Most of you already know about my Haven Yoga Studio in Vilamoura where we run private and group yoga and meditation classes, workshops and events.
Instead of just students popping into the classes and leaving, I aim to build a community and, therefore, focus on providing experiences where my students can connect and interact with each other.
In the month of August, we run four group classes per week and every month we offer an experience of Cacao Ceremony, which is something I talked about in my last article. Our weekly group classes offer practices for all levels. Whether you are a complete beginner or out of practice due to having only online experience or an advanced yogi, we have a great class for you with experienced international yoga teachers. Haven also offers group and private corporate classes to improve the office teamwork.
Let me share with you our weekly group classes in the month of August and their benefits:
This style of yoga is all about continuous movement and breath. You move from one pose directly into the next. Flowing sequence of specific asanas (poses) coordinated with the breath. Each movement happens on either inhale or exhale. Synchronising the movement starts the cleansing process as the temperature of the blood increases. This class is suitable for a frequent yoga practitioner or an advanced yogi. It builds your strength and stability.
What to expect during Vinyasa Yoga class: Vinyasa Yoga normally starts with Sun Salutations as your warmup, which is a series of repetitive movements to warm up all the main joints in the body. You can expect to move with more upbeat music and be pushed outside of your comfort zone – that starts your cleansing process. Every class finishes with Savasana, which is everyone’s favourite pose where you simply get to lay down and be still for a few moments. You leave the class rejuvenated and feeling as if you’ve had a good hour of workout.
When can you attend: Mondays from 6.30pm-7.30pm
- Enhances core stability
- Improves mobility and range of motion
- Keeps your heart healthy
- Calms the mind and reduces stress
- Boosts mood
- Grants flexibility
- Improves sleep
- Stabilises and regulates the emotions
This yoga style is slightly slower than Vinyasa and, therefore, suitable for beginners or those out of practice. Hatha Yoga always has a combination of pranayama (breathing technique) and asana (yoga poses). Pranayama relaxes your body and mind and brings you into balance. You move your body slowly and deliberately into different poses that challenge your strength and flexibility, while at the same time focusing on relaxation and mindfulness. Poses are held for several breaths and, therefore, challenging your stability and balance.
What to expect during Hatha Yoga class: A Hatha Yoga class normally starts with pranayama (breathing technique) and has a slower warmup style than Vinyasa Yoga. You then move through Hatha-style Sun Salutation with gentle music in the background and finish with relaxing Savasana. Hatha Yoga class creates a perfect balance due to a combination of breath and body movement, leaving you relaxed and balanced.
When can you attend: Wednesdays 9.30am-10.30am
- Better sleep
- Reduces stress
- Improves balance and core strength
- Relieves neck and back pain
- Lowers levels of depression
- Strengthens flexibility
- Enhances mindfulness
Yin Yoga & Sound Vibration
Yin Yoga style, as the name suggests, is a passive approach to practice, meaning we practice stillness and mindfulness by holding the poses for a minimum of 90 seconds. This style can be challenging for those who are always on the go as they are invited to come into stillness and having to observe their mind and emotions. It is suitable for all ages, beginners or someone who wishes to start yoga. Most poses are focusing on the lower body and the spine and are done on the ground, improving your mobility and flexibility. Yin Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our rest and digest part and, therefore, can be deeply healing as it releases suppressed and trapped emotions and traumas.
What to expect during Yin Yoga class: Yin Yoga normally starts with grounding and stillness guided by the teacher and some breathing techniques that activate your parasympathetic nervous system to relax the mind and the body. You are then guided through a series of passive poses using props (bolsters, blankets, blocks or straps) to help you relax into the pose. Each pose is held between 90 seconds and three minutes to access deeper tissues in the body such as ligaments, tendons and fascia. The class ends with relaxing sound healing where the teacher uses crystal meditation bowls to take you to a deeper state of relaxation. Yin Yoga is excellent to practice in the evening and one has a guaranteed solid sleep.
When can you attend: Thursday 6.30pm-7.30pm
Cacao ceremonies with Danielle are a safe and enjoyable space to experience the magic and love of cacao. We combine breath awareness, simple sound or mantra, elemental honouring (air, water, fire, earth), calling in the spirit of cacao and the current astrological energy we are woven with to open the space and set the tone for the ceremony.
What to expect from Cacao Ceremony: You are welcomed by your facilitator who will cleanse your energy before entering the Cacao Ceremony Circle by using the smoke of sage. Sitting in the circle, we sip cacao and share where we are within ourselves. You are invited to pull one of the oracle cards or runes and share your voice with others. Danielle explains and guides us through astrological readings concerning the season and we then go through a beautiful, guided sound healing meditation with her. We enjoy the cacao with music, conscious breathwork, body movement, mantra and meditation, which can offer you a wonderful feeling of being relaxed and energised all at once.
When can you attend: Our next Cacao Ceremony will be held at the Haven Studio in Vilamoura on August 23 between 6pm and 8.30pm.
I personally look forward to welcoming you to any of our classes or events in the studio and I hope the above gave you a good insight and inspired you to book into the studio.
Elena Menci is a 700hr International Yoga Teacher who studied in India, Bali, Mallorca and Dubai. She teaches private and group classes in Vilamoura and hosts workshops, weekend and week-long retreats for her “Haven” community in the Algarve, which she is a founder of. Elena’s passion is to pass on what she has learnt from all her gurus and teachers to those around her. Instagram: @thehaven_algarve | www.thehaven.pt