What style of Yoga do you teach?
To answer the first question we always get asked, the style of Yoga we teach is Seven Stars Yoga. It takes its name from the seven major joint locations of the body. They are the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. Where as most styles of Yoga are derived purely from Indian sources, Seven Stars Yoga also draws much of its influence from Chinese health practices, especially those concerned with developing Chi. (Qigong or Chi Gung.) For those already familiar with other styles of Yoga, you will find very little real difference between our style and most other mainstream styles. We practice the cat stretch and the cobra and the bridge just like everybody else.
What do you do in the Yoga classes?
We will guide you through various postures (ways of standing, sitting or lying down that hold you in a certain shape), holding each for 30 seconds or a minute, then move you on to the next. The postures are taught in a set pattern that will safely exercise your entire body. Each week the Instructor will focus on a different posture and you will practice it with an experienced partner. In this way, your abilities and understanding of yoga will increase week by week.
What is Yoga good for?
Practicing Yoga will relieve tiredness, make you feel less stressed, and make you stronger and more supple. The main physical focus of our work is to keep the spine strong and keep it supple. This does not mean you need a strong and supple spine to join the class, bring the one you have, and we will improve it. Of course we do not just exercise the spine, we will help you improve flexibility and strength throughout your entire body.
What are the Yoga classes like?
We often ask people after their first class what they thought of it, and 99
times out of 100 they just say they really enjoyed it. We do not want to promote heavy philosophies or weird religious practices, nor will we get someone to sit on your back and tie you in a knot. Our classes are very straightforward. You just have a very enjoyable stretch, gently exercise all the muscles in your body, and without you being aware of it you will become physically stronger, mentally relaxed and a lot healthier.
What level of Yoga class should I attend, what are the beginners classes like?
If you are a beginner, or even if you have loads of experience, go to one of the beginners classes first. It will help you get used to our style. You will be encouraged on your first lesson to take it easy and enjoy being a beginner. There will be other beginners in the class of course. The beginners classes are always the same, regardless of where they are or who is teaching them. We teach the same set of postures every class, and look at a different posture in detail every week. Dont feel you have to compete with other students (some of them will be instructors anyway!) and spend a bit of time getting used to the work. You will be doing the same work as everyone else, but to your own level. As you become more experienced, the level of your abilities will inevitably increase.
Do I need to be supple or fit to practise Yoga or Tai Chi?
We do not run classes for gymnasts; we run them for ordinary people. Have a think about it, you are as supple or as fit as you are, right? Come to the class and we will improve whatever level you have. Everyone worries about being good at it or being no good at it. You have to look at how you define being good at something. Everyone is built differently and some people can be dangerously over flexible. This is not necessarily a good thing. We want you to enjoy the feeling of physical exercise, to get your thoughts out of your head and into your body. You will discover there is a lot more to it than being able to touch your toes.
What kind of people and age groups attend the Yoga class?
Well, our classes are mixed, and all age groups are welcome.
We do not have any special provisions or concessions for children, but if they want to come and do the same work as the adults that is fine, as long as they are mature enough to work unsupervised and do not disturb any other students.
At the other end of the scale, we have had people in their 90s in our classes and they have enjoyed it as much as everyone else; in fact they make excellent students because they have let go of being egotistical about their bodies and just want to improve and enjoy their health.
I am concerned about my health; can I safely attend the class?
If you feel you need to ask the question, go and see your doctor before you
come, and tell the instructor what they said when you arrive for your first
class. Make sure you arrive early enough to discuss this in detail with the
Most doctors will of course tell their patients that Yoga and Tai Chi are perfect exercises for everyone, especially those in need of a little exercise!
Will I feel better?
You will feel better about yourself just because your body will know you are
doing something of great benefit, rather than destroying it with lethargy and
over indulgence. You will look better, move more freely and more confidently and be happier.
Will I tone up?
Yes you will, if you keep coming regularly to the classes. There is no great secret to it, if you come once a month, dont expect too much (although you will still be very welcome - once a month is better than nothing)!
If you attend 2 or 3 times a week, you will of course achieve great results. The way we exercise the muscles is to create heat in them and hold it there, rather than pumping them up and down. This will make your muscles and your tendons and ligaments strong. The by-product ofthis is that you will tone up and appear healthier.
Will I lose weight?
The physical benefits of any exercise are always a reflection of the amount of physical work you do. If you want to see improvement and change you must practice or attend classes regularly. If you do, you will. If you dont, you wont.
Weight loss is of course as much to do with a balanced diet as it is about exercise.
What is the difference between this and other styles of Yoga?
Mostly, Yoga is Yoga. The styles mainly get their names from the teacher who created them. Some styles focus on a physical aerobic style workout, some focus on long periods of meditation, some will push you and some will lead you.
Seven Stars Yoga is taught as a series of postures that link together, flowing from one to the next. It is designed to warm you up, and then exercise every muscle, ligament, tendon and stimulate every gland in your body, and then warm you down again. We practice light meditation at the beginning, middle and end of every class, and give you the instruction you need to practice safely at home.
What about the 'spiritual' side?
Firstly, we are non-religious. You should be able to bring whatever religion youhave (or absence of religion) and be happy with the class and its philosophies.
The head of the school and some of the senior instructors will from time to time read short passages of eastern philosophy, usually from Taoist or Buddhist sources (but they could be from anywhere, including the bible or Koran, as long as they are true for everyone in every situation).
When students attain a high level of experience, the spiritual side (for want of a better term) becomes very important.
To fully explore your physical capabilities you must eventually become less wanting and more doing.
When can I start?
Look up the next beginners class on the classes page and come along. Just turn up and give it a go! And please dont put yourself under any pressure before you start. No need to prepare yourself in any way. We are not expecting you to be fit or supple, no need to go on a crazy diet (many people mistakenly think they should be good at something before they have even tried it!) There is no commitment of any kind. Just come and pay the single class price and see if you like it.
What should I wear?
Wear something comfortable you can freely move around in. Bare feet are perfect.
Are there more advanced classes?
Advanced Yoga is taught in a series of seminars throughout the year.
The Seven Stars Advanced Yoga form consists of 138 postures divided into 3 individual forms of 46 moves. The 3 forms can be practised individually as well as back to back and in any order. This gives you a versatile Yoga set to practice that can be as intensive as you decide it to be. The Yoga set is available on an audio CD that you can play at home that prompts you from position to position and keeps you in each posture for the right amount of time. The set is als available in printed form. The definition of a student that is ready for advanced work is one that will try to come to as many classes as they can and to work as hard in the classes as their ability allows them to do without either becoming distracted themselves or distracting others. It is entirely about attitude an perspective. It is also recommended that you attend at least one other weekly class as you will need to keep a physical standard up as your practice progresses.
I am interested in being an instructor, how do I find out more?
We take the expertise and sincerity of our instructors very seriously. We will
not under any circumstance let unqualified people teach our students. Therefore, before we can consider your ability to teach our style of Yoga you must first have attended at least 200 classes with us. If you are already at this level and are interested, please e-mail the head of the school firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss it further.
Classes in Southsea near Fratton Station
The Priory Community Sports Centre Fawcett Road PO4 0DL
Located at the top of Fawcett Road next to Priory School near Fratton Station.
Classes on Albert Road Southsea
The Portsmouth Yoga Studio is located 153-155 Albert Road Southsea PO4 0JW
Trinity Church is on Albert Road Southsea PO4 0LX on the corner of Francis Avenue
Classes in Milton
St James' Church Hall Milton Park Avenue Milton PO4 8PG
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