'uniting', 'union', 'conjunction' and 'means'.

Yoga is about building your body awareness and your connection with your body and mind. Its "medicine for the body, mind and soul". At Shanti Yoga Glasgow, you are free to choose to either, focus on purely the physical aspect of yoga, or to further embrace the life changing effects that your Yoga practice can produce on your body and mind. Yoga can really help to improve your quality of life andyour own general happiness within. It can help you to focus better and to move towards a clearer mind. The effects can be life changing! Yoga teaches us how to find a more of a balance in everything we do and it teaches us how to release the stress and tension, physically, mentally and emotionally.

There are many different types of Yoga and it is important to find the right teacher for you. If you have attended a Yoga class and your not too sure about it, it is important to try a different type of Yoga as maybe this wasn't the right style of Yoga or teacher for you.

Yoga and its benefits

Yoga has so many different benefits that the Western World is just starting to become aware of, therefore the popularity of yoga is starting to soar.

It is a great practice to develop alongside high impact sports such as running, aerobics, football and ski-ing/snowboarding as Yoga can strengthen and stretch muscles to prevent injury and develop the mind with regards to, concentration, your memory and focus.

Yoga can also help:

  • Improve muscle tone and strength
  • Improve posture
  • Improve sleep and assist with Insomnia
  • Correct muscle balance
  • Improve breathing
  • Improve concentration and awareness
  • Massage and stimulate internal organs therefore preventing future disease and allows quicker diagnosis of illness and disease. In this way, Yoga can also remove toxins, improve circulation and energise the body
  • Improve the connection between the body and mind through increased body awareness
  • Yoga is moving meditation and is a great starter point to then move onto still, sitting meditations
  • Promotes stress & anxiety relief. Yoga teaches, to develop a clear and calm mind, and a body, that without stress can look and feel younger
  • Many men and women in later life develop back ache, due to weak core muscles, bad posture, or a lack of movement and flexibility in the spine. Yoga can help to relief this pain although a doctor should be seen first to ensure there isn't any other underlying medical problems
  • With guidance and practising with caution, Yoga can be an effective way to cure Sciatica

Advice for Beginners

On the class timetable, classes are divided into level 1-3. This is to give you an idea of the physical challenges of each class however level 1 can be the hardest class that you will ever do, in terms of flexibility and the mind. Level 1 is a much slower paced class in terms of movement. Poses tend to be held for longer which means you have more time to work on strengthening the mind and your flexibility. We would advise beginners to start at Level 1-2 and work up especially if you know that your fitness level is below average. We do have some beginners that start at Level 2 but it is in at the deep end a bit. Level 2 involves some strength and core poses including some flexibility. Classes are alot faster paced but there are regular breaks (you can always take more breaks of your own and plenty easier options are given) and there is still some detail in the poses. Level 3 is only for those who are completely compentant with what yoga is about, the breathing and the full sun salutation sequence. Not much detail is given and classes move fast. On average, you will need to have completed 10-20 x level 2 classes at least! (or a similar style elsewhere) before moving up to level 3.

However Level 1 classes are not just for beginners. Which class you choose each week, may depend on what your body and mind feels ready for, on that week and what your mind realistically needs at that time. A popular option for many of our clients is the 2 for £12 class deal with a mixture of an energetic class (level 2 or 3) and a chill-out class (level 1) but ultimately you decide what your body and minds needs, week by week. Sasha's own personal yoga practice involves a mixture of Level 1 & 2 for balance. A Level 2-3 class is more invigorating and energising and can be good on days when you feel particularly stressed and distracted. Level 1 is particularly good on days when you feel stiff in your body, when you don't have much energy and need a more restful practice.

Whatever class you are in, take your time going from pose to pose and synchronise your breath with your movements. Your breath is the most important part of yoga so even try and focus on that first and then start to think about perfecting your poses. The movement part of yoga is a moving meditation so eventually you will be looking to be moving into each pose in a complete state of relaxation and focus, no matter how challenging the pose.

Remember that yoga poses are not a destination, they are a progression and don't ever compare yourself with other people in the class. Everyone's body is different and certain people will be better at certain poses naturally. Yoga is non-competitive. Take your time in the poses and try not to push yourself too hard. Enjoy each stage of your practice. Be aware of your limitations but challenge yourself at the same time.

Yoga is not about pushing beyond your limitations and this can be quite difficult as alot of us as used to pushing beyond our limitations in most things we do. This is your yoga practice and your 'me' time. Enjoy it, flow with your breath and see where your body is going to take you in each class.

Take a rest at any point during the yoga class. Don't be afraid to ask questions at the end of class about certain poses or parts of the class that you are having difficulty with. Any feedback is always welcomed, bad or good.

Guideline for class

Shanti Yoga Glasgow advises the below etiquette for all yoga classes:

Remember to wear something light and comfortable that you can move in. You might want to bring socks, a jumper or cardigan for relaxation, in case you get cold as your temperature can drop when you stop moving. Water is also advised to bring, to drink before and after class. Some like to bring a small towel or a yoga towel if they sweat alot to stop their hands from sliding down the mat. Maybe think about bring a towel, particularly during the summer months.

*Please advise your teacher of any past or current health issues that might affect your practice, particularly if your pregnant. You should not be doing yoga in the first 14 weeks of your pregnancy, after which, you should attend a pregnancy yoga class.

*Practice yoga barefoot on your mat, to ensure a firm grounding between your foundations of your body and your mat unless in relaxation. This will prevent slipping. Having your own mat or yoga towel is more hygenic but mats are provided should you not have your own.

*Ensure mobile phones are switched off.

*Don't eat anything substantial for at least 2-3 hours before practice, only eat something small before class like a banana for energy if your hungry. Your will feel heavier on your feet on a full stomach and might find some of the poses uncomfortable.

*Please arrive 5-10 mins early to allow time to get settled into class. If its your first class, leave at least ten mins to fill out a form and to have a chat with your teacher about the class and what to expect.

No shoes in the studio during class times. Please leave shoes outside on the shoe rack in the hall. This is to stop the mats getting dirty or dusty

Once classes have been booked, you have up to 7 hours before the class starts, to cancel your booking. Failure to cancel within this timeframe will result in you still having to pay for class.

*Drink plenty of water before and after classes. You are trying not to drink water during your class as its seen to be a distraction and to put out the inner fire that you are trying to build internally during your practice however this is on the basis that you have been hydrating your body all day. If you haven't had time to drink water or if tend to be dehydrated (the studio can get warm in the summer), please bring water to drink.

Shanti Yoga Glasgow's Class definitions

Below are the class definitions of each class. This should give you an idea of what to expect and it should help you find the class for you.

Please be aware that the below guide is rated in terms of physical demand however for some level 1 can be the hardest class in terms of your mind. Those who are feeling particularly anxious or stressed on certain days, would probably benefit more from a level 1 class on that particular day. Yoga Level Class Guide:

  • Level 1-2 - Beginner Level - Slow paced
  • Level 2 - Beginner Level - Fast paced, but detailed descriptions of all poses & regular breaks
  • Level 2-3 - Intermediate Level - Fast paced, but detailed descriptions of all poses with the option of regular breaks.
  • Level 3 - Advanced Level - Fast paced, sweaty & challenging

Vinyasa Flow Yoga (Levels 2) involves synchronising the breath with a series of postures. The body is kept moving in line with the breath, a process which creates internal heat, purifying and detoxifying sweat, which leads to improved circulation, increased concentration and focus and a more supple, strong and toned body. Level 1-2 Vinyasa is there to build you up towards Level 2 however some benefit more from a level 1-2 class and choose not to move up. Sasha's Vinyasa Flow classes change every 2 weeks to provide variety. Vinyasa is a creative sequence that changes regularly. Expect a lot of core yoga and flexibility work. Sasha's classes have more detail however Cat's classes tend to flow more without as much detail.

Yin Yang Yoga (Level 1-2 ) - This class flows from one pose to the next but in a gentle way, focussing on relaxation, flexibility and developing sensitivity to your body and calming the mind. Some of the poses may be held for longer particularly at the start or end of the session (Yin part). There always involves pranayama (controlled breathing) and as with every class, there is yoga nidra (relaxation) at the end. This class is not only great for anyone suffering from stress or anxiety but its a great introduction back to yoga if your a beginner amd apprehensive about starting yoga or if maybe your introducing yourself back into movement after a break or a long period of inactivity.

Yin Yoga (Level 1) is a slower, more deeper style of yoga which focuses on holding postures for longer (anything from 3 to 20 mins), with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. It is designed to improve the flow of prana (energy), the subtle energy which runs through the meridian pathways in the body. Because Yin is a slower paced yoga and poses are held for longer, it allows the practitioner to turn their focus inwards, therefore, reaching a more deeper meditative state, creating balance, harmony and peace in the mind. Yin yoga also increases ones ability to perform Yang Yoga (Ashtanga, power yoga etc). By having lubricated and flexible joints, Yang practices will seem easier. This class is great if your feeling stiff and in need of some rest time.

Forrest Yoga (Level 1-2) Forrest Yoga is a modern style of yoga that focuses on breath, strength, integrity and spirit. It works very attentively with body awareness, breath work and intelligent sequencing of asanas. Forrest Yoga encourages the students to build a strong practice that gives you what you need today- maybe a soothing breath or a sweaty sun salutation! Forrest Yoga doesn't flow as fast as Vinyasa Flow and is focussed more on holding poses. These classes involves core strengthening poses and deep flexibility poses and although still challenging, they are easier for beginners to pick up as the class pace is a little slower than other classes.

Yoga For Runners, Cyclists & Sports (level 2) - This class is specifically focussed on areas that need to be stretched and strengthened for runners. This class can be used a rehab for past injuries or to prevent injuries in the future. It follows a similar flow to the vinyasa flow yoga-Level 2 but has more deep flexibility stretching. We would advise total beginners to Yoga to start with the Yin Yang Level 1-2 Yoga however and work up to the YFR class as it is a Level 2 class.

Zen Ki Yoga ® (Level 1-2- suitable for beginners) - Zen Ki Yoga ® is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese Shiatsu. It is a healing based yoga that strengthens your body internally and corrects imbalances and weaknesses by accessing your meridians, which are invisible lines of energy that run through your entire body. Each meridian relates to a different internal organ, season, taste and emotional state.Zen Ki is a very unique style of Yoga and we are proud to be the only place in Scotland teaching Zen Ki at this moment.

Zen Ki Yoga ® can help with many common problems including:

  • lower back pain
  • digestion
  • weight loss
  • stress and anxiety
  • lack of flexibility, muscle tightness
  • bladder and pelvic floor issues
  • lack of belly strength
  • hormonal and menstrual problems

Zen Ki Yoga ® will also complement and improve your ability in any other yoga or fitness practice - we work on creating a really deep strength! Zen Ki Yoga ® is suitable for everyone. Most poses are done lying down, but you will be challenged and muscles you never knew existed will be worked and strengthened. Zen Ki Yoga ® changes with the seasons, keeping body, mind and spirit in harmony with the constantly changing environment.

Meditation Classes - These classes are based mainly clearing the mind. There will be breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation techniques. This class is specifically good for people who suffer from stress and anxiety or anyone who just wants to learn how to have a clearer, more focussed and positive mind, in order to improve your quality of life. Meditation can be great way to develop an understanding of our true selves. There are meditation workshops on every month and there is a 15 min meditation at the end of the Saturday 13.30 Level 1 class. George also holds Sunday Mindfulness & Meditation classes every Sunday at 10am and 15.00 (1 week not running when Meditation Workshop is running with Sasha-23rd October this month). These classes will adapt to who's there with an overall focus on learning in a fun, relaxed way how to apply the principles of Zen to modern living. In particular some tools and approaches to deal with stress, anxiety and frustration, how to spend more time enjoying the moment, and generally how to take more control of your thoughts and feelings. The deeper side of Zen, looking at your true nature (kensho) and enlightenment (satori) are also up for discussion and meditation, depending on people's interests. Each class includes a discussion and a guided meditation and afterwards you will be given a recording of the meditation with the aim that you try to meditate daily and can give George a call any time about any questions or uncertainties as you go. Committing to an hour every week can be tough, and 25 minutes of Meditation every day even tougher, but ideally you can make all Sundays in October and start to establish a habit which has over thousands of years helped countless people to live fuller, freer lives. As an introductory offer, individual classes will be £10 and the full four weeks will be £35.

Pregnancy and Post Natal

Pregnancy Yoga: These classes are for all pregnant women over 14 weeks until the last days of your pregnancy. Classes are based around opening up the body and preparing your body for your pregnancy and your labour. The classes are adapted pregnancy yoga flows and there is a large focus on breathing techniques, labour techniques and birthing balls. (see section for pregnancy yoga for more info).

Post Natal Yoga: This class is for any post natal women who have had their 6/8 week check from their doctor and are ready to start getting back in shape again. There will be a large focus on upper body, core and pelvic floor as well as some flexibility and a blissful mother and baby relaxation at the end. All mums can bring their baby with them in a car seat or in a pram, however prams are sometimes difficult to get into the studio as the lane can be busy with cars so be avoided if possible. You should bring a small cloth for under your baby and maybe a small toy. Breaks are encouraged to cuddle your baby, feed your baby or anything you need to do.

Baby Massage: Baby massage classes suitable from birth, Block bookings or drop in available on request- £6. Blocks are rolling so you can join when you are ready – classes are suitable from birth! Baby Massage involves learning tactile massage techniques and strokes to aid growth, soothing and bonding for you and baby. We go over a range of baby massage moves each week focusing one body area at a time so that your baby gets used to touch, starting with the least sensitive parts first (legs) and working up to the head and face massage. Baby Massage classes last around 45mins. To Book Your place please email .

What are the benefits of baby massage?

  • Smoothes transition from womb to the world
  • Develops baby's first language: touch
  • Teaches positive loving touch
  • Develops a feeling of being loved, respected and secure
  • Develops body, mind, awareness and coordination
  • Can help to reduce the discomfort of colic, wind and constipation
  • Helps to regulate and strengthen baby's digestive and respiratory systems and stimulate circulatory and nervous systems
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Can help to reduce 'fussiness' and improve quality of sleep
  • Improves skin condition

The benefits of infant massage for parents

  • Helps parent to understand baby's non-verbal communication
  • Enhances parent's confidence and competence in dealing with baby
  • Can help with postnatal depression
  • Both parents and baby relax together
  • Promotes lactation in breastfeeding mums (through stimulation of hormones)
  • Promotes nurturing instinct (through stimulation of hormone oxytocin)

Children's Yoga

The true benefits that Yoga has on Children is now fully being recognised in the western world.

Shanti Yoga Glasgow teaches Yoga in a non-competitive way that promotes individualism and the fact that everyone's bodies and minds are different.

Starting Yoga young is great way to develop and maintain a healthy body throughout life. It is a great way of using movement to open up tension in the body, improve flexibility and strengthen muscles.

At the same time, Children's Yoga is made fun by encouraging drama through imagination, songs and rhymes. Memory games are also used and gentle meditations introduced that develop concentration and a peaceful mind.

Finally yoga also, builds confidence through positivity and appraisal.

Shanti Yoga Glasgow is available for Private Yoga lessons for Pregnancy yoga and for Children's Yoga.

Yoga in the Park

During the summer, Shanti Yoga Glasgow holds classes on Sundays in Kelvingrove Park, weather permitting.

These are more relaxed classes, aimed at letting everyone experience the bliss of yoga outdoors. We generally need at least a couple of dry days before the class so that the grass is dry and weather needs to be warm on that day. We have specific park mats that we lend out. The classes that go into the park are Thursdays at 10am and Saturdays at 12pm when the weather is suitable. We tend to find a place of shade and sun. Keep an eye on the facebook for updates.

Contact Sasha for more details.