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According to yogic philosophy, the kundalini is a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga is called the yoga of awareness because it directly affects one's consciousness, develops intuition, increases self knowledge, and unleashes the unlimited creative potential that exists within every human being.
Mainstream traditions have shown that kundalini energy can be awakened and enlightenment attained by practicing a combination of yogic techniques—ideally following the guidance of a certified teacher—including the use of mantra (chanted or sung sounds), prana (breath) and breathing techniques, sadhana (daily practice), asana(postures) practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.
The word hatha comes from combining the two Sanskrit terms "ha" meaning sun and "tha" meaning moon. The word "ha" refers to the solar nadi (pingala) in the subtle body and "tha" the lunar channel (ida). Yoga means to yoke, or to join two things together, hence hatha yoga is meant to join together sun (masculine, active) energy with the moon (feminine, receptive) energy, thus producing balance and greater power in an individual.
Hatha yoga is designed to balance mind and body via physical postures or "asanas", purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation. Asanas teach poise, balance and strength and are practiced to improve the body's physical health and clear the mind in preparation for meditation.
Easy-Does-It Yoga is a complete fitness program for those challenged by age, illness, injury or inactivity. The program was developed by Alice Christensen in the 1960s and is documented in her book “Easy Does It Yoga,” as published by the American Yoga Association.
Gentle stretching, strengthening, and balancing movements that can be done in a chair, in bed, in a pool, in a wheelchair, or on the floor.
Slow, diaphragmatic breathing techniques that strengthen the respiratory and circulatory systems.
Relaxation and meditation releases tension throughout the body, improves concentration, increases circulation to the heart, and brightens the mood.
Kundalini Yoga classes are physically aerobic, including a variety of repetitive motions and focused breathing practices. A Kundalini Yoga class consists of (1) a warm-up, (2) the main Kriya or set of Kriyas (a series of postures with specific breathing techniques body movements (and stillness)) and sometimes, chanted or sung sounds), (3) period of meditation, and (4) a period of relaxation.
Hatha classes can be a fast- or slow-paced stretching class with some simple breathing exercises and perhaps seated meditation. Students typically “flow” between postures, holding them for shorted periods of time (e.g., less than 30-60 seconds per posture). A Hatha Yoga class starts with a warm-up, the main portion of the practice, a cool down, and period of relaxation.
An Easy-Does-It-Yoga class consists of a warm-up, a series of exercises, and a period of meditation/relaxation. Based on students' capabilities and constraints, these classes can be tailored to the students in duration and level of activity.
Stuart teaches Gentle and Senior classes using this approach.
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