WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is an ancient system of Indian philosophy. It incorporates a range of practices from meditation, to physical postures and breath control. All of the yoga styles taught come under the umbrella of Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga combines movement and breath to exercise and purify the body muscles, nerves and glands and to focus the mind. There are many different styles of Hatha Yoga (Iyengar, Astanga, Viniyoga, Sivananda etc.).

WHAT IS IYENGAR YOGA?
Iyengar yoga was created by Sri BKS Iyengar who died in 2014 aged 95, having studied and practised yoga for over 70 years. He developed over 200 asanas (postures) and 14 pranayamas (breathing exercises) ranging from  the simple to the very difficult.  The traditions of this style of yoga are now continued by his daughter Geeta Iyengar, who has taught the instructor at 'Yoga in Kerry' directly. 

Iyengar is a form of yoga known for its use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas. The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old. The development of strength, mobility, and stability are emphasized through the asanas. Iyengar Yoga is a pure and traditional style  of Hatha Yoga as developed by BKS Iyengar of Pune, India. Unlike more experiential approaches where students are encouraged to independently "find their way" to the asanas by imitating the teacher, an Iyengar Yoga class is highly verbal and precise, with misalignments and errors actively corrected. More can be read about the Iyengar method here.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IYENGAR YOGA?
Numerous studies have been done on yoga and have found it to promote vitality, flexibility, strength, concentration, and self-confidence. Mentally the benefits come in the form of relief from tension, stress and an  increased sense of calm. Iyengar yoga more than any other type has been the subject of clinical trials and it has been found to be effective in easing chronic back pain, headaches, boosting immuno-deficiency, reducing high blood pressure, alleviating insomnia, depression, IBS, PMS and easing a range of musculo-skeletal and physiological conditions in addition to relaxing and energising the body and mind. 

Iyengar yoga's benefits are now used by professional athletes including players from Manchester United Football Club, Birmingham City Football Club and both the English and Indian Cricket Team. This is also the case nationally, including various Kerry GAA teams,  and even Irelands  Leading Adventurer, Pat Falvey.

WHO CAN PRACTISE YOGA?
Almost anyone can practise yoga, regardless of your level of flexibility, strength or balance. Yoga is non-competitive. This means you learn how your body works and maximise its potential. Each individual practice  is unique to that person. Everyone has different physical characteristics and history, and so competition or comparisons with others in the room are redundant.  

NEW STUDENTS
Yoga is for everyone. Here at 'Yoga in Kerry', I welcome new students of all ages and abilities, from children to pensioners, the super fit and the couch potato!!  Whatever your previous experience, you will benefit enormously from yoga's many excellent attributes. You don't have to be able to touch your toes or put your foot behind your ear, regular class attendance will help you develop your own body's capabilities and harmonise them with a calmer and quieter mind. Yoga starts on the mat, it has profound effects on your wellbeing and with regular, consistent practice you will realise this for yourself. Your one class a week will set you up mentally and physically for the week ahead, and if you miss a class your body will let you know.

WHAT TO BRING/WEAR
I have a supply of Yoga Mats, but it is more hygienic and practical if you have your own, they are available cheaply at any sports and department store. Wear comfortable clothing - most people wear shorts or leggings and a T-shirt. Yoga is always practised in  bare feet, but bring some socks and a jumper for relaxation at the end or a blanket to cover yourself with. Please contact me before attending a class, via, phone, email or facebook.

EATING BEFORE CLASS
Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach, so leave at least three hours after a main meal, or two hours after a snack.

PREGNANCY
Classes are relatively strong and not suitable during pregnancy, especially in the first 17 weeks. There are pregnancy classes available, please discuss directly with me. If however you have done Iyengar Yoga you can do after the 17th week although you might find half the class is not suitable, as certain asanas/poses are not recommended during pregnancy at all.

BAD BACK/INJURIES
Many students start practising with back pain, or other common ailments, and they find yoga helps. Tell your teacher about any injuries or health problems before the class starts, and if necessary get permission from a medical professional. Medical Forms need to be completed on registeration.