Yoga Philosophy, Sanskrit and Chanting CourseFebruary 14, 2017
Dharma Weekend 2017February 19, 2017
Next week, Shimmy Levy-Riley kicks off her 6 week Indaba Basics Course. It's taking place every Tuesday from 7.15pm - 8.45pm and is the perfect grounding in yoga for total beginners and people who might have been practicing for a while but want to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of yoga. We caught up with Shimmy to find out why.
'The Indaba Basics Course is for people who want to learn how to really practice Yoga', Shimmy tells us, 'taking this course is like digging the foundations to build a 5 star hotel above.'
Doing exactly what it says on the tin, the course will be going back to the basics of yoga. Its focus will not just be on the physical side of the practice, but will provide its participants with a grounding in yoga philosophy and the 8 limbs of yoga, 'It will teach you the principles of how to live yoga in more than just a physical way, but also how to take the yogic philosophy onto the mat with you, ultimately reflecting in how you live your life off the mat', says Shimmy.
Each of the 6 sessions will have a similar format. They will focus on certain aspects of yoga philosophy and the 8 limbs of yoga, some Pranayama (breath work), and a detailed look at a group of Asanas (or postures), breaking them down by type i.e. one week the focus will be standing, the next seated, backbends, twists and so on.
You will be breaking the postures in each of these groups down, and rebuilding them from the ground up. Shimmy will teach you the principles and alignment of each posture, and also the reasoning behind these principles so you are able to have a truly full understanding of the pose, 'one of the reasons that I fell into teaching beginners yoga is because I noticed that no one ever explained why we used certain techniques. If you can learn the reasons behind certain alignments or approaches then it is much easier to apply them in the long term and this in turn allows you to form a connection in your mind that your body can follow and vice versa.'
Shimmy will also be guiding you through finding the correct expressions of each posture for your own body. With a maximum of 8 people on the course, you will be able to get some real one-on-one attention, 'everybody's anatomy is different, and what might be a suitable way of approaching a posture for one person might be totally different for another,' Shimmy explains, 'through the basics course, I'm able to work with individuals to find adjustments and methods of making each posture work for them, and this is an understanding that students can take with them throughout their yoga journey.'
Having specialised in Beginners yoga for a long time, Shimmy understands the fears and concerns that come along with making the decision to take your first yoga class and gives the following advice 'the first thing is not to be scared. It's a brave decision to come to your first yoga class, it puts you in a vulnerable position but you have to remember that everyone there is in the same boat. You should try and approach it with a sense of adventure and play, and come with a willingness to laugh and you might just surprise yourself.'
Shimmy also warns that it is a process that takes patience and commitment though, 'it's really important to come without any preconception. Whatever your motivation for coming to the course is, it isn't going to happen overnight. You will sweat, you will at times feel discomfort and you will need to be really patient. But, at the end of it you will have a far better understanding of your body, all the tools to support you with the rest of your yoga journey, and an insight into the philosophy of yoga that isn't just restricted to the studio, but that can be valued and practiced in your day to day lives.'
So whether you're a total beginner, or have been practicing for a little while but feel that you want to delve deeper and answer all those questions and uncertainties that never get addressed in public classes, this is the course for you! It begins on Tuesday 21st February and will be taking place at 7.15 - 8.30pm for 6 weeks. Spots are nearly filled up but don't worry we have another basics course beginning on 9th May at the same time. It's £120 for the entire 6 week course and you can book your spot by clicking below.