Yoga is ultimately about becoming enlightened. However, in practical terms this merely means improving ourselves bit by bit, day by day.
One element of Yoga is practicing asanas. This has risen to significance in the way we practice yoga in the west as there has been a need to increase our physicality to stay healthy in otherwise more sedantry lives.
Connecting to the sensations on the body helps us be more grounded as well as in touch with ourselves. We are then in a better place to make happier life choices. Over time this can have a profound effect.
One of the beautiful things about practicing Yoga is that you should feel some benefits from it immediately.
My Teaching Style
In my classes I attempt to create an informal, relaxed, friendly, focused and hardworking environment. My classes are often 'not traditional' and will explore combinations of natural movement, deep stretching and breath to get us more connected.
We often do not use props in my classes as I favour the approach of building awareness of working mindfully and wisely with ourselves.
For your home practice, I would recommend having a yoga mat as well as something firm and soft to kneel on. This could be a cushion, a towel or blanket folded several times or a second yoga mat. We can explore and work this out together. There should be a lot you can do with no props, and you are not obliged to do anything that does not feel right for your body.
I have a very strong asana practice and I do love this element of Yoga. Inversions and balance poses really require you to focus the mind and become present in the moment.
One of the most powerful parts of Yoga is meditation. I draw strongly on Vipassana as taught by S.N Goenka for my meditation as well as some breathing techniques. I also incorporate a strong mindful focus within my movement practice.
There are great depths within Yoga, but there is also a beautiful simplicity to it. After we practice well, we always feel more connected, grounded and more centred than when we started.