YOGA with Carl Hargreaves
Yoga can be a path to fully realise our nature: We can heal ourselves and perhaps we can be a healing influence on those around us. A yoga practice will leave us integrated and feeling whole. Yoga can help us to live from the heart; openly; balanced; centred; happy and more at ease. Yoga has supported me through difficult times, and helped me to appreciate what I have and enjoy the opportunities life presents.
I owe what I understand and teach thanks mainly to the great yogi, Sri Krishnamacharia, via his students: especially his son T.K.V. Desikachar (Viniyoga); who taught my teacher Paul Harvey. Most of what I know of yoga has been given to me by generous teachers from this rich tradition: Sylviane Gianina; Godfrey Devereux, and also students of B.K.S. Iyengar; Pattabhi Joyce (Ashtanga Vinyasa) and Vanda Scaravelli.
"Now yoga is revealed. Yoga is stillness of mind
Yoga is integration of the whole person. A tranformation of mind, body and spirit occurs. In a yoga class we perform exercises that heal the body, calm and focus the mind, and resolve the emotions. Then our true nature can be clearer to us.
In a yoga class attention is given to breath, movement, alignment, energy and stillness. Opening, stabilising, softening, strengthening, and healing mind and body for meditation and self realisation.
Yoga is practised according to the needs of every student in the group. Other considerations taken into account include the season, the time of day, the environment, the weather, etc. My job is "viniyoga": that is to apply yoga appropriately to each person and each situation. Group classes can be dynamic and physically challenging variations are given to those who are strong or flexible enough to make these approapriate. Postures can be modified for beginners and may be done gently until strength and flexibility develop. I will encourage you to practice sensitively, and progress at your own pace. One of the key features of this tradition is "vinyasa" or to progress step by step. Vinyasa also means to move, and in this tradition we coordinate movement with breath. Viniyoga is to develop the right approach, to use the right effort, to progress step by step in the right direction, avoiding pitfalls where we can. I will share what I know of yoga so that you may hold the keys to establishing and maintaining your own yoga practice independently. I will occasionally draw on my experience of martial arts and dance to see yoga freshly in a new light.
"Yoga" has many meanings.