benefits of yoga
Finding a yoga class that’s accessible for beginner, intermediate and advanced yogis can sometimes be a stretch. GuavaPass gives members access to a plethora of yoga styles, levels and methods, most of which allow modification for all types of students. At Sarah B Yoga, the midday Vinyasa Flow Mixed Level class was a perfect example of this type of modifiable class. By following a simple yet effective flow, we were able to slow our minds and bodies and focus on the importance of breathing, strength and posture.
An oasis away from the busy streets
Sitting on top the Balanced Living Cafe on Bukit Timah road, the Sarah B Yoga studio is a calm and welcoming space. The single level studio holds around 15 people at capacity with room to spare, giving you space to move and flow at your level. With most of the natural light coming from the rooftop balcony at the front of the room, this was one of the most relaxed places I’ve had the pleasure of practicing yoga.
Focus, progression and endurance
The class began with Sarah personally welcoming each member of the class. After checking in on injuries, progress and how everyone is feeling, the session began with some traditional breathing exercises. The foundation of the class was based on the versatility of each pose and its ability to be modified to the furthest extent. Being a mix between a Hatha, Vinyasa and Flow class, it gave members the ability to push themselves or stay within comfort. As we moved through our sun salutations, spinal twists and lunge holds, the class began to hold more and more strength in each pose. Sarah focuses these classes on a particular pose with every flow leading towards the achievement of such position. Whether that be a twist, balancing or strength pose, there is always something new to try.
A therapeutic massage within yoga poses
After a challenging yet stable flow, the class came to the ground to explore a guided tour of back bends, therapeutic poses and stress relievers. After a long day or week working at a desk, the neck can unknowingly become strained, constricted and hold a lot of stress. For the final 15 minutes of the class, we experimented with blocks angled into the back of the neck, and the result was phenomenal. Pressure points held at the base of the skull, usually only able to be released in massages, were completely freed. After moving to the straps to stretch out the hamstrings and shoulders, the class came to a still savasana, feeling totally relaxed and collected.
Whether you’re an advanced yogi or just starting out, Sarah B Yoga has a class for everyone, in a range of styles. From Yin Yang classes to an Advanced Vinyasa, or a Level 1 Hatha class, Sarah B Yoga allows you to improve, educate or be comfortable in your practice.
Book through GuavaPass today!
Amenities: water, mats, bathroom, cafe, parking
#GuavaTip: Sarah B Yoga is located to the right of the Balanced Living cafe up a set of stairs. Make sure you’re there no later than 5 mins before the class! The studio is an open space so if you come up late you’ll disrupt the class.
The feeling of rejuvenation and refreshment from a GuavaPass yoga class is unlike any other.
If you’re yet to experience it, the feeling is similar to finishing 10 amazing workouts all at once. You are able to achieve a state of complete mental clarity and total body relaxation from just (usually) an hour of practice. The first breath taken into your lungs of a detoxified body, mind and soul is an experience everyone should frequently have.
Post–yoga, you feel incredible… but what is happening during the class to result in such a unique and unparalleled result?
1. Your brain functioning improves
Within the first 20 minutes of yoga, studies have shown your brain function improves greater than any aerobic exercise within the same time frame. The slow breathing, meditative state and deep stretching poses are doing far more than relieving your muscle or joint stress.
2. Your nervous system begins to relax
The nervous system is divided into the Sympathetic, Parasympathetic and Enteric nervous system. The Sympathetic, or “fight or flight” nervous system is activated during periods of high stress, emotional unrest or physical injury. Having this system consistently activated by daily stress can result in higher blood pressure, cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and risk of illness due to a stressed immune system. During the controlled movements of vinyasa and sun salutations, your parasympathetic nervous system is triggered. The result? Blood vessels increase in size, resulting in an increase in blood flow to the entire body. The improved circulation affects the intestinal tract, resulting in increased nutrient absorption and digestive efficiency.
3. You explore emotional issues
Yogas’ ability to trigger an emotional response is widely accepted by teachers and students alike. Whether it’s joy, exhilaration, acceptance or fear – yoga makes you feel. Ancient practices, traditional medicines and pillars in massage therapy all use deep joint openers similar to yoga to trigger an emotional release. This emotional exploration is encouraged throughout the session. It’s one of the many reasons why we feel so emotionally collected when it comes to a close.
4. Your body begins to detoxify itself
One of the body’s primary ways to flush toxins out is through the lymphatic system. Its main role is maintaining your body’s immunity against pathogens by circulating lymph – a mix of white blood cells and protein – around the body, simultaneously draining and flushing areas of the body with this elixir of immunity. Many of the poses in yoga – such as twists, inversions, backbends and handstands – are designed specifically to aid in lymphatic circulation. Even breathing exercises such as Pranayama stimulate lymphatic flow activating the chest and abdomen areas.
5. Your hormones regulate
Traditional yoga poses are often based on activating the chakra system, which unsurprisingly is closely aligned to the endocrine system – the regulatory system in our bodies. For example, backbends have been shown to activate the thyroid, assisting in metabolism regulation. Forward folds have also been linked to the regulation of insulin from the pancreas and resting poses help to calm the adrenal gland, regulating stress hormones.
6. Your confidence increases
Yoga is an extremely powerful practice. As a result, you’re often encouraged to take regular breaks because of its intensity. The strength required in the movements, holds and progressions are frequently complex. They require not only physical exertion but mental concentration to maintain balance and focus. In completing a challenging class, you are left with a sense of accomplishment and commitment to your body. The confidence gained gives you the skills to encourage, support and push yourself in all other areas of your life.
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