Yoga Classes

We can survive weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breath. Yet these days, you would think it was the opposite. In fact, most of us go through our entire day lost in the whirlwind of our thoughts, not even noticing our breath. Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy, enabling us to better connect with the Spirit within. In most of the classes described below, we'll not only practice pranayama (breathing techniques) but also become aware of the breath as much as possible in every posture and movement. When we can bring that breath awareness into our daily lives and activities, we can really begin to experience the essence of what yoga is: union, within our entire being.

**For your convenience in choosing what class will best suite you, the descriptions are listed here in order of gentlest to most challenging.

Gentle Flow Yoga

Friday Mornings @ 9:00-10:15am

Relax and unwind with a slower and more meditative flowing class focusing on breath and mindfulness. Perfect for the student new to yoga or not who wishes to practice at a gentler pace due to health conditions, injuries, stiffness, or even just the need to relieve stress.  One or two restorative style postures held for moderate amounts of time with the use of props will be included within a gentle floor sequence as well as some standing and core strengthening postures. In addition to releasing stiff joints, increasing overall range of motion and flexibility, this class is also wonderful for calming the mind, cultivating introspection, and relieving long held tension and stress. The breathing exercises and various types of meditation that are often dabbled into the class flow help to achieve those affects. During most classes sound healing instruments such as the gong, Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, and chimes are used to deepen your relaxation. As a bonus, from time to time, local singer Ann MacDonald graces us with her presence, playing her gem stone infused singing Bowls & offering her beautiful yogic chants.

Kundalini Yoga for Women

Tuesday Mornings @ 9:00-10:30am

Experience your divine feminine potential with Kundalini Yoga and meditation. This class is very similar to the Saturday Kundalini Yoga class (below) in its format and overall positive effects on the mind, spirit, and major systems of the body, only that it is an exclusively women' class. This allows for a safe, healing atmosphere for all and the chance to explore the vast amount of teachings and techniques specifically for women that Yogi Bhajan shared. It is also a bit less strenuous than the Saturday class, with more modifications offered. This class offers women tools for developing physical strength and discipline, inner radiance, and grace to face the challenges of life. As much as this class is about a woman learning to take better care of her her health and wellness, it's also about her seeing that she lives and serves as a light to the world and that by developing the awareness of her inherent connection with all of life and with her own inner divinity she can better fulfill her own destiny.

Kundalini Yoga

Saturday Mornings @ 10:30-Noon

Kundalini Yoga is a unique and dynamic practice open to all levels of students who wish to expand their minds and energy levels. Get a good workout while expanding your spiritual awareness at the same time! Each class includes breathing, movement, stretching, mantra, mudras, and meditation to move energy and to heal body, mind and soul. This is truly a class that will move you, and not in the way you'd expect!

Some other benefits that you can expect from Kundalini Yoga include weight control, relief from stress and insomnia, enhanced creativity, lymphatic cleansing, liver detoxification, balancing the heart and mind, developing will power, and a strengthening of the nervous system, glandular system, and the immune system. These results are achieved through specific yoga posture sequences called kriyas. Each class includes tuning in or centering with a couple of mantras, a warm up, a kriya, deep relaxation and meditation (sometimes the relaxation will be at the end).

At Kokoro Yoga, Kundalini yoga classes are primarily taught in the traditional style as taught by Yogi Bhajan (Ruby got certified in this style of yoga through the Kundalini Research Institute in New Mexico in 2011), but occasionally the warm ups will include hints of Ruby's own teaching style. Yogi Bhajan, through an interesting turn of events, brought this style of yoga to the West in 1969. All yoga seeks to raise your "kunalini energy" or your true creative potential. The difference in Kundalini yoga is that we achieve this goal in less time than other yogic paths. The effects of Kundalini yoga can have immediate benefits regardless of one's age or abilities. This class is for both men and women.

See the FAQ section for Kundalini Yoga to learn more about this form of yoga as well as about the mantras used in class.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga (Mixed /Levels/Styles)

Wednesday Evenings @ 5:30-7pm

"Vinyasa" is the linking of breath with movement to create a deep mind/body connection. In this class students will flow through poses, keeping the body in motion for much of the practice with emphasis on developing awareness of body and breath as a moving meditation. It's very similar to the Monday Vinyasa class (below) and often taught with the same theme or focus as that class. Yet, it is more of a mixed levels class with options given to practice the poses in a gentler or more advanced way, reminding all to practice at their own ability, honoring where their body is. Keep up the pace, or rest for a pose or two; you can make it more like a 'power yoga' class or less like one, depending on what you need that day. Bits of other styles of yoga and or practices from other traditions are sometimes introduced if they add to the focus that day. Some more centering practices like pranayama, meditation, and mantra will also be incorporated.

Class often starts with warm ups, then multiple sun salutations, moving through various standing, balancing, and floor postures. Inversions and back bends are also practiced. Introspective and energizing, appropriate for those new to yoga or not who desire a physical practice blended with deep awareness. Center yourself while enjoying the side effects of flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga (Power/Ashtanga based)

Monday Evenings @ 5:30-7pm

Build strength, flexibility, and concentration while cleansing the body and calming the mind through Vinyasa, or the synchronization of breath and movement. This is the most challenging class at Kokoro Yoga, but is still more accessible to most than the usual Ashtanga or Power yoga class in that modified versions of more challenging postures will always be given and the pace isn't rushed. This makes the class appropriate for active beginners through to more intermediate students. Though loosely based on the Ashtanga style of yoga, classes don't follow a set sequence of postures. Each class is uniquely molded to suit the students present that night and often a particular theme or focus will be offered.

The term "vinyasa" is a Sanskrit word that literally refers to the linking of breath with movement but is also used to define the sequence in the sun salutation series of: plank, chaturanga, upward facing dog (cobra as a modification), downward facing dog-all linked to the breath. This sequence builds upper body, core strength, and heat in the body while stretching the legs and relaxing the spine. As the studio only gets up to somewhere between 75 and 78 degrees, this way of flowing between the postures helps to heat you from the inside out instead.

So please come and check this class out-it's a great way to start your week!

Yoga Power Hour (Mixed Levels)

Tuesdays & Thursdays @ Noon-1pm

Getting tired of being desk bound all day? Try fitting a little yoga into your work week- it’ll help you relieve stress, breathe more fully, and increase your strength and flexibility all at the same time! Whether you’re new to yoga or not, this all levels Vinyasa Flow class will leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated. 

*Ask Ruby about the discounted class packages available for local employees, especially from the city and county.


Class Schedule


Location
Inspire Studio

Inspire Studio is on the 2nd Floor of the grey building that's behind the downtown post office and across the street from the Bellingham Bar and Grill. You can park along the street or at the Bellingham Public Market.

Kokoro Gear
Yoga Gear