New to Yoga? What you need to know
What is yoga?
The biggest misconception is that yoga is only for the flexible, but this is not true. Yoga is for everyone of all ages, fitness levels, shapes, sizes or religions. Yoga itself is not a religion, nor just physical exercise. It’s an ancient tradition formed around 5000 years ago, comprising of breath awareness (pranayama), physical movement (asana) plus holding static postures to build strength, meditation and other methods to promote physical and mental wellbeing.
There are so many benefits to practising Yoga, a few are helping to build strength, improve your flexibility, balance, posture and correct imbalances. It can also help reduce aches, pains, stress and depression and much much more.
What will happen in class?
Classes are typically forty-five minutes to an hour and a half long and can either be in groups, private or semi-private. You should arrive to class at least 15 minutes early. Classes typically will begin with focusing on the breath, sometimes with some pranayama to help settle. The movement pace slowly increases to a peak and then gently decreases in intensity. Throughout the class, beginner to advanced variations are offered to make sure you only do what is right for you on that day. The aim is to time movement with breath, whilst maintaining a steady breathing pattern. There may be chanting in some classes, but it’s fine to just observe or hum along.
At Melé Yoga we practice a mixture of Hatha, Yin Yang and Mindful Vinyasa Flow Yoga.
Before your first class with Melé Yoga, you will need to complete a registration form. There will be hard copies that you can complete at your first class. But if you'd like to save a little time, why not download and print the form so you can complete it and bring it to class.
What to wear
Comfortable stretchy clothing so you can move easily eg. leggings or comfortable loose fitting trousers a vest or t-shirt and a jumper until you get warm. You typically need to remove your shoes before entering the studio (or Shala), leaving them by the door. You can start the class wearing sock whilst you start off, but as soon move to hands and knees or standing you need to remove your socks and practice barefoot for safety.
When you are starting out you don’t need to immediately purchase props such as blocks, bolsters, straps etc. We have a limited amount of yoga mats and blocks for you to borrow during class. If you have sensitive knees or get cold easily, you may also want to bring a small blanket.
Before you begin class, you need to let your teacher know if you have any medical conditions or ailments. As time goes on and if illnesses or ailments change you must keep your teacher up to date. You should also let us know if you are pregnant.
You may feel light discomfort whilst doing yoga, but you should never feel pain.
After Your First Class
After your first class, you're likely to feel more relaxed and possibly even a little light and little dreamy (especially if you have done a yoga Nidra class). Make sure you allow time to drink some water and readjust before you look to leave/drive.
Your muscles may feel a little achy the next day, but a nice warm bath with some Epsom salts will help. This won’t last for long and you will quickly build strength with regular practice.
What does Melé Yoga offer?
Melé yoga holds open group lessons, one to ones, private and semi-private group classes in and around Surrey for all levels. Each class plan is a safe sequenced flow, offering a variety of modifications to ensure all students feel safe, whilst still building strength, balance, focus and flexibility.
We hope you have found it useful. If you do have any questions do feel free to email at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org
You'll find more useful information on who to book classes, access Zoom and more here:
Melé Yoga's Different Yoga Styles
The aim of Hatha yoga is to create balance and calm in the body and mind, preparing you for meditation. Hatha yoga classes include multiple elements, two key components include; Pranayama (breathing techniques) and Asana (physical postures) that are practised at a slower pace and held over a static period.
In relation to Hatha Yoga when translated from Sanskrit, ‘Ha’ means sun and ‘tha’ means moon. The elements combined to symbolise the balance of opposing energies – sun and moon, similar to male and female or hot and cold.
Yoga itself means to yoke, join, balance or union. Hatha Yoga is known as ‘the yoga of balance’ or ‘the yoga of force’.
Yin Yang Yoga
Yin Yoga is based on Taoist, restorative and meditative principles focusing on stillness and calm. Postures are passively held for longer periods (five to seven minutes) helping to stretch connective tissue while directing energy around the main meridian pathways (same as the acupuncture energy body map). Yin is known to be female, moon, passive and meditative.
Yang focuses on finding your energy centre, maximising alignment to skilfully practice spiralling movements in dynamic and flowing asana practice, improving your spatial awareness. This method promotes gradual use of a range of motion, helping to steadily stretch and strengthen muscles in a safe way. You learn how to harness energy (Parana or qi) fuelling the holding and moving through postures in an elegant and fluid way. Yang is known to be male, sun, active and upwards.
Both methods can be practised alone. When combined, Yang is practised first warming and preparing the mind and body for the Yin practice
Mindful Vinyasa Flow
Vinyasa can be translated as ‘to place in a special order” and flow is interpreted as ‘moving between poses”. Vinyasa Flow is an active dynamic flow of Hatha yoga poses, sequenced together into a flow with no pauses to hold postures. It can be very energetic and active increasing the heart rate. There are different variations of Vinyasa, including power most challenging or its opposite mindful, more passive variation. Movements into and out of the poses are still timed with the breath. It’s important to counterbalance the activeness and energy created with a restorative or Yin practice.
Restorative yoga is a much slower paced class with fewer postures (approx five to eight) that are held longer (around five to ten minutes each), utterly supported by lots of props. This allows time to journey inwards, focus and release into the poses using the breath. The practice aids relaxation, calms the mind and nervous system, helping you to restore and heal.
The Difference Between Yin
and Restorative Yoga
With Yin, you are actively working towards your edge within a pose, working with discomfort (not pain). You work deep within the body stretching the connective tissue and improve flexibility with the longer holds. During the poses you reevaluate where you are, choosing if there is room to work on, stay where you are, or pull back. Yin can be practised with or without props.
Restorative is completely passive, helping you to rest, restore and renew. You look for the comfort and ease within the poses, supported by props.
Yoga for Horse Riders
Specialist classes developed for those who ride or work with horses. Melé is a keen rider herself and holds an HND in Equine Studies. She’s found Yoga improved her riding and deepened her relationship with horses.
These classes will focus on specific muscle groups, developing strength and flexibility to help prevent injury and keep the body balanced. We’ll work on improving spatial awareness, postural alignment and balance, whilst maintaining fluidity so horse and rider can become one.
Non-riders can still benefit from these classes and are welcome too.
Benefits Yoga Practice Can Bring
Lift your mood
Enhance breath quality
Help reduce pain
Manage your weight
Heighten spatial awareness
Identify and correct imbalances
Improve your posture
Sharpen your mind