Ajna Yoga | Studio Review

 

I’ve been to many yoga studios before, taken many classes and none was quite like the unique class I took at Ajna Yoga!

What is yoga? Traditionally, yoga has always been a practice for the body, mind and spirit. In the western culture, yoga has often been associated with fitness classes, focusing heavily on the postures and movements rather than connecting with ones mind. If we were to take only the physical aspect of yoga, then wouldn’t it be great if yoga instructors had a background in anatomy so they can better explain how these postures actually benefit the human body?

 

Anatomical spine and brain models on the window ledge

This is my first time taking a therapeutic-based yoga class so I wasn’t sure what to expect! Stepping into Ajna Yoga was a very different experience. At first glance, the studio is what you would expect from any other studio, clean open space. Upon closer inspection, you will notice the shelf of props has a lot more variety, including spikey balls, deflated balls, foam blocks in various shapes and sizes, akin to those used in pilates or physiotherapy. I started to cue in the subtle differences from the anatomical models on the window ledge, namely the spine and the brain model.

Once class began, I felt reminiscent of my years studying anatomy in university courses. Jules, our instructor led us through the Hips, Necks, and Shoulders class. The language she used was similar to those in your typical yoga classes, but she occasionally added scientific names of bones, muscles and body parts. What I really loved about therapeutic-based yoga was when she also reported findings from scientific studies to support the beneficial claims.

We used a total of 10 different props for the class!

The class I took was a relaxing class, utilizing a range of props to help target specific body parts in our stretches. The class was relatively small with 12 other students and Jules paid plenty of attention to each one of us. She remembered all of the students by names, and for newer faces, she came by often to make sure we understood the instructions. Unlike the other fitness-style yoga classes I’ve visited, most of the students in the class were older and had more even mix of men to women. Overall, the class was very gentle and very appropriate for the audience.

After spending an hour through a slow sequence of long stretches and playing around with a few props, I laid in shivasana and thought how great it would be if my parents and in-laws could take a class like this regularly!

The therapeutically-based yoga class would be a great addition to your regular practice as it offers gentle stretches and movements to help increase awareness of your body. The instructor was amazing and so knowledgeable! The explanations and little tid bits of scientific knowledge offered also makes you feel smarter after every class!

After the class was over, I thanked Jules and asked if she could give me a copy of her class schedule and highlight the classes that would be suitable for my parent in-laws (I was visiting them in Victoria, BC over the holiday break). Jules explained a lot of the classes offered at the studio are therapeutic in nature and therefore are perfect for an older demographic.

Unfortunately, while the class schedule offers plenty of classes, the times offered doesn’t quite work well with my mother-in-law as she still works during the day time. Perhaps I can recommend Anja Yoga to her once she retires!

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Thank you to Jules Paynes, co-owner of Ajna Yoga for welcoming me to your studio!

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