Technique and Alignment

This class is suitable for all levels, but will stretch you with the attention to detail involved.

Each week a posture will be chosen, and the class will revolve around this single posture. This method takes the posture apart and slowly re builds it with much attention to correct alignment. A single posture is made up of many parts, and when we are in a flowing class situation, it’s not always appropriate to slow the class down for fine-tuned adjustment, which is fine.

In a standing sequence of postures there will be a combination of poses that will gradually lead up to a much harder posture. In this class, we make the same journey, but with a single posture.

leg-behind-head

These classes are the perfect complement to the more flowing classes, so we can then think about each posture in terms of alignment without stopping and starting.

A seemingly simple posture such as Trikonasana (triangle) when practised with attention to detail will reveal itself to be a far more sophisticated stretch. To hold triangle with correct alignment means we must be very conscious of our core stability. The pelvis needs to be held as far as we can in a neutral position, otherwise the lower back will collapse.

In our eagerness to reach down for the toe, we collapse in the trunk. The trunk must be lifted, while we focus on our core stability. The pelvis also tends to collapse, so when we lift the trunk and engage the core we must also lift and draw back the top side of the pelvis. We then begin to feel a completely different stretch taking place. A stretch that involves strength and flexibility.

So, this is how we would approach a posture in this style of class. Taking all the separate components apart and, creating a class that prepares us physically and emotionally to fully explore a single posture.

This is a chance for us to explore why we may be stuck in a single posture. There is likely to a combination of reasons which we may not consciously be aware of, and we keep repeating the patterns without being aware of it. This is what I mean when I say emotional preparation. Hatha yoga, when applied with authenticity works on many levels. The reason the body might be stuck on something is often linked to an emotional obstacle. A good teacher will spot this in his students very quickly.  A good teacher will be able to offer modifications and adjustments sympathetically, allowing the student to open as they evolve.

So, the Technique and Alignment classes may be different in their make up from a more flowing type of class, but they will stretch the student as much if not more.

The student will gain a much deeper insight into their personal practise, along with Hatha yoga in general. It will make them more aware of their posture in everyday situations, which will have only positive effects.

Martin Thompson.

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