Yoga demystified

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Yoga demystified!

OzSquad yoga sessions are held every Monday evening at 7PM in Manly Community Centre. The class is restorative in style, combining aspects from a Yin, gentle flow and Hatha practice and beginners through to seasoned yogis are all welcome. Book your free trial session here.

I think it is fair to say that very generally speaking, OzSquadders are trying to find and keep a grasp of their inner yogi. We are not 5 times a week devoted yogis, but rather recognise the benefits that yoga brings to the mind and body and try to balance out our high intensity strength, bootcamp, running and boxing classes each week with a gentler class.

We’re not the ones who can contort, shape and bend themselves into the impossible. Nor the ones who easily slip into a calm, meditative state with one mindful breath.

We’re the ones persevering on the mat to master keeping the mind still, whilst coordinating the breath AND willing the body to flex and stretch into various poses. We’re the ones who are sneaking a peek at others to check we’re doing the right thing and we’re definitely the ones who are holding out for the ‘lie down’ bit at the end. 😉

We’re also still learning the language of yoga and OzSquad has therefore put together the following handy glossary of terms to help demystify yoga speak for all other newbies out there!

If you are nervous about joining a class packed to the rafters with lycra clad yogis in a flawless crow pose or perfect head-stand, then our friendly, welcoming yoga class at 7PM on Monday nights in Manly Community Centre could be the introduction to yoga you are looking for! More details…


OzSquad’s A-Z of Yoga Styles and Terms – Yoga demystified!

Ashtanga Vinyasa: Energetic and hot form of yoga in which individual poses are linked by flowing movements. Every movement is synchronized with your breaths.

Bikram yoga: Hot form of yoga, consisting of 26 postures and two breathing techniques.

Chaturanga: Practice of yoga that consists of supporting oneself parallel to the ground using one’s toes and palms, keeping elbows at a right angle.

Hatha: Any kind of yoga that teaches physical postures. Most basic introductory yoga classes are marketed as Hatha.

Kundalini: Breathing exercises and dynamic movements designed to increase your physical and spiritual energy.

Meditation: The practice of focusing the mind in order to achieve a calm and serene state.

Mindfulness: Truly experiencing what is occurring in the present moment.

Namaste: A greeting that recognizes the divine in another person. Usually performed by pressing both hands together with fingers pointing upward at chest level and bowing your head.

Power yoga: Any of the several forms of energetic yoga, where movement is paired with breaths.

Restorative yoga: The practice of holding body postures, also known as asanas, for longer periods of time with the aid of blankets and other forms of props. The point is to relax the body.

Shavasana: A pose that consists of laying on your back. Usually performed to relax at the end of a session.

Yin: A form of yoga where poses are held for long periods of time in order to achieve more flexibility.

Ujjayi  breath – or the ‘ocean breath’: A breathing technique in which inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. It’s supposed to be a calming form of breathing that increases oxygenation to the body.

Asana: A body pose, sometimes used for meditation as well as yoga.

Tools of the Yoga Trade:

Yoga Mats: Finding the proper yoga mat can make a world of difference in your practice. While there are superior brands on the market, the best way to discover which mat suits your individual needs is to simply try out as many as you possibly can. Consider the thickness, firmness, washability, cost, environmental impact, length, and durability of the mat. A more expensive mat doesn’t always signify comfort, does it often shows the durability of the mat beneath you.

Blocks: When beginning to practice yoga, you may find some of the more difficult poses problematic. Blocks are large bricks, normally made of foam, rubber, or wood, to be used as support for some of the harder poses. Using a block when you first attempt many of the standing poses is encouraged


OzSquad yoga instructors, past and present, share their favourite styles of yoga with us. You can try Vinyasa and Yin yoga on alternate weeks at OzSquad’s 7PM Monday night class in Manly community Centre:

I love a Vinyasa flow class.  At its foundation Vinyasa flow helps to invoke a conscious connection between breath and  sequential yoga postures, creating a dance like meditation and food for the moving centre.  Anna

My favourite style of yoga is Hatha flow. I love Hatha flow because it combines the steady and slow approach of Hatha yoga while still exploring the flow connections between poses. It allows me the opportunity to connect deep to my physiology, recruit my full power and work very hard. Hard and slow is the way! Taylor

My go-to is Yin and Hatha (breath-centred practice). Time slows down and all I need to do is breathe and listen to my body, it’s that simple. It’s a magical and much-needed departure from the busyness of modern life. Kat

I never thought I would fall in love with “slow yoga”.  I was always on the go – I was used to marathon running, mountain climbing and vinyasa power yoga was a natural extension to the tempo of my life. Not breaking a sweat by the end of an exercise class didn’t feel natural. Then, after having two kids, managing my career, looking after my family and running a household, I was so hungry for stillness, for a space to breathe, for my mind to relax and take a break from to do lists. I came to love Yin yoga.  Initially I struggled with longer slower holds for anywhere between 5 to 10 mins as my mind was always racing.  But then, the longer I practiced the more I was able to learn about my body, my mind, my breath and about myself.  The physical benefits are coming but the most important reward is the calmness after a Yin practice. I love the feeling of having a clearer mind, a lighter body and a fuller heart. Izabella


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