Who are our classes for?
Styles we Offer
Vinyasa yoga is literally defined as an intelligent sequence of postures, but most people equate it with the ability to sweat or “yogacize,” and that draws a lot of people to it. Vinyasa yoga is a very subtle, beautiful, introspective practice, and exercise can be a side benefit. Yoga is about getting to know yourself better and learning how to love yourself. The Western world has become a seated society, which is why vinyasa yoga is so important: its orientation is breath and movement, and research shows that increased movement in a seated society is absolutely essential for health. Vinyasa yoga gets us moving. With a seated society comes a toxic mind: because our bodies are still, our minds are racing. Vinyasa yoga stills the mind because it has so many focal points that train the mind: the breath, movements, bandhas, postures, and sequences. We’re really focusing on the breath at first, and then, as the mind gains the ability to concentrate, we are able to focus on many things at once. Step by step we expand the mind with the practice. Without proper training, the mind jumps all over the place, distracting us from working on the parts of our beings that will actually help us evolve. Vinyasa yoga stills the mind, giving it the ability to process what the practice brings up to the surface — the joyful stuff and sometimes the uncomfortable stuff as well.
It’s a meditation in motion.Meditation is focusing the mind, and vinyasa yoga focuses the mind because it gives you something to focus your mind on. It’s a dynamic meditation. Whether it’s the breath, the movement, the bandhas, or the asanas, there’s a very strong mental component to vinyasa yoga practice. Vinyasa yoga can be instrumental in stabilizing and focusing your entire life. In all yoga, but especially here in Vinyasa yoga, the breathing is through the nose. For each movement, there is a breath. We inhale on the preparation for a movement and exhale on the exertion. It’s a slow, even, smooth, inhalation and a slow, concentrated exhalation. This is very difficult in the beginning and it helps focus the mind, because you really have to think about it. Yoga is about listening and executing a task. Each pose has many tasks, and one of them is the drishti. Gazing in a specific direction helps to create the meditation for each pose.
Most forms of yoga in the West can be classified as Hatha Yoga. Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures, meaning your Ashtanga, vinyasa, Iyengar and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga. The word “hatha” can be translated two ways: as “willful” or “forceful,” or the yoga of activity, and as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), the yoga of balance. Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation. The Hatha classes we offer here simply mean they are not sequenced the way “Vinyasa’ Yoga is. The poses are practiced as individual poses but are still part of a class designed with a beginning, middle and ending. They simply are not joined by the repetitive sequence we call a vinyasa, between poses.
A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia. Where other styles of Yoga focus on the muscles and flexibility and strength, Yin pays attention to the joints. Yin Yoga is an excellent balance to other more dynamic styles. Because the poses are held for extended periods, this is a deeply meditative practice. Yin Yoga was originally introduced by Paulie Zink.
Restorative Yoga involves the gentle practice of deliberate stillness through longer held poses while being supported by bolsters, blankets and other props. Restorative Yoga aims to slow down the body and mind to activate and nurture the parasympathetic nervous system; releasing physical and emotional tension. The measurable benefits include anxiety and stress reduction, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, support for adrenal and general fatigue; improved immune function, digestion and fertility. This practice is not just for the seasoned yogi, but is ideal for people who are new to yoga, have minor injuries, physical limitations, restricted movement or stress - which is everyone.
How does Restorative Yoga work?
Muscular tension activates the sympathetic nervous system, Restorative Yoga uses props in each asana to minimise tension and maximise physical comfort and relaxation. The head is kept inline or below the heart to reduce blood pressure and quieten the nervous system, while the slow deep breathing lowers the heart rate and reduces the production of stress hormones. In Restorative Yoga, the nervous system moves into a parasympathetic state where deep restoration and healing can take place. The practice of Restorative Yoga further allows for the changing of the neuroplasticity of the brain through training the mind to observe itself with detachment, impartially witnessing direct experiences in the body and mind with compassion. - Bo Forbes
Things to consider
- Please arrive 15 minutes before your first class here so we can chat about your specific needs. We are a small studio because we like to know where you are on your journey and what your specific needs are. Then in future arrive 5 to 10 minutes before classes generally so you can settle in and we can START ON TIME to honour each other’s time.
- Please try not to eat for at least 2 hours before a class. Doing Yoga on a full tummy is very uncomfortable and not productive.
- Please put your cell phone off and away. Not on silent, OFF.
- When some one is finding a posture challenging, don’t offer advice during the class, you are not the teacher and while your intention is to be helpful, it can sometimes be harmful. Focus on your own practice. This is why we are a small studio, so we can give each Yogi the attention they need.
- Please pay your fees on time. Do unto others.
- Most importantly: HAVE FUN!
Owner and Teacher
Stella is a professionally certified and internationally accredited Yoga teacher who has been practicing yoga for at least 16 years. She’s so wise, she’s lost count. Stella has received her training in India and has 500 hours training as well as seven years teaching experience. As an asthmatic, who suffered from a severe case of burn out, she took Yoga to a deeper level when she suffered from a major lung inflammation. Yoga was the only thing that didn’t over exert or stress out her body while still strengthening and toning. Yoga helped restore balance and peace at a time when her circumstances said otherwise. “My Yoga practice has brought me closer to God. But you don’t have to do Yoga for that reason. You can do Yoga because you’ll feel all the benefits, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Also, it’s fun!”
Thembi first stepped onto a Yoga mat 12 years ago. As someone who used to be a gymnast and springboard diver, her body took to it immediately – loving the movement, stretch and strength that Yoga provides. She also just loves being upside down! She took classes whenever she could over the subsequent years, however, Yoga is more than a physical practice and her heart and mind needed to be ready before she could commit to a more consistent practice. As someone with a history of an eating disorder, she first needed to develop greater compassion for herself and her body before she could undertake a loving and healing practice, which is what her yoga practice has become. In 2015 she moved to Johannesburg and accidentally walked into Stella’s class – was given Yoga pants to wear and immediately found a space of care and play, in which she could nurture a joyful practice. After activist burn out, she committed herself to a Vinyasa Teacher Training as a way of deepening her practice, grounding herself, and sharing her joy with others.
Lucia has practiced Yoga for several years. As a child, she enjoyed tying herself into knots so when she went to her first Yoga class with Stella, she was hooked. What Lucia soon discovered, however, is that sometimes tying yourself into knots closes you off, and that is not what Yoga is about. Practicing Yoga has made her look at both sides of the coin; there is a time to look inward, but there is also a time to open our hearts and receive from the people around us and from God. “I would call myself and introverted extrovert, only showing my true colours where I feel safe, loved and supported. This is what Yoga is for me, a space where I get to be in my body going from strength to strength with a community of people who have taught me how to love myself, how to challenge my perceptions and how to connect with God through compassion, for myself first, and rest”. Lucia has felt increasingly drawn towards fostering spiritual connection through the practices of Yoga and sees her own practice as a prayer of gratitude and love.
After spending 16 years in the fashion and reality television industry, Dirk decided to get out of the rat race in search of ease. Yoga happened, not just Yoga asana, but Yoga. It swept him entirely off his feet and before he knew it, he was studying to become a Yoga teacher. After completing his training, his interest and personal practice shifted away from the active forms of Yoga asana towards the more receptive, restorative and therapeutic styles of Yoga. He continued his training and completed Restorative and Yin Yoga teacher trainings with Shasta Jordan, studied Yin Yoga with Josh Summers and did further training in Restorative Yoga with Judith Hanson Lasater, Jillian Pransky and Satya Greenstone. In Restorative Yoga classes Dirk holds space for students to slow down, practicing deliberate stillness and deep relaxation through supported Yoga asana. He teaches the simple art of getting out of your own way, practicing how to pause, relax and restore, allowing for the mind to better adjust to dealing with stress in a more responsive and a less reactive way.