A yoga teacher's first priority is stability and comfort for all students in all poses. From my perspective, the practice of yoga is a personal journey. While yoga is not a religion, it is a yoke between body, mind and spirit. In the practice we move inward, improving breathing, quieting the mind and encouraging flexibility. Yoga also creates balance which allows to connect with our higher and best self.
This is the basic practice of alignment into posture, poses (Asanas), and breathing. There is also a glimpse into the philosophy of yoga. We begin refocusing our relationship with the body, mind, and spirit. Each individual is unique and comes to the mat with different needs. This level is suitable to all ages. The beginner mind is a beautiful place to start and revisit to keep the practice fresh
In this level, after having established an awareness of body, mind, and spirit, you will focus on lengthening, strengthening, and releasing tension to increase flexibility. A flow (Vinyasa) of poses connected with breathing is developed. As one deepens the understanding of form and alignment, it releases the mind from negative energy. This level is only attained after the beginner level has been accomplished. The use of props is encouraged.
Here there is a fundamental understanding of yoga. The pace of the class will deepen in its' focus. There is a refining of the basic alignment and quieting of the mind while following the breath inward. Here students are encouraged to reach deep inside with a light heart and find their comfort in more challenging Asanas. Vinyasa or flowing yoga is when the breath is the thread between each pose (asana) creating more heat in the body. This level is recommended for those who have prior yoga experience. Props may also be used in this class.
This mixed level class moves slowly, working on alignment, balance and gently opening into the poses. Props, including chairs are offered in this class. In this format, we can release any self-judgment and find contentment (Santosha).
This class is a blend of traditions it may include: Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, and sometimes Yoga Nidra. Students move at their own levels, working on alignment, balance and gently opening into the postures. You will be encouraged to release self-judgment, and find contentment (Santosha). The incorporation of meditation makes this a very calming yet renewing practice.
Yin yoga is a slow moving practice. The poses (asanas) are held for an extended period and props may be used to prepare to go deeper. It is a peaceful and reflective practice that offers the opportunity to release tightly held connective tissue, tension, stress and emotions; and encourages the lengthening of the breath. Some of my students have referred to this as "the Big Stretch". This is a very calming yet renewing practice. It is suitable for all levels.
In the tradition of Yoga, the practice of poses, breathing and the energy behind it, and quieting the mind brings us to stillness. Then we are ready to begin the journey toward an effortful practice of concentration techniques. We can establish peace through attention with no tension, following the breath and releasing all anxiety. From this point, the focus may become effortless, leading to moments of Meditation and perhaps Bliss. Meditation is an effortless one pointed focus.
Kitty's yoga classes are both calming and challenging. No matter what level you're at, beginner or experienced, she is able to support and adjust the movements to your needs. The classes are paced well, and you're never pushed beyond your ability. She also provides all of the equipment you need for your yoga class - so all you need to do is show up and start to enjoy yoga!
The difference in doing yoga classes with Kitty, is that she works hard to be sure that you are enjoying the class, following good form, and are getting the most out of each session. I have taken yoga classes before and never felt the level of personal attention that I get from Kitty.
I appreciate Kitty's ability to individualize the asanas and flows to my physical challenges without disturbing the class. I have been able to continue my Yoga Practice years beyond expectations.
- Donna Zimmerman
I truly enjoy your class and am grateful for the multiple ways you help me mentally and physically. I feel relaxed and limber in mind and body when I leave, ready to face the work day! Our class has some special needs people, and your amazing combination of knowledge and intuitiveness enables you to work on individual problems with consideration for limitations and safety.
- Pat Hamilton
This being my first time in a yoga class, I appreciate the way Kitty continues to work with me on perfecting the poses to maximize the benefits of the class. Working with her has given me a self-awareness about my body that I didn't have before in regards to how my body should move and be held. It's the first time I truly breathe all week.
- Kristin M.
I am so happy to have found Soul Path Yoga and Kitty Downey. She makes the classes fun, and informative - while providing safe and therapeutic exercise. She spends time with each student gently showing you the correct poses but not pushing you beyond your capabilities. She is very sensitive to each student's strengths and limitations. It's the perfect balance for achieving the best results.
- Lori Winkelman - beginner
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson