Hatha and Gentle Somatic Yoga are terms used to describe the different "styles" of yoga that I incorporate into my classes.
Hatha yoga has its origins in India. The word Hatha can be translated as "force" but also as "gentle". It is a non-denominational form of practice (so you don't have to be a Hindu or Buddhist to do it)and it aims to create balance in the body and mind. Hatha yoga classes involve a combination of gentle asana (movements or postures), breathing techniques and relaxation or meditation practices. These work together to release physical tensions and promote mental calm.
Gentle Somatic Yoga
This technique was developed by James Knight following the research and practices of Thomas Hanna. In Gentle Somatic Yoga we work to reconnect to the body via the central nervous system and release long held, unhelpful movement patterns by a techniques called "Pandiculation". Pandiculation involves gentle contraction of the muscles followed by slow release and then complete relaxation. This technique bypasses the "stretch" reflex (If you come to my classes you'll know how much I hate the word "stretch!) and instead engages the motor response from the brain so the body "learns" to access the areas that are holding tension . Movement becomes easier, more fluid and possibly even pain free.
My classes are a fusion of both of these elements.