Gentle flow

Gentle flow

Set a soft pace to reach a happy place in gentle yoga

Any form of yoga practice that suits all ages and levels and is of low-intensity, less strenuous, restorative and meditative could be considered to be Gentle Yoga. Nurturing and compassionate, Gentle Yoga rejuvenates the body and de-stresses the mind. Beginners, people recovering from injuries.

Yoga practitioners looking for a more relaxed experience find great favor in such kind of Yoga practice that is not demanding.This is the kind of Yoga practice that focuses more on mild stretching with mindful breathing rather than on burning calories or achieving flexibility of extreme levels. Restorative Yoga, Seated stretches with meditation, Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra can be classified as Gentle Yoga. One needs to understand that Gentle Yoga is not slowed down version of Power Yoga or other rigorous forms of Yoga. It is a sublime understanding of yoga asanas along with chanting and meditation.

Gentle yoga is compassionate and meditative

With Yoga assuming more athletic forms and incorporating vigorous workouts in the current scenario, Gentle Yoga comes as a breath of fresh air with its traditionally rooted calming movements. The title ‘Gentle Yoga’ has come to signify a de-stressing asana session which includes seated stretches, low-impact backbends, forward bends and standing stretches. Mostly Gentle Yoga classes will have seated stretches with a moderately paced flow. The shifts between standing and seated postures will be kept to a minimum in order to impart a soothing experience to the practitioners. A maximum of six poses may be explored in a Gentle Yoga class, allowing participants to explore and experience varying alignments along with modifications to ease into the posture. Props are also used to provide a comfortable introduction to a particular asana here.

Flowing in gentle yoga

Gentle Flow Yoga combines the fluidity of movement and the stillness of staying in postures. Creating a relaxed flow of poses that synchronise with one another comfortably makes for an invigorating Gentle Flow Yoga. Keeping in touch with calm energy, the sequences are designed to create deeper awareness of different sets of muscles involved in different poses.

Allowing intuition of the body to decide the moves that determine a sequence is the hallmark of Gentle Flow Yoga. When postures are conjoined in respect of the space they create within the physical realm and the nurturing they bring to the spine and joints is a superbly luxurious experience. Enhanced by meditation, this form of Yoga helps realize the true meaning of ‘satchitananda’ or blissful nature of the self.

Poses that suit a gentle yoga class

Seated Poses:
Baddakonasana {Bound Angle Pose}
Dandasana {Staff Pose}
Paschimottanasana {Seated Forward Bend}
Janu Shirshasana {Head to Knee Pose}
Bharadwajasana {Seated Twist}
Balasana {Child Pose}

Supine Poses:
Apanasana {Knee to chest}
Jatara Parivartanasana {Abdominal Twist}
Shavasana {Corpse Pose}

Standing Poses:
Tadasna {Mountain Pose}
Adho Mukha Shvanasana {Downward Facing Dog}
Veerabhadrasana {Warrior Poses}
Uttanasana {Standing Forward Bend}

The asanas are usually practiced with modifications and props to suit the student’s ability to move into the pose.

A Gentle Yoga Sequence will string together a few of these asanas in a thematic way. As the name suggests, the sequences are aimed at allowing the practitioner to feel and let be without forcing oneself. As the sequence takes shape a detoxifying effect is enjoyed while the nervous system slowly unwinds and settles down. A sample sequence that is typically Gentle Flow Yoga can be said to incorporate asanas such as Baddakonasana to begin with, leading to Balasana. Stretching out into Bhujangasana and gently folding into a Bharadwajasana twist brings the student to standing postures of Adhomukhasvanasana culminating in Veerabhadrasana. Folding forward into Uttanasana the sequence ends once again in Balasana and theron to supine poses of Apanasana and Jataraparivartanasana.  Finally ending with Shavasana a Gentle Yoga sequence gives ample time and space to adjust and modify as well as use props in the postures.

Gentle hatha yoga

Hatha Yoga can be taken to mean a Yoga form that is in general not flow oriented. Holding of postures for some time lends depth to the practice and helps stretch out more as compared to a vinyasa structured sequence.

Bringing in the element of being gentle without forcing oneself to hold a posture can be termed as a Gentle Hatha Yoga practice. Taking time and attention to focus on your physical and emotional sensations, Gentle Hatha Yoga creates a sense of renewal.  This kind of practice helps take mindfulness to the next level as the body and mind synchronise with a calm breath. Paying attention to the Yama of Ahimsa or non-violence, Gentle Hatha Yoga teaches you to be kind to yourself in every sense of the word.

Seniors benefit from gentle yoga

While there is no doubt that Yoga can be taken up at any stage of life. it is of great advantage when seniors ease into it gently. Keeping in mind the low stamina and age-related restrictions experienced by every human, Gentle Yoga creates a soothingly meditative environment wherein to experience the benefits of Yoga. As the practice is oriented towards gradual opening of joints and muscles with emphasis on inner awareness.  Gentle Yoga is eminently suitable for seniors on the lookout for a safe yet effective method of stretching out their aches and pains.

Gentle Yoga builds a simpler approach to postures where alignment is achieved with the help of props, Stability is gradually ingrained with a surrendering attitude.

Learning to let go in low-key postural stretches forms the key to mastering Gentle Yoga. Ideally suited to beginners and seniors.  This way of exploring the self to nourish and strengthen works wonders for those seeking to slow down the tempo of their practice.

Finally, It restores balance to an overworked nervous system and aids in discovering your connection to Earth and Space so very vital for rejuvenation.

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