Yoga is an ancient art-form that represents how you move through life. It offers wonderful opportunities to increase your physical strength and flexibility, but it also creates opportunities to release repressed emotions, develop confidence, and find inner strength and love. Yoga is so much more than a workout at the gym (although it can be that too!), and at Pura Vida Soul Institute we want you to experience the depth and the breadth of what yoga can offer you.
Your yoga should represent how you want to feel and who you want to be in the world. That is why we offer a variety of creative styles and options to our yoga classes. You can try them all until you find the style that fits best with you, or if you like the spice of trying new things you can regularly mix them up!
Tai Chi & Qi Gong
Tai Chi is a series of flowing movements that cultivates full body awareness, energy, strength and deep relaxation. It is an ancient system of Taoist practice that has both health and martial benefit, with an internal and external focus and skill. Classes are structured around learning and applying the form and is supported by different forms of Qi Gong aimed a balancing energy channels, toning the organs, building strength and vitality!
“We live in a field of Qi, “vital breath” or “primordial life energy.” Yet, like a fish in water or a bird in flight, we are often unaware of the medium that nurtures and supports everything.” – Reconnect to Qi – Reconnect to Life!
There are thousands of forms of Energy Skill which all hold the fundamentals of the focal synchronization of breath body and mind to cultivate, circulate and store vital life force energy. It is often experienced as a moving meditation. A foundational principle of Qi Gong is that energy follows the focus of our awareness. “Where the mind goes, energy follows” commonly known from the relational Buddhist quote – “What we think – We become”. This internal art is rooted in the Chinese medical model, embedded in empirical study and clinical research, was once reserved for royal families, warriors and healers has since the 1950s grown into a universal method of exercise.
Meditation is an ancient practice to still and focus the mind so that emotions and stress no longer overwhelm the body, thoughts can be clearly understood, and one’s ability to focus can be enhanced. There are a variety of meditation practices available to cultivate love, forgiveness, relaxation, healing, and more. At Pura Vida, we offer a variety of practices from many different traditions and teachers to allow you to determine which practices work best for your needs.
Learn more about all of our classes by clicking on the links below:
Unique to our studio is the option to practice warm or hot yoga, which is completed in a warm and cozy heated room. While we do teach traditional (unheated) yoga as well, it is the hot yoga that seems to draw our biggest crowds.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
The benefits of Hot Yoga are abundant and are for everybody. Immersing yourself in a regular practice will:
- Cleanse the mind and body;
- Release toxins and impurities;
- Improve flexibility, range of motion and balance;
- Burn 700-1000 calories contributing to weight loss;
- Develop muscle tone and build strength;
- Boost the immune system;
- Relieve stress and anxiety;
- Reduces the symptoms of certain chronic illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, depression, arthritis and circulatory problems.
Infrared Radiant Heat
Our studio, located on a beautiful 20-acre property in Severn Bridge, is a custom hot yoga studio that is heated with Infrared Radiant heat panels. Radiant heat is simply a form of energy that heats objects directly, without having to heat the surrounding air. Radiant heat is also called infrared energy or IR. Our tissues normally produce infrared energy for warmth and tissue repair. Tissue production of infrared energy is associated with a variety of healing responses. At times, the infrared energy in our tissues may require a boost to a higher level to ensure the fullest healing possible for tissue repair. Body tissues that need an infrared boost selectively absorb infrared rays; after boosting a tissue’s infrared energy, the remaining rays pass onward harmlessly. This phenomenon is called “resonant absorption.” Palm healing, an ancient tradition in China, has used the healing properties of infrared rays for 3,000 years. Yogis in India also employ palm healing and recommend it especially for relieving eyestrain.
Far Infrared Therapy and Electromagnetic Fields
Recently there have been reports detailing the hazards of exposure to certain kinds of electromagnetic fields, such as those from high-tension power lines, cell phones, or from computer display terminals. Infrared heating systems have been tested in Japan and found free of toxic electromagnetic fields. The Swedish National Institute of Radiation Protection has also concluded that infrared heaters are not dangerous. Instead, Japanese researchers have reported that infrared radiant heat antidotes the negative effects of toxic electromagnetic sources.
Infrared energy penetrates tissues to a depth of over one inch. Its energy output is tuned to correspond closely to the body’s own radiant energy so that body tissues absorb close to 93 percent of the infrared waves that reach the skin. A conventional sauna, in comparison, must rely on an indirect means of heat to produce its heating effect on the body (convection – air currents, and conduction – direct skin contact with hot air). An infrared heater heats only 20 percent of the air, leaving over 80 percent of the heat available to directly heat the body. Thus, an infrared heated sauna can warm its users to a greater depth and with more efficiency than a conventional sauna. Infrared heater output creates penetrating heat and mildly warm air (which only heats the skin superficially). This crucial difference between it and traditional saunas explains the many unprecedented benefits that come from its use that are not attainable in conventional saunas.
Another difference lies in the process of sweating. Infrared energy created in the sauna may induce up to two to three times the volume of sweat produced in a traditional sauna, while operating at significantly cooler temperatures (100-130degrees Fahrenheit – 37-55 degrees Celsius, compared to 180-235 degrees Fahrenheit). The lower heat is safer for those concerned with cardiovascular risk factors that might be adversely affected by high temperatures encountered in more traditional saunas. In fact, German researchers have reported beneficial effects from hour-long whole-body infrared exposure in two groups of hypertensive patients studied in 1989, including a 24-hour long increase in peripheral blood flow and decrease in high blood pressure. One issue for traditional sauna users has been breathing exceptionally hot air. Unlike traditional saunas, which require a closed atmosphere to maintain the levels of heat required for therapeutic results, Infrared saunas can be used with the door or window fully open if the only desired effect is infrared penetration. It is distinctly more pleasant to breathe air that is 50-125degrees Fahrenheit (10-60 degrees Celsius); in an infrared sauna, patients breathe cooler air while maintaining a feeling of warmth.