ABCs of Yoga
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health offers many yoga styles, most of which are traditions of Hatha Yoga. They all increase flexibility, enhance strength, boost stamina, and increase awareness of our bodies and ourselves as we release muscle tension, create a sense of calm and peace, and feel rejuvenated. We recommend that you sample a variety of approaches and teachers. Mix a softer, more inner-directed style (Kripalu, Yin Yoga, Gentle Yoga) with one that’s moderate or vigorous (Power Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Hot Yoga). Or, try a specialty class like Yoga for Health or Yoga for Rejuvenation. If you’re not sure which class to take, you’ve got options! Call us for a personalized recommendation, or use the sampler package or pass option and pick classes that fit your schedule. In your yoga experience, you may come across some words that are unfamiliar and even intimidating. PCYH is delighted to decode some of these terms for you so that you can feel comfortable reading them, hearing them – and maybe even using them yourself!
Asana is a Sanskrit word that means “posture.” Asanas are the physical yoga poses.
Ashtanga Yoga is known as the “Original Power Yoga” and “Yoga Therapy.” This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures. The process produces intense internal heat and a purifying sweat that detoxifies. The ashtanga system of yoga was transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga include: a lighter, stronger body, a calmer mind, improved circulation, and improved digestive health.
Beginner/Basic Yoga is suitable for both beginners and as well as those with some previous experience. In life, sometimes, we are all beginners! The class includes basic breathing exercises (pranayama), foundational poses, sun salutations, and deep relaxation.
Gentle Yoga allows students to enjoy a combination of balance and harmony through slow and relaxed movements. The emphasis of this class is on self-awareness, breath and gentleness to the body.
Hatha Yoga is a very general term that encompasses many of the physical types of yoga. “Hatha” is a Sanskrit word which means sun and moon. Hatha yoga helps one achieve balance from within using breath, movement and mindfulness. Based on asanas or physical poses, this traditional form of yoga helps balance mind, body, and spirit.
Hot Yoga is conducted in a studio set to 90-105°F. It offers a detoxifying, healing and energizing workout for your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Hot Yoga is said to increase flexibility, improve circulation, reduce stress, and develop strength. The class is designed for all levels and ages, and offers modifications to make each pose accessible to most people.
Kirtan is a call-and-response chanting of mantras, accompanied by instruments such as the harmonium, drums, and/or hand cymbals. Kirtan is said to call upon sacred energies which serve to quiet the mind, remove obstacles, and bring us back to the center of our being. By repeating simple mantras over and over, kirtan allows for a way that people can experience some freedom from the daily chatter of the mind.
Kripalu Yoga uses yoga concepts of inner focus, meditation, yoga poses, breath work, “development of a quiet mind,” and relaxation. Kripalu emphasizes compassionate self-acceptance, observing the activity of the mind without judgment, and taking what is learned “off the yoga mat” and into daily life.
Mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that are considered capable of “creating transformation”. “Om” is considered a mantra.
Meditation relaxes the body and mind, increases energy, and expands consciousness. Profound physiological and psychological changes take place when we meditate, causing an actual shift in the brain and involuntary processes of the body. Scientists have proven what the ancients knew by experience: that meditation strengthens the immune system, increases heart health, reduces stress, and slows biological aging. More
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression is the groundbreaking 8-week program that has been shown to help prevent relapse of depression. It combines the clinical application of mindfulness meditation with the tools of cognitive therapy. MBCT is based on the model developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School by Jon Kabat-Zinn. More
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a structured, 8-week educational series that teaches mindfulness meditation, abcs-of-yoga, meditation, and gentle yoga as a successful and highly researched means to guide people to take better care of themselves and to live healthier and more adaptive lives. More
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word for “rhythmic control of breath.” Pranayama are breathing exercises that are often incorporated into yoga classes.
Prenatal Yoga is designed to help mothers-to-be prepare body, mind and spirit for childbirth and motherhood. Become part of a supportive community of mothers-to-be, as you connect with your baby, and learn techniques that will help you relax, conserve energy, and improve your mental focus. More
Sanskrit is a historical Indo-Aryan language used in yoga. Yoga teachers sometimes interchange Sanskrit and English words, particularly when describing yoga poses. For instance: Vrksasana is the Sanskrit word for Tree Pose.
Soma Yoga is a non-linear movement therapy that opens the connective tissue, allowing the body to become more open and receptive to the yoga practice. This offers intuitive, free flow or experimental yoga movement in connecting the body, mind and spirit.
Vinyasa Flow means “breath-synchronized movement.” It is a broad term for a style of yoga that links breath to motion. You can expect the teacher to instruct you to move from pose to pose on an inhale or exhale.
Yin Yoga is a quiet practice suitable for students of all levels of experience. Yin Yoga offers you an opportunity to surrender, slow down and come back to balance.
Yoga is a philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world. The word “yoga” has many meanings, including “to yoke” and “to unite.” It can be considered to be a series of physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation practiced to achieve control of the body and mind.
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation, where students are simply asked to lay down in Savasana and listen. The meditation practice is based specifically on a journey using sensory perception and visualizations. This systematic method leads to a state of complete relaxation– providing students the opportunity to re-balance and restore on all levels.