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Yoga Classes - Descriptions

Regular attendance is more important than any level of ability. However, if you have questions about your ability to participate in classes, please phone us to speak to an instructor. See our Contact Page. 

Ashtanga Yoga & Mysore-Style Ashtanga

Ashtanga Yoga: is a challenging class with sun salutations and 48 postures that include arm balances, backbends, shoulder-stand and headstand. If you have physical limitations such as wrist or knee injuries, attend Hatha classes or call Laura Spaulding at 502-585-9642 about Mysore-Style Ashtanga classes.

Mysore-Style Ashtanga Classes: teach Ashtanga Yoga as it is taught in India. Students are given individual instruction by the teacher and learn and practice the poses at your own pace. Call Laura Spaulding at 502-585-9642 to learn more about Mysore-Style Ashtanga classes or to register for classes.

Intro to Mysore-Style Ashtanga with Alex Turner: intimidated by the thought of going to a Mysore class?  We understand.  Let Alex safely, compassionately and gently ease you into the practice of Ashtanga Yoga as it is taught in India. Alex gives each person individual instruction.  Learn and practice the poses at your own pace. 

Ashtanga Slo-Mo with Karen Cairns: Karen is the oldest person to be Authorized to teach Ashtanga Yoga by the KPJois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India.  Karen has been to India numerous times and continues a daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga after double hip replacements. Karen's class makes the benefits of Ashtanga Yoga available to students of any age, size, shape or physical condition.  

Chair Yoga

Have trouble getting up and down from the floor or need Chair Yoga? We have several Chiar Yoga classes at the East End and Highlands studios. Check the schedules.

Core Strength Yoga

Building strength is important for yoga and the activities of daily life.  As we get older, it becomes even more important to maintain muscle and bone mass. This class practices yoga postures that strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen, back and pelvis and increase upper body strength.

Flow Yoga

Flow Yoga: is for athletic students in good condition who enjoy moving from one posture to another incorporating the breath and movement, sometimes with music.

Gentle Yoga

Gentle Yoga is ideal for seniors, pregnant women, and students recovering from illness, injury or surgery. 
Gentle Yoga has a slower pace and the teachers give more instruction on how to use props such as chairs, the wall, blocks, blankets, bolsters for support.  Gentle Yoga introduces fundamental Hatha Yoga postures while ensuring that students have time to understand the instructions, and get the props needed to practice the pose to their capacity. Although this class is suited to students needing assistance, students with pronounced physical limitations are requested to phone us first about their restrictions before coming to class.  Phone Laura Spaulding at the main office during business hours at 502-585-9642.  Leave a message if she is out and she will return your call. 

Gentle Class is great for anyone who needs a little rest and quiet from the busy pace of life.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga: teaches yoga postures with correct alignment, form and breathing. Recommended for students in good general health even if you have never done yoga.

Level 1-2 Mixed Level classes are geared to students in normal health who are still working to learn fundamental postures as well as those who have more experience and are seeking to expand, refine and develop their yoga practice at more subtle levels. Sun Salutations and series of flowing poses are incorporated at this level. All classes end with deep relaxation.

Prenatal Yoga

Always check with your medical care provider before taking on a new activity, including yoga.  
Do not practice yoga if your pregnancy is high-risk.  If you have NO yoga experience, you should wait until the second trimester before beginning yoga.  Attend Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga or Mysore-Style Yoga. Always inform the teacher that you are pregnant because it may not be obvious. Yoga East teachers are trained to teach yoga to pregnant women.


Guidelines for pregnant women:

Do not try to increase flexibility or practice intermediate poses during pregnancy. Your goal is to maintain your strength and to practice poses that strengthen the pelvic floor such as Baddha Konasana, squatting, and Upavishta konasana. Correct breathing is very important.

Specialized Classes to Support Your Practice

Kettlebells for Yoga

Kettlebells are a unique tool that, like yoga, work your entire body. This class will introduce you to the basic Kettlebell movements. Kettlebells combined with your regular Yoga practice will make for a powerful combination to help your practice grow. All skill levels are welcome to attend.  Class is limited to 10 students.

Pilates

Pilates improves endurance, agility, and posture, and reduces joint, lower back pain and tension by focusing on core conditioning.

Sadhana Yoga Classes

Sadhana Yoga is an independent yoga studio that shares space with us at the Kentucky Street studio. Yoga East Annual Members may take Sadhana Yoga classes for $10 if you sign up with Yoga East.  Otherwise, please register directly on the Sadhana Yoga website: www.sadhanayogalouisville.com.

New to Yoga? 

Yoga East classes are for all kinds of people - not just the fit and flexible.  If you are out-of-shape, elderly, have never done yoga before, are not in good health, have not exercised recently, have diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, back trouble, are overweight or have Crohn's disease, Multiple Sclerosis or other chronic conditions, Gentle Yoga can be of benefit to you.  

If you are uncertain about your ability to practice yoga, try a Gentle Yoga class first. Then ask the teacher for recommendations for other classes. Our teachers are highly trained, certified yoga practitioners and are there to help you.

Class Levels

1 - Beginning, little or no yoga experience.
1-2 - Beginning/Continuing
2 - Continuing, 1-2 years of yoga experience.
2-3 - Continuing-Intermediate, 3-10 years experience.
3 - Intermediate, for students with no limiting injuries and who know how to self-correct.
Gentle - for seniors, students recovering from illness or injury, or anyone who wants a gentler class.


Ginny_F_Trikonasana

Reduced Rate Classes

$10 Community Classes are mixed level Hatha 1-2 class taught by either new yoga teachers or volunteer teachers. Mixed Level classes are geared to students in normal health who are still working to learn fundamental postures as well as those who have more experience and are seeking to expand, refine and develop their yoga practice at more subtle levels. All classes end with deep relaxation. See the schedule for days, locations and times.

Our reduced rate classes help make yoga available to more people in the Greater Louisville community. $10 classes are included in all membership options.

Intermediate Classes

Headstand-Shoulderstand: 30 minutes of class are spent on headstand and shoulderstand, postures that build strength and endurance. Ability to hold headstand away from a wall is a must.

Rope Wall: works on holding poses for long periods using various props and the ropes. We prefer no casual drop-ins to this class because you will be practicing a fairly complicated sequence that will be repeated in each class.

Non-Asana Classes

These classes teach Meditation, Chanting, Sanskrit, or Yoga Philosophy. A yoga mat and yoga wear is not required.

Heart of Yoga

Heart of Yoga is a discussion group that meets on Friday nights at the Kentucky Street Studio. We discuss aspects of yoga practice and the path of yoga. All interested students are welcome to attend.

Bhagavad-Gita Class

The Bhagavad Gita is a Sanskrit 700 verse text in 18 chapters that is part of a larger work called The Mahabharata. It is dated from the 5th to the 2nd centuries BCE.  The text is a conversation between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, Krishna, that takes place on the battlefield between two huge opposing armies that are about to fight a terrible war. The conversation is about how one uses yoga in day-to-day life to make the right decisions in difficult situations, and how to lead a completely fulfilled human life in the midst of seemingly insurmountable challenges. The class chants the original Sanskrit text, reads the translation and discusses the verses in the context of the problems one faces in modern life.  No knowledge of Sanskrit is needed and extra books are available at the studio.

Chanting

Chanting classes meet right after the morning Mysore classes at the Kentucky Street Studio. See the studio schedule for times. This class practices swadhyaya, chanting traditional texts in Sanskrit. This practice is recommended by our teachers because it increases mental focus and clarity.  No knowledge of Sanskrit is needed and texts are provided.

Benefits of Yoga
Traditional Hatha Yoga is the most widely-practiced form of yoga in the world and its health benefits are proven and recognized by the medical community.  Regular practice of Hatha Yoga builds strength, flexibility, lowers blood pressure, reduces blood sugar levels, increases muscle mass and is a weight-bearing exercise that helps women with osteopenia and osteoporosis. Yoga reduces pain from chronic injuries and helps improve the symptoms of chronic conditions such as Crohn's disease, MS, arthritis and back pain. 

Peggy Karman celebrates her 50th birthday in a backbend, 10 years after being diagnosed with MS.
Peggy celebrates her 50th birthday with a backbend
in front of the doors at St Matthews 

From our student Peggy -

Here is my 50th birthday photo! I cannot thank you and all my teachers through the years who have helped me to reach this point in my practice and my health. Not only I am celebrating turning 50 but also a decade since I was diagnosed with MS. There is a blessing in being awakened to one's own mortality when a health crisis occurs and I am so grateful that the doors, hearts and minds of Yoga East were open to me that first class over 9 years ago. As soon as my feet touched the mat, I knew I was welcome right where I was at in my journey and needless to say I could not have envisioned where that journey would lead me. I can truly say that yoga has transformed my health, my spirit and my life. Thank you for all your encouragement, wisdom, grace and willingness to share this journey with so many.