Types of Yoga Classes at Yoga East
 New to Yoga? Quick Glance at Types of Classes
  • Gentle Yoga: classes are relaxing and less physically demanding than other classes, easy on the wrists, knees, back and hips. Teachiner instruct in how to use props and give adaptations for students with *limitations.
  • Hatha Yoga: teaches yoga postures with correct alignment, form and breathing. Recommended for students in good general health even if you have never done yoga.
  • Yoga Flow: is for athletic students in good condition who enjoy moving from one posture to another incorporating the breath and movement, sometimes with music. 
  • Ashtanga Yoga: is a challenging class with sun salutations and 48 postures thatinclude arm balances, backbends, shoulder-stand and headstand. If you have *limitations, attend Hatha classes or call Laura Spaulding about Mysore-Style Ashtanga classes.
  • Ashtanga Slow Flow: teaches the first 24 postures of the Ashtanga sequence with props and adaptations.
  • Mysore-Style Ashtanga is adapted for the needs of each student whether you are extremely limited in your practice or advanced. All levels practice in the same room with individual attention and instruction. You must have a Mysore membership to attend. No drop-ins are allowed.
  • Regular attendance is more important than any level of ability.
Gentle Yoga is a Good Place to Start  
Gentle Level is ideal for seniors, pregnant women, and students recovering from illness, injury or surgery. 
Gentle Yoga has a slower pace and the teachers give more instruction on how to use props such as chairs, the wall, blocks, blankets, bolsters for support.  Gentle Yoga introduces fundamental Hatha Yoga postures while ensuring that students have time to understand the instructions, and get the props needed to practice the pose to their capacity. Although this class is suited to students needing assistance, students with pronounced physical limitations are requested to phone us first about their restrictions before coming to class.  Phone Laura Spaulding at the main office during business hours at 502-585-9642.  Leave a message if she is out and she will return your call. 

Gentle Class is great for anyone who needs a little rest and quiet from the busy pace of life.

Regular attendance is more important than any level of ability. However, if you have questions about your ability to participate in classes, please phone us to speak to an instructor. See our Contact Page. 

Prenatal Yoga

Our Prenatal Yoga teacher, Nikki Ball, is currently on maternity leave. Until Prenatal classes resume, please read the following guidelines about yoga when you are pregnant.

Always check with your medical care provider before taking on a new activity, including yoga.  
Do not practice yoga if your pregnancy is high-risk.  If you have NO yoga experience, you should wait until the second trimester before beginning yoga.  Attend Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga or Mysore-Style Yoga. Always inform the teacher that you are pregnant because it may not be obvious. Yoga East teachers are trained to teach yoga to pregnant women.

Guidelines for pregnant women:

Do not try to increase flexibility or practice intermediate poses during pregnancy. Your goal is to maintain your strength and to practice poses that strengthen the pelvic floor such as Baddha Konasana, squatting, and Upavishta konasana. Correct breathing is very important.

New to Yoga? 
Yoga East classes are for all kinds of people - not just the fit and flexible.  If you are out-of-shape, elderly, have never done yoga before, are not in good health, have not exercised recently, have diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, back trouble, are overweight or have Crohn's disease, Multiple Sclerosis or other chronic conditions, Gentle Yoga can be of benefit to you.  

Have trouble getting up and down from the floor or need Chair Yoga? Go to Leroy Chittenden's $5 Gentle Yoga class on Wednesdays at 11:00 am at our Highlands Studio.  Leroy also teaches elders who are wheelchair-bound or incapacitated by dementia at the ElderServe Oak and Acorn Center in Portland.

If you are uncertain about your ability to practice yoga, try a Gentle Yoga class first. Then ask the teacher for recommendations for other classes. Our teachers are highly trained, certified yoga practitioners and are there to help you.


Benefits of Yoga
Traditional Hatha Yoga is the most widely-practiced form of yoga in the world and its health benefits are proven and recognized by the medical community.  Regular practice of Hatha Yoga builds strength, flexibility, lowers blood pressure, reduces blood sugar levels, increases muscle mass and is a weight-bearing exercise that helps women with osteopenia and osteoporosis. Yoga reduces pain from chronic injuries and helps improve the symptoms of chronic conditions such as Crohn's disease, MS, arthritis and back pain. 

Peggy Karman celebrates her 50th birthday in a backbend, 10 years after being diagnosed with MS.
Peggy celebrates her 50th birthday with a backbend
in front of the doors at St Matthews 

From our student Peggy -

Here is my 50th birthday photo! I cannot thank you and all my teachers through the years who have helped me to reach this point in my practice and my health. Not only I am celebrating turning 50 but also a decade since I was diagnosed with MS. There is a blessing in being awakened to one's own mortality when a health crisis occurs and I am so grateful that the doors, hearts and minds of Yoga East were open to me that first class over 9 years ago. As soon as my feet touched the mat, I knew I was welcome right where I was at in my journey and needless to say I could not have envisioned where that journey would lead me. I can truly say that yoga has transformed my health, my spirit and my life. Thank you for all your encouragement, wisdom, grace and willingness to share this journey with so many.