The Style of Yoga taught at Barefoot Movement
Most of the yoga classes taught at the Barefoot Movement Headquarters are in the style of Flow Yoga, a.k.a. Vinyasa Yoga, and are taught at various levels to suit any student from the total beginner to the seasoned practitioner.
In Flow Yoga we focus on transitions as well as stillness.
As with other styles that stem from the Krishnamacharya lineage, we pay a great deal of attention to the physical alignment and energetic flow in the individual postures. This is essential for both physical safety as well as insuring that we receive the maximum benefit from the postures.
In addition, driven by the breath, we let a dynamic flow that is inherent in a pose, put us into motion, so that we find a cohesive transition into our next still posture.
The focus on the movement ‘riding the breath’, like a surfer riding a wave, is what allows us to improve upon the way in which we move from one place to another, both in yoga class as well as in daily life. We practice gracefully exiting one ‘situation’ while we gracefully move to the next.
With a flow yoga practice, the breath dictates the features of flow. With the exhales we become more grounded and stable. With smooth, inspired inhales we stay weighted while finding lightness. Between the exhales and the inhales there is a timeless, in-the-now moment, space for a calm, 360 degree awareness.
The flow yoga practice challenges our bodies, improves our range of motion, strength, balance and awareness. With consistent practice, we shed our acquired movement and postural patterns finding more ability and ease.
New to yoga? Choose the class level that will benefit you the most….
- If you new to yoga and are not in very good condition due to lack of activity, injury or other reason, please start in a Level 1, Prenatal OK class where the teacher will take more time for the transitions between poses and offer more modifications.
- If you are new to yoga and in reasonably good condition, Level I is the class for you.
- If you are new to yoga, in good or very good condition and have some background in dance, martial arts or another modality that has given you good body awareness then you can start in a, Level 1-2 class.
Level 1 These classes are for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners who will benefit from a more basic selection of asanas (yoga postures) while still being encouraged to work their edge. These classes offer the opportunity for closer study of both the individual asanas as well as the transitions and to consider different modifications that may, for any number of reasons, be useful to incorporate into your practice.
Level 1-2 classes are for beginners who are in reasonably good condition and for seasoned practitioners who will benefit from taking a little more time to look at both the individual asanas (yoga postures) as well as the transitions. Level 1-2 classes provide an opportunity to consider different modifications that you may, for any number of reasons, want to incorporate into your practice while offering a higher level of physical intensity than the Level 1 classes.
Level 2 Level 2 These classes are for students in good condition who have a basic familiarity with commonly used asanas and transitions. These classes are more physically challenging than the level 1 and level 1-2 classes and offer more refinement to the practice.
Level 2-3 classes are for students who are in good condition, with a solid familiarity with commonly used asanas and transitions, and who feel they benefit from a more physically challenging class and/or a more refined approach to practice.
Level 3 classes are for students who are in good condition, with a strong familiarity with commonly used asanas and transitions, and who feel they benefit from a more physically challenging class and more refined approach to practice.
Postnatal Yoga Postnatal Yoga is oriented to the special needs of new mothers. Babies of pre-crawling age are welcome to this class. The Postnatal practice focuses on helping to restore alignment and tone and provide relief from lifting, carrying, and nursing. The Postnatal class provides a supportive community for new mothers and babies three weeks old to crawling.
Prenatal Yoga These classes prepare pregnant women for labor and delivery through postures, breathing exercises and relaxation. The class focuses on a gentle flow of movement to increase your overall strength and flexibility with modifications to accommodate the various stages of pregnancy. Whether you are new to yoga or already have an established yoga practice these unique classes offer you techniques to restore balance and vitality during pregnancy and assist in preparing for and providing relief during labor and birth.
Level I, Prenatal OK These are our slowest paced Level I classes. Led by teachers who are also trained to teach Prenatal Yoga, modifications are given throughout class for the pregnant students. For a class that will cater to the specific needs related to pregnancy, please attend classes labeled ‘Prenatal Yoga’. This class will work well for those who need a little more time for the transitions between postures, and would benefit from a gentler practice. This is also a great opportunity for male partners to practice with their pregnant partners, since the other Prenatal Yoga classes are for women only. These classes are included in the “$40 for Unlimited Prenatal Yoga Classes” offer.
Restorative Yoga, Prenatal & Postnatal OK focuses on relieving stress and encouraging deep relaxation. By supporting the body completely using blankets, bolsters, straps, and blocks you hold these unique poses for an extended period (5- 20minutes). The sequences are designed to move the spine in all directions, stimulate and soothe your organs, and reverse the effects of gravity on the body. It is a wonderful complement to a Vinyasa Flow practice. Modifications are given throughout class for the pregnant students. These classes are included in the “One Month of Unlimited Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Classes” offer.
Student Led Class (SLC) These 75 minute classes are offered on an occasional basis. They are led by student teachers enrolled in the Flow Yoga Teacher Training. We create a win-win situation by offering reduced-rate classes for the community (just $5 for a drop-in and included in the Unlimited Yoga Classes offers) while giving the student teachers a more realistic student population to teach.
Massage Classes & Practice Sessions
Barefoot Bodywork Classes These classes are open to experienced massage therapists and novices alike. Because learning to massage with one’s feet is generally unfamiliar for everyone, these classes provide the opportunity and support needed to ‘get the hang of it’. The first layer of the learning process is becoming familiar with the gross form as well as the balance and the coordination required. The second layer is developing the ability to feel through the feet. In this class, Leah will guide half of the students through a massage ‘routine’ using primarily the feet while the other half of the class receives. Then, students exchange places so that each class consists of both giving and receiving a session. Since practice, practice, practice is the key, one could regard this class in the same way they would regard a yoga class. Come regularly to get the hang of it. This class works beautifully in conjunction with the Ashiatsu massage workshops offered on an occasional basis. Barefoot Bodywork classes are offered on a drop-in basis and are included with Unlimited Classes purchases and priced as 2 drop-in classes, because each class is 2.5 hours.
TRANSITIONING (in YOGA and LIFE)
By: Jacquelyn Richards (FYTT ’10)
The world, and the universe in which it spins, is constantly changing. Look around you and you can see natural rhythms and cycles happening everywhere (night/day, seed to tree, seasons, breath, heart circulating blood, birth/death/rebirth). Today’s fast-paced and goal-oriented world has taught us to break up this ongoing movement into goals, time slots, separate compartmentalized parts of life. While it is sometimes easier to understand the infinitely complex world around us (and inside of us) by breaking things down into discrete pieces, we must not forget the universal truths that everything is interconnected and always changing.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga is an embodied way to reconnect with the natural flow of life’s ever-constant movement (especially when practiced with this awareness and intention). Rather than focusing on specific asanas, try flowing with your breath through the series of movements. Notice how you transition when you practice: How do you move from one asana to the next? Can you shift your awareness to the greater flow of your practice? How is your breath as you flow? Is there a cyclical pattern to how you move (ground, connect, flow)? What happens when you slow down/speed up?
Practicing yoga with awareness of transitions and intention to connect with the greater natural flow of life can have positive/profound effects on our ability to flow through life. It is the way in which we view life that determines whether we are halted by challenges/blockages, or are able to flow and move through the totality of our experience. Although we do not have control over life (we cannot control what happens to us), we can always choose our perspective (compartmentalized or connected, halted or flowing) and, in turn, the way in which we move through the world.