Introduction to Yoga
Learning at YogaKula
Our team of expert teachers are trained in the following yoga styles; Anusara, Iyengar, Forest, Restorative, and Ashtanga Yoga.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can be described as a form of practice in which you flow through a series of poses, coming into harmony with your breath as you practice bringing awareness back to your body. The starting point is wherever your body is. Though some poses may be challenging, there’s no need to compete with others in the room, or to strive to meet certain ideas about how you think you should look. Simply put some time aside to experience being in your body.
People find themselves returning to yoga because they feel more alive and vibrant. Yoga has effects on your body which are shared by many forms of exercise; you gain strength, energy, muscle tone, fitness, flexibility, improved balance, deeper sleep and other health benefits.
Also, by dedicating time to experiencing yourself as an embodied being, your mind relaxes and you learn how to manage stress and access a sense of well-being simply by coming into harmony with your body.
We offer classes for all levels of students, from beginners to advanced.
About Our Classes
Designed to teach the fundamentals of yoga.
Level 1 & 2:
A dynamic practice for students with some yoga experience who are ready for a more energetic practice.
Open to all levels. Pose modification will be given.
The goal of this class is deep relaxation to reduce bodily stress and soothe the mind.
An Intermediate/Advanced led practice donation $5 minimum.
Sliding scale $10 – $15. If you can pay more, please do to support those who can’t.
Offer personalized instruction necessary to develop a greater understanding of yoga and fine tune your practice. Call for an appointment.
New To Yoga?
We offer classes for all levels of students, from beginners to advanced.
Where do I start?
We know getting started can be confusing. If you are unsure about anything, please ask at the front desk, or speak to your teacher.
Yoga is an incredible system for your total health and well being. These days millions of people do yoga because they experience all the benefits of yoga, increased strength and body toning, integrated body, mind and breath, improved circulation and complete rejeuvenation. YogaKula offers a therapeutic style of yoga which integrates the age-old science of biomechanics with the understanding of the connection between posture, alignment, energy, movement and the heart.
The classes at YogaKula have been developed over the years to allow people of all ages and stages of life to find the right class level to suit their specific needs.
Find Your Level
If you are just beginning yoga or starting again after a period of time you may wish to begin with a Level 1 class, or an hour-long mixed level class.
In Yoga, there are thousands of different poses, each carrying a specific benefit to the body. It is important therefore, as a beginner student, to be comfortable with the beginner poses. Level 1 classes help the beginner connect the poses in sequences that create larger benefits to the body and introduce the student to the use of the breath in moving in and out of poses.
Then, when you’ve gained confidence and comfort in the basic poses, it’s time to move to more challenging levels. If you have a solid understanding of the sun salutes, standing poses, basic backbends and inversions, you’re ready for a Level 2 or 3 class.
Physical or Medical Issues
We all have our particular health concerns or issues, be it an old sports injury or a tender lower back from long hours of commute. We cannot stress enough just how important it is to communicate any pre-existing medical problems to your teacher before class.
Teachers will then tailor the Yoga poses to accommodate your needs. This is particularly true for people recovering from injuries, with chronic muscular-skeletal issues, or those recovering from surgical or medical procedures.
How to Prepare for Yoga
- You should be comfortable. Wear loose-fitting or non-restrictive clothing and avoid accessories that could impede your movement. Classes are all barefoot.
- Perfumes and oils can be challenging for other students so we request no perfume or oils.
- An empty stomach
- This will ensure you are more comfortable in class. Wait two hours after a meal or a half hour after a light snack or drink.
- Yoga mats
- Yoga mats can be rented before class or purchased at the boutique. We recommend you have your own.
- Check in
- Take off your shoes, sign in at the front desk, turn off your cell phone and log in on the signup sheet before you enter class.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to the teacher. If you’re new, why not enter the studio a few minutes early and introduce yourself? Those having to leave early should let the instructor know before class.
Our Referral System
If you bring a new student to YogaKula you will receive $10 in your account (student must live in the Bay Area). Referral systems apply for both YogaKula studios, in Berkeley and San Francisco.
The Meaning of Yoga Kula
Sanskrit term meaning “union”; from the verb yuj “to unite”; a discipline or path leading to the state of oneness.
Sanskrit term meaning “grouping together” from the root kul; community, school, human body, abode, family, universe, divine creative energy.
Yoga – A Precise Science of Body, Mind and Spirit
Since the dawn of self-awareness in human beings, we have searched for the secrets of the universe and the purpose of our existence. Striving for mastery over our environment, we believed the right manipulation of external objects and circumstances would bring us the knowledge and fulfillment we seek. Yet there was another direction in which to look: the ancient sages of India turned inward, mapping the terrain of psyche and soul while at the same time disciplining and training the body. Finding the source of all being deep within their pure conscious awareness, supported by a healthy and h2 body, they achieved harmonious integration and joyful fulfillment. The sages then discovered that the problems of life that other men sought so desperately to solve were dissolved in the state of perfect inner balance attained by the precise science of body, mind, and spirit that came to be called Yoga
The Yoga Tradition
‘Yoga’ correctly refers not only to toning and strengthening of the physical body through physical postures, but rather to the entire Indian spiritual tradition that encompasses meditation and other spiritual practices, psychology and wisdom teachings, as well as the physical training mentioned above. The Yoga Tradition is not a mere collection of all these elements, but a cohesive system that integrates and relates spirituality, physicality, and intellectuality in a holistic manner. This integration is, in fact, so pure that in the original Indian context all aspects of the human being are addressed and developed. Just as the human is one whole Being (ātman), not just a collection of parts, in the same way there is a holistic path to total human fulfillment, including everything necessary. The ancients called it Yoga. More specifically, yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘joining’; in this case, joining oneself to a disciplined spiritual/intellectual/physical practice.
Its roots go back perhaps 4000 years, although the earliest record of its systematic articulation begin around the 8th century BCE in the texts called the Upanishads. Yogic ideas were further developed in the famous Bhagavad-Gita, which focused on yoga as a disciplined spiritual practice in three forms: action, knowledge, and devotion. Finally, yoga achieved the forms by which it is best known today in the spiritual movement called Tantra, which included the traditions of Hatha-yoga and Kundalini-yoga that have been transmitted to the West in various forms. Yoga stands as a distinct category in the history of Indian philosophy because it is concerned primarily with the actual practices that lead to a direct experience of the true nature of one’s innermost being, and the true nature of the universe with which we are inextricably connected. It is because of this emphasis that Yoga stands apart and above mere intellectual philosophizing on the one hand or institutional religion on the other.