What kind of Yoga do you teach at BYH?

The yoga we teach is a medley of lineages. All styles of yoga have something important to offer and we often integrate them all! We believe that braiding a diverse pool of influences helps us create the strongest possible offering for the physical, emotional and cultural health and well being of our wonderful community. The primary traditions we study and borrow from most are Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, and Yin Yoga as well as several different meditation and breathing practices. We draw from inspiration from our own experiences and lives and a myriad of narratives and stories that feel relevant and universal. We are fortunate to have such a high caliber of teachers at BYH and we encourage them to instruct the blend of material in which they most identify and believe, rather than sticking to a prescribed generic curriculum. We feel this direction helps create the most passionate, responsive and nurturing learning experience for our students. Our yoga classes will most likely include some or all of the following; meditation, chanting, asana, pranayama, partner work/discussion, free form yoga/self study, and relaxation. We provide a safe, friendly, inclusive yoga environment at BYH. We are all about cultivating a positive and caring community.

This is an idea of how we define yoga here at BYH

Come Together/Unite: Through the practice of yoga we are uniting the strands of the mind together—directing our intentions into action. Thoughts become actions and we learn to be more aware and attentive because of this union of the strands of the mind. We are also coming together in breath, body and mind—becoming more aligned and wholesome mentally. Lastly, we are coming together in sangha or in community to affirm our need for each other and for healthy relationships.

Surrender: The yoga we teach asks you to surrender…let go of specific outcomes, release tension and stress, rid yourself of guardedness, fear or worry. We ask that you even surrender your control over what kind of yoga you will practice (is there music? will there be a lot of chaturangas? will I be able to do the poses? will I be flexible enough? Will I like the class? will it be spiritual?) We practice surrender to the moment and to the practice. By surrendering we open our minds and hearts into a Beginner’s Mind which is what we are cultivating as yoga students.

Potential: Yoga is the art of moving from the “impossible” to the possible from inertia to potential.     “The starting point for this thought is that there is something that we are today unable to do; when we find the means for bringing that desire into action, that step is yoga.  When we find a way to touch our toes or gain more understanding of of ourselves or others through a discussion—these changes and movements are all actions of potential.

How do we practice this YOGA?

Each class is unique, fresh and creative. What is consistent is the quality of care to all the students. We care by offering a safe learning environment with passionate and well trained and experienced teachers. Most classes will begin and end with meditation, offer a well balanced physical practice that moves at an even pace (some classes are more vinyasa focused while other classes offer up sequences with longer holds typical of a Hatha Flow class) You have the freedom to choose the intensity for your practice and to opt in and to opt out. We hope to encourage, open up possibilities and guide you to listen to your body’s inner language.  You may experience a class with one or many of the following: chanting, yin yoga poses, pranayama, yoga nidra, inversions, partner work, guided meditaiton/visualizations, music

Hatha Flow Yoga

Our Hatha classes emphasize strength, stability and agility. The sequence of postures moves along at a light to moderate pace.  Postures (asanas) are generally held longer to help students stabilize, organize and experience the subtleties of alignment (bones), breath (energy) and awareness (vision.) 

All levels – great class for beginners and seasoned practitioners who want to deepen and enliven the experience in each pose not by holding poses static but experiencing the nuances and therefore becoming dynamic.

Vinyasa Yoga

In our vinyasa classes you will move with the rhythm of your breath from pose to pose that will build heat, sweat and fluidity. Each teacher will move you through a unique, creative sequenced class that will emphasize strength, flexibility and fluency that is both energetically releasing and uplifting. A more accelerated pace than Hatha flow and a truly collaborative and authentic effort of the collective. Lyrical and rhythmic in nature, teachers often incorporate music. Note that some of our vinyasa classes are heated to 95 degrees and to be prepared by arriving well hydrated! 

All levels welcome…note that some of our vinyasa classes are heated to 95 degrees and to be prepared by arriving well hydrated! 

Sustainable Yoga

A class that offers a gentle pace of a variety of yoga poses that will awaken your awareness and quiet the mind. You will practice and repeat short sequences that will increase stability, mobility and agility. A beautiful blend of standing and seated poses ending with rest to help restore and rejuvenate. 

All levels – a perfect class for a beginner or someone coming back to yoga after a hiatus 

Katonah  Yoga

A syncretic Hatha yoga practice that teacher Nevine Michaan developed over the last  40 years. The material incorporates classical Hatha yoga with Taoist theory, geometry, mysticism, mythology, metaphor and imagination in a practical framework designed to potentiate personal and communal well-being. Proper alignment, attunement, breathing techniques, adjustments and props and collaboration are integrated in the classes.  Katonah is an actual town in New York where Nevine teaches and lives. 

All levels welcome 

Yin and Restorative

Both yin and restorative forms of yoga are slow paced and mostly practiced on the ground. Both aim to calm the mind and bring awareness to the subtle realms of the body and mind and the cadence of breath.  The goal is to calm the nervous system, turn inward and receive insights from the whole body. 

Yin isn’t as passive as restorative and will prompt you to work deeply in the connective tissue activating change in a refined and profound way. Poses are up to 3 to 5 minutes in length. It is a wonderful practice as a compliment to a more yang (vinyasa) style of class. 

All levels

Growing Yogis – kids ages 8-12

Growing Yogis is a class for older kids growing their yoga into a lifelong practice.

Kids Yoga ages 7-12

Bring the kids for their own class while you enjoy yoga.  Kids will LOVE this class with certified kids’ yoga teacher Joyce Cooley. Kids will learn though yoga movements, story, play and relaxation.

Musical Mantra Meditation

This group experience includes sung and spoken Sanskrit mantra repetition (kirtan and japa). All are welcome, all ages and all levels!

Japa and kirtan are simple and direct ways to open your heart and mind.

Guided Meditation

This class is a playful and easy exploration of different styles of meditation. We’ll try guided meditations and moments of quiet and stillness. No experience necessary!  This class will end in time for you to practice with the 9:30am asana class. You just might have a totally new experience with your asana practice if you meditate before!

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga helps to strengthen and tone the physical body, eases aches and physical discomforts that come from added weight and shifting center of gravity, relaxes and calms the mind and nourishes the spirit of both mom and babe. Yoga also helps to train the mind and body to work together to soften and open which is essential for labor, birth and motherhood.

The benefits of participating in prenatal yoga and support classes taught in the style of Whole Birth Yoga™ are profound. The community and support that blooms within each session, the trust in oneself and each other, and simply taking the time for oneself amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life help to enable and empower women to look deep inside themselves. The journey of conception, labor, birth and motherhood is an amazing time that transforms the mind, body and spirit.