What is Yoga?

Yoga is a holistic approach of bonding the body, mind and spirit suitable for all. Practicing Yoga will assist you to create a harmonious balance within your system.  At the Essence of Living Academy we train our instructors in ‘Vinyasa Flow’ style whilst incorporating our own unique blend and variations designed to suit all needs with focus on postures, alignment, breathing techniques and flow of movement. Our highly trained instructors will guide you through your yoga class with modifications, adaptations and helping you to develop fitness, flexibility, balance, and a mind and body connection.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a movement therapy used to improve physical strength, develop flexibility, improve posture, and enhance mental awareness. Pilates is all about control of the body, developing core strength and assisting with injuries/postural imbalances. Pilates can be hard work so if you are new to Pilates, we recommend trying the Pilates Beginners classes first.

What is Pilates Barre?

Pilates Barre is a strong, fast paced, energetic class designed to get your heart pumping! The class works several muscle groups, are a lot of fun, and are great for weight loss, increasing fitness and create lean, long muscles without ‘bulking’. You will feel absolutely invigorated after one of our unique Pilates Barre classes.

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga is not a new practice, but rather an old practice with a new name. The complete art of Yin Yoga encompasses postures of stillness for promoting growth, clearing energetic blockages, and enhancing circulation. Before the Ashtanga Vinyasa revolution of the 1980s, the Yin Yoga method or attitude towards the asana practice was to maintain a state of relaxation, to never strain or force the body into a position.

Yin Yoga classes suit all bodies and health conditions. During the class you will awaken the meridian channels of the body, creating an overall feeling of calmness and contentment.

How many times per week should I practice Yoga and/or Pilates to gain the most benefits?

Yoga and Pilates are completely different styles of exercise and both training styles complement each other tremendously. Practicing regularly (3-6 times/week) is recommended to get the best results, however even if you are only able to come once per week you will experience the benefits from both Yoga and Pilates. You will more than likely plan classes into your busy schedule as a priority once you feel and see the differences in your body and mind.

Try to be open to new experiences by trying a few (or all) of the different styles of yoga and pilates. All our teachers have their own flairs so why not try them all and see which ones are best suited to you.

What should I eat before coming to class?

It is best to avoid eating 2-3 hours before your yoga class as we twist from side to side, turn upside down, bend in different directions and if you have not fully digested a meal, you will more than likely become quickly uncomfortable. If this doesn’t suit you and you know you are someone who becomes faint or needs to eat regularly, you can experiment with having a light snack before class. It is highly recommended that you hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water during class and after.

Can I participate if I’m pregnant? 

Absolutely! As long as your doctor has given you the okay to do so, yoga and pilates can be of great benefit pre and post natal, however we do not recommend pilates barre, power pilates and power yoga. We ask that you please inform your teacher before class so they are aware of your pregnancy and at what trimester you are at. We also offer kids yoga.

I’m not flexible—can I do yoga?

Yes of course you can! This is one of the greatest benefits in a regular practice…developing flexibility. You will notice the difference after your first class!

What do I need to begin? Ie: clothing, equipment.

Come to your first class with an open mind, curiosity and a smile. Wear clothing you feel comfortable in keeping in mind practicality. Ie: wearing pants, leggings, shorts, shirt and no need to bring shoes as all classes are barefoot. You may wish to bring a towel to class (especially in Pilates Barre) and all mats are provided, however as your practice develops you may wish to buy your own yoga mat available at the studio.

List of the benefits of Yoga & Pilates:

  • longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
  • improves postural problems
  • create a stronger, more flexible spine
  • promote recovery from strain or injury
  • increase joint range of motion
  • improve circulation
  • increases core strength/stability and peripheral mobility
  • helps prevent injury
  • enhances mobility, agility and stamina
  • improves balance, coordination & circulation
  • balances strength & flexibility
  • engage the mind and heightens body awareness
  • no-impact – easy on the joints
  • can be customized for everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
  • complements other methods of exercise
  • improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating, dance, etc.)
  • Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy through deep stretching
  • Heighten neuromuscular coordination