Are you new to yoga and wonder if you can go on a yoga retreat? Ab-so-lutely! What better way to immerse yourself in what you are learning than to spend a weekend immersed in all its facets?
All practice of yoga poses is "hatha" yoga. "Hatha" refers to the resolution of opposing forces, like sun and moon, or light and dark, up and down... you get the idea. In hatha yoga, you unite opposing forces in your body: while the feet press down you're reaching your sternum up to create length in your spine, for instance. Every part of your body is meant to be engaged in every posture so that you are balanced and centered in every pose.
You may have heard of styles of yoga like vinyasa, power, ashtanga, anusara, iyengar, just to name a few; these are all "flavors" of hatha yoga. Every flavor uses the same poses but describes them in slightly different ways. Anusara refers to spiralling actions in the body to align you, while iyengar uses the language of muscular engagement and opposition.
I refer to energetic styles of yoga in general as hatha and distinguish these from restorative and yin yoga, 2 other styles that rely more on letting go than on engaging your muscles energetically.
Below you will find a beginners alignment practice. In this practice you'll experience my signature move, the "sacral pump," which is a moving cat-dog pose. You'll practice the finer points of Warrior I and Warrior II, the most ubiquitous poses in all of yoga. One is forward facing: a lunge with your arms up. The next takes that lunge and opens it to the side. There is a place for everyone to experience these poses - even if you can't raise your arms all the way.
In the beginners alignment practice, we'll slowly go through the postures so you have a sense of how to build them, what to pay attention to and what makes "a lunge with your arms up" into yoga.
Have fun with this! Comment below and let me know how it felt!