Our class levels

Every teacher and every class at Yoga West is unique; these levels are just a general guideline. Sometimes classes will be different to other classes within the same level. Whatever the level, all of our classes at Yoga West finish with at least five minutes of savasana so however demanding your practice you should leave us feeling calm, relaxed and centred.

Level 1

Suitable for beginners, those returning after a break or those wanting a slower class to focus on their foundations, level 1 classes involve simpler poses and sequences that do not require a level of pre-existing strength and flexibility.

Teachers will ensure asanas (yoga poses) are being practiced as they should be and a range of alternative options will be offered for those who require it. Classes may include periods of physically demanding activity but will always be accompanied by periods of more gentle activity or rest. Students will learn the basic building blocks of a yoga practice

Level 1 – 2

Suitable for those with some experience of yoga or those who are already fit, healthy and regularly active, these classes are more physically demanding and most people should expect to sweat. Sequences may move at an energising one breath per movement pace to help invigorate your whole system, or will build your strength and stamina by holding more challenging poses for longer.

Students will expand on the basics and begin to work towards more advanced asanas (poses) and learn practices such as pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.

Level 2

Level 2 classes are for those looking to deepen the connection between their practice and their life. These are our most physically demanding classes and are not suitable for total beginners. We recommend students only attend this class if they have over 6 -12 months regular yoga experience or if they have an existing level of strength and flexibility.
Creative or dynamic sequencing will provide students with the opportunity to explore more advanced physically demanding asanas, arm balances and inversions. Classes will regularly include pranayama, meditation and will touch upon yoga philosophy. Students will be able to expand and deepen their practice on many levels.

Class Descriptors

Yoga basics

This vinyasa-style yoga class is designed for those looking to learn or return to the foundations of yoga postures (asanas), alignment, breathing and technique and is a great class to attend if you are currently on or just coming off our foundation course. Classes build heat, endurance, flexibility, and strength in a supportive environment, encouraging the link between mindful body movement and the breath and will help you gain the confidence and strength required for a more regular yoga practice. Appropriate for beginners as well as those with an ongoing practice.

Slow flow

Our slow flow classes are the perfect antidote to a busy lifestyle. Slow flow classes allow you to be taken through each pose slowly and mindfully, linking movement and breath. When we take our time, our nervous systems relax, our minds slow down, our muscles become more supple and our breath deepens. These classes will help you build a stronger body while releasing tension and allowing you to explore deepening your breath and how it anchors you in your body, helping you to live more in the present moment. This class is suitable for beginners with little or no yoga experience, however, the most experienced yoga student will also be challenged as you are reminded that sometimes less is more.

Slow flow pregnancy friendly

Open to all students but designed to accommodate pregnant women in their second trimester, these are a pregnancy-friendly version of our slow flow class. If you have an existing yoga practice and a non-complicated pregnancy you are welcome to attend these classes, provided you speak to the studio about your pregnancy prior to arriving for your class. Please call or email the studio with any queries.

Flow and yin

Spend some time to connect with your body awaken your senses and clear your mind. These classes start off with an energising sequence and then move to a Yin practise – a quiet, inward practice that uses long, passive holds to get into the body’s fascia – the deep inter-connective tissue under the skin that connects all of our muscles and organs. A beautiful and powerful method to let go of the demands and tensions of your day.

Yin yoga

Yin yoga comes from the Taoist tradition and focuses on passive, seated postures that target the body’s fascia – the deep connective tissue that connects our body’s organs and muscles – resulting in a profound balancing of your ‘inner’ strength and ‘outer’ flexibility. Poses are held for anywhere between one and 10 minutes and the aim is to increase flexibility and encourage a feeling of release and letting go, both physically and mentally. Yin classes are a wonderful way to learn the basics of meditation. Ideal for athletic types who need to release tension in overworked joints and great for those who would like to relax and find balance.

Restorative

Our restorative classes focus on relaxing the body in restful postures. Props are used to support the body so that you can hold poses for extended periods, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. Restorative postures are adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to allow for gentle opening and stretching. These classes are deeply relaxing, the perfect antidote to a busy life and perfectly complement the more dynamic physical practices at Yoga West.

Vinyasa flow

Vinyasa Flow – likened to a dynamic dance – is a practice where postures or asanas are connected through the breath for a transformative and balancing effect. Classes build heat, endurance, flexibility and strength. The creative sequencing found in a vinyasa class is often built around repeated surya namaskar (sun salutations). Teachers weave together dynamic sequences, yogic teachings and music that can inspire physical, energetic, mental and intuitive states.

Ashtanga yoga

The original power yoga, Ashtanga yoga is a fast-paced series of sequential postures designed by yoga master Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. Intended to be a daily routine, this powerful healing practice is a specific sequence of postures (asanas) linking breath (pranayama) and movement (vinyasa). There are five Ashtanga asana series and each student must master every pose of the first series before moving onto the second series. Ashtanga is an athletic flow combining strength, flexibility and stamina.

Jivamukti

Jivamukti classes integrate a vigorous and challenging vinyasa asana practice to inspiring soundtracks accompanied by pranayama (breath work), meditation, Sanskrit chanting and an emphasis on Yogic philosophy. Jivamukti Yoga was founded in 1980’s New York by artists David Life and Sharon Gannon with the aim of communicating yoga to the modern world as a spiritual practice. Expect to be challenged physically and intellectually.

Pilates

The aim of Pilates is to restore the natural strength and structure of the body, and to allow the body to work to its full potential with the least amount of effort. Pilates draws inspiration from both eastern and western exercise regimes, working muscles on a focused, deep level to strengthen the abdomen, stabilise the spine and support the back. Pilates helps you to develop correct postural alignment and enhances flexibility. One of the strengths of the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people and supports other activities including yoga.

Parent and baby

We welcome mums and babies to this 60-minute mixed level Yoga class, suitable from six weeks after giving birth until your baby starts crawling.
Post-natal yoga is a great opportunity for new mums to re-connect with their bodies, to strengthen their core, to stretch and release tight muscles (such as shoulders and neck from carrying and feeding), as well as finding some valuable moments of quiet and calm. The little ones are invited to come along and watch, and we often involve them as we move through the sequence, which can be a lovely bonding experience.
Your baby will rest in front of your mat on a blanket provided but please bring a muslin or two and some baby wipes! Your teacher will be more than happy to hold your baby if they need entertaining while you enjoy your practice. Come and join us for a fun return to yoga and activity and a fun informal way to meet some other new mums.

Pregnancy yoga

Our Pregnancy Yoga classes are balanced and gentle with a strong focus on the breath. They will help you adapt to the many changes that pregnancy brings, and prepare you mentally, physically and emotionally for labour, birth and beyond. Suitable from 12 weeks until the end of pregnancy.

Flow and restore

This class combines vinyasa flow with restorative yoga, creating an energising and nourishing balance for body and mind. The dynamic and fluid practices will heat the body and build strength, endurance and flexibility. These restorative postures will help relax the muscles, tissues, organs and nervous system, encouraging a release of deeply held tension while replenishing energy. A great class to help decrease negative stress and encourage healthy recovery for injury or illness.

Community classes

At Yoga West we believe that yoga is for everyone so in that spirit we offer a number of community classes each week. These classes are no different from any other Yoga West class except for the price. We offer an £8 drop in rate for community classes versus a normal drop in rate of £15.

Space and flow

Space and flow is a system of yoga created by Raphan after years of studying yoga, choreography and somatic practices. It is a Yoga-based movement practice promoting a healthy spine and joints, muscular strength and body-mind awareness. It is based on spinal and joint integrity and the understanding of the role of the nervous system in growth, physical potential and ultimately health. After gently awakening and warming the body, classes progress to the practice of flowing sequences investigating the ground, the spine, the breath and their sensorial qualities; all the while hinting at the ‘third space’. Raphan gives his students incredible body awareness and a sense of inhabiting your body. We’ve loved his classes for years and would like to encourage as many of our students to try them as possible. They are a beautiful and more fluid type of vinyasa flow. 

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