Welcome to River Valley Yoga! Our mission is to make yoga accessible for EVERYBODY. Dedicated to the method of Iyengar Yoga, we use yoga as a tool to alleviate pain, injuries, and emotional stress, teaching students to cultivate a joyous, heart-felt, lifelong practice. Using physical alignment as a starting point, the Iyengar method encourages the spread of intelligence throughout the body and the development of self-awareness through precision in movement and attention to posture and breath.
Our nurturing environment is ideal for students looking for a supportive and safe yoga home. We take great care to teach each pose with integrity, and to put your body into proper alignment. Props such as chairs, blocks, belts and the wall are used to help maintain safe alignment, to develop more awareness of actions, and to improve the performance of the postures. Our approach helps students improve structural strength, flexibility, balance, stability, and to deepen the mind-body connection and overall feeling of good health and well being.
How does Iyengar Yoga differ from other systems of yoga?
The Iyengar method develops strength, endurance, and optimal body alignment, in addition to flexibility and relaxation. The Iyengar method develops self-awareness, intelligent evaluation, and profound inward reflection. The attention to detail and cultivation of awareness is meant to not only maintain physical safety in the practice, but to develop the mental benefits of a complete meditation in action.
No two classes are ever exactly the same. The variation in sequencing of Iyengar classes is influenced by the level and condition of the student, time of day, time of year, and many other factors. In Iyengar yoga classes, the emphasis is on learning, not just doing, so the teacher will usually teach through instruction, demonstration or adjustment so that the student can fully absorb the process and gain a more in-depth understanding of themselves.
Standing poses are emphasized at the beginning to build strength and ease of movement, increase general vitality, and improve circulation, coordination, and balance, ensuring a strong foundation for the study of the other categories of and more advanced poses.
Do I need to be flexible to do yoga at RVYC?
No! Iyengar yoga is very beneficial for all people and especially for those with tight muscles and joints. We work with finding a balance between strength and flexibility. Through attention to correct alignment and the use of props to assist you doing the poses, stiff muscles are safely stretched, and more flexibility is gained.
Do I need to be in good shape to take a class at RVYC?
No! Beginning Iyengar Yoga classes are a safe place to begin practicing regardless of your fitness level. The yoga postures can be modified to meet the individual needs of the student. Since Iyengar yoga works with strengthening muscles responsible for healthy postural alignment, new students can quickly experience increased energy and general well-being. The emphasis on precise postural alignment provides opportunities and challenges for students of all fitness level and all are welcome.
How should I begin at RVYC?
If you have not practiced yoga before or have specific injuries you are working with, you should begin with a 30-minute consultation. You may decide that working one-on-one in private lessons is the way to begin or you may attend the Introductory Course of Foundations I class. Students who have studied other types of yoga but who have never experienced Iyengar Yoga are also encouraged to begin with the Introductory/Foundations classes for a time to absorb the basic principles and apply them to the fundamental postures. The various asanas have different effects on the body. The basic postures taught at the beginning will build strength and stamina, and improve muscular tone, flexibility and alignment.
Yoga is open to people of all ages and all levels of physical condition. Do not be put off from trying a yoga class because you feel that you are too old, too stiff, too fat, too thin, too tired, etc. Yoga has something to offer everyone.
What should I bring to class and what should I wear?
We provide all the props necessary to practice. You may bring your own mat if you prefer. Please be on time. Arrive 5 to 10 minutes before class is scheduled. Wear clothes that are comfortable, easy to move in, but also allow the teacher to see you. For example, baggy pants hide the legs and knees, so the teacher will not be able to see if the legs are working properly. Shorts, tights, and tee-shirts are a good choice.