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Monday - Friday 09:00AM - 17:00PM
Saturday - Sunday CLOSED
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(707) 791-2026

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YOGA STYLES

The many shapes yoga can take

Here’s an overview of the yoga styles offered at Napa Valley Yoga Center. View our class schedule to find when each yoga style is offered throughout the week.

While yoga styles may differ in their emphasis, the basis of all yoga is the same: union. (“Yoga” in Sanskrit means “to yoke” or “to join”.) Union of body and mind, breath and awareness, self and the universe. Enjoy a newfound sense of health, wellness, peace, balance, and ability through the many yoga styles we offer. If you’re brand new, learn more about the experience of yoga and what to expect.

ANUSARA

Anusara yoga focuses on experiencing bliss and joy in yoga practice and in daily life. Students of all levels of ability and yoga experience are respected for their unique differences, limitations, and talents. Each class utilizes a heart theme and supportive physical alignment that accentuates its expression through the poses. This makes the classes fluid, safe and fun. Classes begin with centering, then students are guided through a progressive sequences of poses with an emphasis placed on the class’s theme. Once a peak pose is reached the class winds down into an extended rest period and or meditation.

Learn more:

DO YOU YOGA: Anusara Yoga Explained

Ekhart Yoga: Anusara Yoga

CHAIR

Chair yoga is an adaptive style of yoga that uses a chair as the central prop during poses. Chair yoga is ideal for seniors, those with injury, chronic pain, or illness, those for whom getting up & down from the floor is difficult, really anyone experiencing limits who wants to make gains. Find more balance, energy, strength, flexibility, & peace.

Learn more:

Yoga Alliance: 10 Reasons to do Chair Yoga

AARP: All About Chair Yoga

HATHA

Strictly speaking, all yoga classes are Hatha yoga, as Hatha generally refers to the physical practice of yoga poses. However, in the West, Hatha has come to have its own meaning as a style of yoga. Our Hatha classes are a slower-paced series of yoga poses and breathing exercises. There is not as much of an emphasis on linking breath to movement. And you probably won’t work up a sweat in a Hatha class. But you will feel longer, more flexible and more relaxed. Hatha classes are perfect for beginners and a great way to familiarize yourself with the poses. Hatha is also excellent for more experienced yogis looking to refine their practice.

Learn more:

Medical Dictionary: Hatha Yoga

Seattle Yoga News: Hatha vs. Vinyasa

HATHA FLOW

Hatha Flow is a variation on Hatha, adding more of the flow and breath characteristics of Vinyasa yoga, but slower paced and with less intensity, like traditional Hatha.

PRENATAL

Yoga during pregnancy helps improve digestion, increases circulation, promotes a sense of calm, and develops a connection with your baby.  The practice of prenatal yoga helps relieve common discomforts of pregnancy, such as headaches, low backaches, and round ligament pain. Women can build community and support with others who are also traveling the path of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.

Learn more:

What to Expect: Prenatal Yoga, the Perfect Pregnancy Excercise

Very Well Fit: A Complete Guide to Prenatal Yoga

IYENGAR

Iyengar yoga is named after and was developed by the enormously influential 20th century Indian teacher B.K.S. Iyengar. This style of yoga emphasizes detail and alignment in the poses. Iyengar yoga often makes use of props, such as blocks, blankets, chairs, and yoga straps, as supportive aids during the poses. It is a slower moving style of yoga, with pauses between the each pose, and lots of alignment help from the teacher. The aim is to develop strength, mobility, stability, and well-being. Iyengar is appropriate for beginning students. All levels of students, including the very advanced, can benefit from the refinements of Iyengar yoga.

Learn more:

NY Times: What Is So Special About Iyengar Yoga?

Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles FAQ

RESTORATIVE

Restorative yoga is designed to allow you to completely relax and rest. Restorative yoga is perfect to relieve stress or anxiety, or to release chronic tension. An entire Restorative class may only have 6 or 7 poses, and each pose is supported by props such as blankets and bolsters to be as restful as possible. The aim is deep relaxation and connection of body and breath. Restorative yoga is perfect for beginning students. All levels of students can receive enormous benefits from the deep relaxation of Restorative Yoga.

Learn more:

The Chopra Center: 10 Benefits of Restorative Yoga

What the Heck Is Restorative Yoga and Why Should I Do It?

VINYASA (aka FLOW)

Vinyasa yoga, also called flow yoga, is characterized by linking poses together, moving from one pose to the next seamlessly. This style links breath to movement and the pace is active. Often Vinyasa classes will make you sweat and can leave you feeling both energized and exhausted. Expect an athletic experience. Vinyasa classes are excellent for building strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as inner focus. Vinyasa is one of the most popular styles of yoga, and is suitable for beginners, although those new to yoga may need to modify some poses.

Learn more:

DOYOUYOGA: 7 Reasons to Practice Vinyasa Yoga

Yoga Journal: Vinyasa 101- 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Vinyasa Yoga

STRONG VINYASA (ADVANCED)

Strong Vinyasa is Vinyasa at its deepest expression. You will sweat! More advanced poses such as arm balances and inversions are a regular feature, as are repetitions, holds, and binds that will challenge you. Strong Vinyasa may not be best for beginners, as the poses and transitions will be challenging.

YIN

In Yin yoga, poses are held passively for several minutes. This targets the deep muscles and tissues, allowing deep release, relaxation, and increased flexibility. Yin is more active and stimulating than Restorative yoga, but not by much. Yin is perfect for beginners and yogis of all levels. Yin is good if you’re feeling run down or overstimulated and are looking for balance. Yin is excellent for stress reduction, muscle lengthening, and for improving circulation and joint mobility.

Learn more:

Uplift: The Science of Yin Yoga

Very Well Fit: Introduction to Yin Yoga