The yoga practiced at the Highland Studio is a gentle Vinyasa based practice that has foundational elements drawing from the Jivamukhti, Kripalu, and Ashtanga yoga styles. Kate is not a strict devotee of a particular lineage; rather, she is focused on the process of the discipline and is open to benefitial elements of all styles. Her sequences strive for balance and generally provide a warm-up, some intensive work in the middle, and then a generous cool down sequence to ease practitioners down into Savasana (Corpse: the final posture). She works to incorporate seasonal awareness into the sequences and will introduce seasonally relevant asana (e.g., twisting for detox in the spring, cooling postures in the summer, etc.)
Yoga in a Nutshell
Yoga is an ever-evolving discipline that is based upon thousands of years of philisophical and meditation traditions passed down from teacher to teacher, originating in India. The yoga we know as "asana" was a small part of the ancient yogic life, and was most likely practiced by the ancient ascetics to assist in meditation as they worked towards achieving "Samadhi", or a state of enlightenment.
Here and now, we primarily practice a very modern asana (physical movements/postures). What we think of as yoga asana today most likely looks very different from the ancient form - its current form having only been around since around the turn of the 20th centrury - and it continues to evolve.
The practice of yoga asana provides your body with the space it needs to be comfortable, and from there you can gain space in your breath, your mind, perhaps eventually leading you to meditative states and enlightenment. To engage fully in the yoga discipline is to engage in a lifestyle where one works along the "eightfold path" as described by Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutras.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga are: Yama: Ethical practices, and how we behave Niyama: Self-discipline and spiritual observance Asana: physical postures (what we know yoga to be) Pranayama: breath work Pratyahara: withdrawal from sensory input Dharana: concentration Dhyana: state of meditation Samadhi: enlightenment
Yoga Styles with Kate
Some more information on the yoga being offered during our retreats and elsewhere: Restorative Yoga: lots of props, and gentle postures. This takes place almost entirely on the floor and is a very quiet and "soft" yoga, which will leave you feeling very relaxed and meditative. This stretches your body, but in a more subtle way.
Vinyasa: this is a "flow" style yoga where we will move and get the body warmed up, stretched out, and maybe worked out, too. Kate leads a smooth class that is open to all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or well into your practice, you will have a rewarding session.
What do you need to practice?
Wear comfortable, somewhat fitted clothing and bring a mat. If you do not have a yoga mat with you, the studios where Kate teaches do supply mats and props (blocks, blankets, bolsters and straps). Bring a water bottle, and a small towel if you need one.