What would you expect from the average yoga class? An average class starts with some form of repose to atune awareness to the movement of the breath ,which explores the structure of the body. The intention is to start from the 'inside' out rather than the 'outside' in, so that the forms we make in movement accord to the body's real propensities, rather than trying to make shapes that are imposed by an idea of what we think we should look like. This is followed by a warm up which progresses to more active postures which will eventually soften into repose at the end of the practice. The sequences are flows of linked postures which are usually structured to focus an embodied response to a particular physical or energetic aspect. In yoga, the response is relayed through the breath. The focus might for instance be on types of postures like backbends, or working towards opening the body to a particular posture, or an energetic exploration of the experience of opening the heart.
The word yoga is often taken to mean 'joining up'. Some sources suggest that this comes from joining a horse to a chariot or an oxen to a cart. The word here includes the method by which the horse or the oxen is directed. So we have the motion of postures and the way or method by which postures are motioned. This includes both structural alignment so that the horse and cart proceed easily without accident and also the experience of the journey. Each class contains challenges, and being of a Western mindset, we mostly face these challenges as something to be overcome. Yoga teaches us in time to work more with what our bodies are really asking us, and discovering and responding to this is the greatest challenge. Options are given in class, so there is always some way of working with a posture is accessible, especially to someone just starting yoga.
Classes are conducted in a light manner. Hopefully we inspire ourselves to practice with some joy and in inclusive company.