“Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence”
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
As an integral part of your stay at the Quinta da Figueirhina-holistic yoga centre , you have the opportunity to take part in yoga sessions under the guidance of Tony Speirs, who holds a teaching diploma from the British Wheel of Yoga, attended intensive teacher training with David Swenson, has studied in India at the Pattabhi Jois shala in Mysore and has attended many workshops in the UK. Whether you have never tried yoga before, are a novice or already proficient, you will be able to take part in the series of yoga sessions run each day. If you can breathe, you can learn and benefit from yoga.
Morning Yoga Practice is based on the primary series of Ashtanga Yoga. Even though this is done in a class setting, the practice is individual.
Some people think you have to be very flexible and strong to do yoga classes, especially Ashtanga!! This is a complete myth. For instance you may be asked to do a forward bend; each person will be at a different stage, one person may have their hands on the floor, for another it may be enough to place their hands on their thighs. It does not matter how deep you are in the posture, what matters is that you are in good alignment and focused on the breath. The same is true for the sun salutations; at first it can be demanding and you may not be able to do 5 in a row, so you do what you can, resting where necessary and joining in again when you can. All the practice asks is that you make the effort to go to your edge. We all start from where we are, practicing at our edge is demanding, working the muscles produces an internal heat that helps purify and detox the body. Because the practice never changes and the postures flow, it becomes the most meditative of practices. By focusing the mind on the breath and then linking the breath to the movement a unity between mind and body is established.
Evening Yoga Practice is more like a traditional hatha yoga class. We will look at individual postures, paying attention to good alignment, using modifications where necessary. One of the objectives will be to understand how to work in posture, learning principles that can be applied to any posture. We will look at other aspects of yoga practice such as pranayama, the breathing exercises; philosophy, important in developing an appropriate mind set for the practice; anatomy and physiology, to help understand the physical processes involved in the postures.
From my experience of teaching it seems that I am trying to reconcile each student’s inner world with their actual lives. In other words, the settling of the mind, to be at one with themselves and the world, living in the moment, mindfully