Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Yin, Corefusion, Sculpt 1.5, Power Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Acro Yoga — the list goes on and on. There is good reason for the yoga community to be confused about what kind of yoga classes to take and what is “best” for them. While the various styles practiced today differ in their focus they all derive from the same tradition. The sequence, pace, and concentration of classes vary widely even within particular styles. Instructors often develop their own delivery over time, some more light-hearted and playful, others more serious and meditative. A yoga practice differs from other forms of physical activity in that it is meant to free up the body’s tension to more easily achieve a relaxed, meditative state. A good yoga practice cultivates awareness ~ of your body and mind, movement and stillness, breath and sensation. Whether someone benefits more from a heated class, a flow class, or one that requires holding poses for 3-5 minutes will largely be a matter of preference and intention. How you feel during and after a yoga class is one way of determining whether the class and instructor are a good fit for you. One of my favorite Daniel Hickman quotes sums it up nicely, “There is no one way to yoga, there are numerous ways, and the best way is to find your way.”
by Denise Antonini, MS, LPC, RYT
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Dynamic, soulful, and empowering, Denise pours inspiration and creativity into her teachings, using her expertise in health psychology to elevate an ancient practice to a state-of-the-art yoga experience. Yoga is her art of movement, mindfulness, her art of attention, and awareness, her art of intention. At Stanford University Denise studied psychology and the mind-body connection graduating with honors. At Chicago Medical School her thesis and doctoral work in clinical psychology focused on maintaining health, improving quality of life and achieving wellness. As a therapist, consultant and professor she has helped people create the life they want to be living. As a yoga instructor her invigorating, fluid yoga sequences challenge the body helping students to disconnect from the busyness of day-to-day life– tuning in to their intuition by stabilizing the mind with the breath. Denise effortlessly guides anyone who comes to the mat to a place of meditative calm–finding the perfection of the present moment.
Denise and her husband Eric are the owners and co-founders of You and the Mat, an independent yoga studio and gallery for yoga inspired art. Together they strive to make yoga accessible to students, instructors, and the community through their classes, art and music events, Master Teacher and Support Local Workshop Series. Celebrating yoga as a fusion of art forms, they support artists, musicians, and creatives who share their vision.