Sunset yachtAt Havva Yoga our practice space is dedicated for our students to meet and share positive energy, to grow as we all begin to have a more open mind, body and soul.

Anyone can practice Yoga, at any age and any body type. You do not have to be flexible to practice Yoga; you practice Yoga to become flexible. We practice Yoga to open our mind, heart and spirit. To live in the present moment may at times seem difficult, but with guidance you will soon learn to love yourself just as you are, here and now.

Yoga will teach you to be true to yourself, without judgment, to accept and to embrace the world, as it is, beautiful and serene.

It is a lifelong odyssey, if you dedicate and trust in your practice it will guide you on your blossoming journey. There is no rush with Yoga; keep the mind steady and you will reveal the amazing benefits. Here are just a few;

  • Increase in core strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Weight loss, strengthens muscles, cleanses and tones the body, mind and senses.
  • Helps to relieve stress and clears the mind.
  • Aids concentration, focus and memory.
  • Creates inner peace and calmness.
  • Improved immunity.
  • Brings the mind to the present moment, content, focused and better able to deal with sensitive matters.
  • Increased energy.
  • Detox and purify the mind, body and spirit.
  • Better sleep.

There are many, many more positive benefits of Yoga. Once you open up the blissful gates of Yoga you will become strong and powerful in body, mind and spirit. As you dedicate yourself to your practice you will soon discover the positive effects Yoga has on yourself, your life and on those around you.

My Yogini Toes

Class Etiquette

Students should bare in mind a few points to consider before, during and after Yoga practice.

  • Practice on an empty stomach. Do not eat a big meal 3-4 hours before practice. If needed you can have a small healthy snack 2 hours before class.
  • There is no drinking during practice or at least 20 minutes after practice, this ensures the body detoxifies and purifies fully.
  • Please sign in on the register and pay the appropriate fees before beginning practice.
  • Remove shoes and socks ready for practice.
  • Please respect your space by keeping your mat, towel and clothes clean and ready to practice.
  • Yoga can cause perspiration, please bring with you a suitable towel.
  • Do not wear any jewellery, perfume or aftershave.
  • Enter your space quietly; there is no talking during practice.
  • Please respect your fellow students space and lay your mat in a considerate manner without distraction.
  • Wear comfortable clothing suitable for your practice.
  • Please inform your teacher if you have any illness, injury or if you are pregnant or think that you practice may be affected in any way.
  • If you require any assistance please ask the teacher who will be happy to help.
  • Turn all phones/devices off/silent and leave it with your belongings. Please do not take these onto your mat and please remember your property is your personal responsibility, Havva Yoga takes no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged items.
  • If you use any of the shala owned props or mats please respect these by returning them to their relevant place after use.
  • Yoga practice can bring about a wide range of emotions and feelings. Please remember it is ok to show these emotions at any stage. If you require guidance please inform your teacher who will be happy to assist.

All about yogaAbout Yoga

The Yoga sutras define yoga as Yogash – Chitta – Vritti – Nirodha “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”. Only with a calm mind can the true nature of existence be realised.

The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yolk or to bind and is often interpreted as ‘union’ or a method of discipline.

To receive the full benefits of Yoga it is advisable to practice with a teacher 2-3 times per week and further 2-3 times at home if you are able.

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just asana (posture), it is a physical, mental and spiritual practice. Yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body and breath helps us to direct our attention inward where we learn to recognise our habitual thought patterns without judgment. You will most likely become much more flexible by doing Yoga, and so will your mind.

Yoga is not a religion; it is a way of life for spiritual growth.

Yoga is often referred to as a tree, with roots, a trunk, branches, blossoms and fruit. Hatha Yoga is one of six branches; the others include Raja, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Tantra Yoga. Each branch represents a particular approach to life with its unique characteristics and functions.

Hatha Yoga

The word Hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha Yoga refers to a set of asanas and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body, especially the main channel, the spine – so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon”. This refers to the balance of masculine aspects – active, hot, sun – and female aspects – receptive, cool, moon – within all of us. Hatha Yoga is a path towards creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender to each pose.

Hatha is the Yoga that addresses the body and mind and requires discipline and effort. It is the Yoga that we can feel, that we can experience, right here and right now. Hatha Yoga is a powerful method of self-transformation.

Raja Yoga

Raja means ‘royal’ and meditation is the focal point of this branch in yoga. The Eight Limbs of Yoga as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga sutras applies to Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga attracts individuals who are introspective and drawn to meditation.

Karma Yoga

The path of service, something none of us can escape. The main aspect of Karma Yoga is what we experience today is created by our actions in the past. Being aware of this, all of our present efforts become a way to consciously create a future that frees us from being bound by negativity and selfishness. Karma is a path of self-transcending action. We practice Karma Yoga whenever we perform our work and live our lives in a selfless fashion and as a way to serve others.

Bhakti Yoga

The path of devotion. Seeing the divine in all of creation, Bhakti Yoga is a positive way to channel emotions. The path provides us with an opportunity to cultivate acceptance and tolerance to everyone we come into contact with. Bhakti Yogis express the devotional nature of their path in every thought, word, and deed.

Jnana Yoga

The Yoga of the mind, of wisdom, the path or the sage of scholar. This path requires development of the intellect through the study of the scriptures and texts of the Yogic tradition. The Jnana Yoga approach is considered the most difficult and at the same time the most direct. It involves serious study and will appeal to those who are more intellectually inclined.

Tantra Yoga

Is the pathway of ritual. In Tantric practice we experience the divine in everything we do. A polite attitude is therefore cultivated, encouraging a ritualistic approach to life. Although Tantra has become associated exclusively with sexual ritual, most Tantric schools actually recommend a celibate lifestyle. Tantra will appeal to those Yogis who enjoy ceremony and relate to the feminine principle of the cosmos, which Yogis call Shakti.

Havva on HandsAshtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is a style of Yoga popularised by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

Ashtanga (Ashta – eight anga – limbs) is named after the eight limbs of Yoga mentioned in the Yoga sutras of Patanjali. It is a set of series of postures in which a student progresses through at their own pace. Intended to realign the spine, detoxify the body, and build strength, flexibility and stamina.

There are six series altogether, Primary series (Yoga Chikitsa), Intermediate series (Nadi Shodhana) and Advanced A, B, C and D (Sthira Bhaga). Each student begins by practicing the primary series progressing thorough its set sequence of asana one by one.

Vinyasa refers to the alignment and movement of breath, a method, which turns static asanas into a dynamic flow. The length of each inhalation and exhalation dictates the amount of time spent transitioning between asanas. Attention is placed on the breath and the journey between asanas rather than solely on achieving perfect body alignment in asana.

The breathing style used in Ashtanga Yoga is known as Ujjayi breath – victorious breath. Both energising and relaxing the breath should be long and smooth. The sound of Ujjayi is created by gently constricting the opening of the throat to create some resistance to the passage of air. Gently pulling the breath in on inhalation and gently pushing the breath out of exhalation against this resistance creates a well modulated and smooth sound. A balancing and calming breath, which increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat. The breath enables the practitioner to maintain a rhythm to their practice, take in enough oxygen, and helps build energy to maintain practice, while clearing out toxins of the bodily system. Especially important during transition in and out of asana as it helps to stay present, self-aware, and grounded in practice.

Mysore style Ashtanga practice refers to a self-led practice, where each student moves through the practice at their own pace and level as directed by the teacher.

Students are encouraged to practice six days a week, and to take rest on Saturdays and days of full and new moon, also known as Moondays.

Yoga Stance

Whether you step onto your mat to practice, meditate or to give thanks, we should remember why we practice Yoga and how this affects our daily lives. We practice Yoga to sill the mind, all misconceptions cease to exist. Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodah – “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”


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Namaste – The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore Namaste literally means, “bow me you” or “I bow to you”.

To perform Namaste, place the hands together at the heart chakra, close the eyes and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect.

OM – Is an ancient Sanskrit “word” that is said to be the seed of all creation. This acutely small word contains all the power of the universe. It is the beginning, middle and end of all –or the past, present and future. Speak it with confidence and joy of the beautiful Yogini/Yogi you are, uniting yourself with the bliss that exists all around you.

The mantra, or vibration is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of a Yoga class. Nothing is ever solid or still, everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that ancient Yogis acknowledged with the sound, OM. Chanting OM allows us to recognise our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. Chanting OM take us on our journey on this universal movement through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy.

Chakra – The energy points or knots in the subtle body and are the meeting points of the subtle energy channels, called Nadis. Nadis are channels in the subtle body through which the life force (Prana) or vital energy moves. There are many Chakras in the subtle human body, but there are seven that are considered to be the most important ones.

  • Sahasrara – which means 1000 petalled lotus, is generally considered to be the state of pure consciousness, within which there is neither object nor subject. Located either at the crown of the head, or above the crown of the head it deals with the release of karma. Physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with our being.

The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

  • Ajna – it is at this point that the two side nadis Ida and Pingala are said to terminate and merge with the central channel Shashuma, signifying the end of duality. Ajna is known as the third eye chakra and is linked to the pineal gland which may inform a model of its envisioning. Anja’s key issues involve balancing the higher and lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Anja’s inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Mentally, Ajna deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level.

Our ability to focus on, and see the bigger picture.

  • Vishuddha – may be understood as relating to communication and growth through expression. This chakra located in the throat, it is parallel to the thyroid, a gland responsible for growth and maturation. Physically, Vishuddha governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.

Our ability to communicate.

  • Anahata – is related to the thymus, located in the chest the thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It is the site of maturation of the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion and spirituality it governs devotion.

Our ability to Love.

  • Manipura – is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. Manipura is believed to correspond to islets of Langerhans, which are groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. Key issues governed by Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually all matters of growth.

Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.

  • Swadhisthana – the chakra is located in the sacrum and is considered to correspond to the testes and ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproduction cycle. Swadhisthana is also considered to be related to, more generally, he genitourinary system (organ system of the reproductive organs and the urinary system) and the adrenals. The key issues involving Swadhisthana are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Swadhisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.

Our connection and ability to accept others, and new experiences.

  • Muladhara – is located at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region. It is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat. Muladhara is related to instinct, security, survival and also basic human potentiality. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security. Muladhara has a relation to the sense of smell. This chakra is where the three main nadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) separate and begin their upward movement.

Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.

Nadis – are the channels through which the energies of the subtle body are said to flow. They connect as special points of intensity called Chakras. There are three Nadis, Ida, lies to the left of the spine; Pingala is to the right of the spine, mirroring the Ida. Sushumna runs along the spinal cord in the center, through the seven Chakras. All join at the bridge of the nose.

Sanskrit – is the primary holy language of Hinduism.

Drishti – or focused gaze, is a means for developing concentrated intention. Each Yoga asana is associated with a particular drishti.

  • Angustamadhye – “to the middle of the thumb” – Thumb
  • Bhrumadhye “to the middle of the eyebrow/brows” – Third eye
  • Nasagre – “to the tip of the nose” – Nose
  • Hastagrahe – “the taking of the hand” or “the putting of the hand to” “to the tips of the hand” – tips or palm
  • Parshva – “the side” – involves looking at the left or right side
  • Urdhva – “above” or “rising” – eyes point upwards towards the sky
  • Nabhicakre – “to the navel – circle” – gazing at the navel
  • Padayoragre – “to the tips of the feet” – gazing at the toes

Kundalini – stems from Yogic philosophy as a form of Shakti or “corporeal energy”. Kundalini is described as an indwelling spiritual energy that can be awakened in order to purify the subtle system and ultimately to grant the state of Yoga, or divine union upon the seeker of truth. The Yoga Upanishads describe Kundalini as lying coiled at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. Kundalini awakening results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss.