Practices for Self-Care
I had an old belief that yoga was for a lean body type, limited to an age bracket, or those with natural flexibility. This changed when I did my yoga teacher training, and our group consisted of ages 18 to 60, a range of body types, various ethnicities, and a different life experiences. Being part of the diversity gave me a sense of belonging and understanding that yoga can be for anyone." —Tammy Hayano
Hatha Yoga for Mindful Movement
Hatha yoga can be for EVERY BODY and experienced in a non-competitive environment, where the atmosphere is warm, light, supportive, and fun. Our gentle and moderate yoga classes are practical and will benefit beginners, intermediates, and advanced yogis. Participating in our class is not about whether you are "good" at yoga or not. It's not goal-driven or doing poses by auto-pilot. Instead, yoga is an opportunity to spend time in your body, be attuned to the information and sensations that arrive, and staying curious. This "body awareness" approach keeps learning infinite while building a strong and healthy relationship with yourself. Noticing our physical, mental, and emotional state during yoga poses allows us to fully listen to our body and modify in our balance, strength, and flexibility.
Laughter Yoga for Your Inner Child
Laughter Yoga is a unique practice which combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing (pranayama). We do simple laughter exercises to create childlike playfulness, let go of the ego, find our creativity, and be spontaneous. Some people compare it to Contact Improv! On the physiological level, the main characteristic is that the exhale is longer than the inhale, thus expelling the lungs of stale air and replacing it with fresh oxygen. Laughter Yoga stimulates the movement of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, which calms the nervous system, lowers stress levels, and gives you energy. The body does not know the difference between fake and real laughter, so you still receive all the same benefits. Laughter is also the shortest distance to connect people and is contagious ! Try it out; there will be no reason not to laugh!
Restorative Yoga for Relaxation
Restorative Yoga is a deeply relaxing form of yoga with most poses taken lying down. Bolsters, blocks, cushions, and blankets are used to open up space in our bodies, with music, essential oils, and hands-on adjustments added to give presence into the experience. Restorative Yoga is conscious relaxation and a practice in letting go into stillness. Benefits include: calming the nervous system, improved sleep, better digestion, increased circulation, and reduction of pain.
QiGong for Energy Flow
QIGONG (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced "chee" and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced "gung," means work or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy. It is an ancient Chinese practice that uses gentle, repetitive movements while sitting or standing. The movements are performed slowly to create a meditative quality and increase energy flow in the body. At Hanuman Yoga Retreat, we practice Shenzen, Chow, and Shibashi QiGong. Below is a sample of Chow QiGong (created by and featuring Effie Chow) and Shenzen QiGong.
Meditation for Building Awareness
MEDITATION is an opportunity to observe your mind, the habits it tends to go into, and bringing yourself back to the present moment. We begin to see that we are not our minds, and we can let go of our thoughts, judgements, and reactions. In meditation, we practice a healthy relationship with ourselves as we receive information about our physical, mental, emotional, and energy state. Meditation is not "mastered" but rather a continuous journey with ourselves. Benefits of meditation include: stress relief, increased focus, clarity, insight, creativity, and release. At Hanuman Yoga Retreat, we practice various types of meditation: walking, sitting, loving kindness/compassionate, zen, exploring the five senses, mantras, and more.