We opened with our weekly Yoga Classes (in the Vinyasa Style) at The Colony Hotel at 525 E. Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach FL in 2006. We love serving the Delray community with our Daily Classes. Owner Kelly Brookbank ERYT500 also hosts Yoga Teacher Trainings (through Bija Yoga School) and Retreats. Lead Teacher Tara Wood, RYT500 & ERYT200 co-hosts the Teacher Training and teaches 6 weekly classes at The Colony. Pedro Luna, RYT and founder of YogiMemes leads our Sunday Yoga with Live Music at 9:30am – a 10 year tradition for our Sangha (Community) here on Atlantic Ave.
Owner Kelly Brookbank, brings experience from the Kripalu Tradition as a Professional Level Kripalu Teacher with over 500 hours of training and 18 years of teaching experience Kelly has also studied Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Pranakriya, Iyengar, and many other schools of yoga. She focuses on Pranayama and Meditative Elements school of yoga which enables the Bija Yoga School school to incorporate these elements into its Yoga College. Further, Kelly studies and loves Kali Natha Yoga (as taught by Guru Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati) The combination of the physical asana along with the meditative practices of yoga allows the Studio and school to offer a comprehensive yoga experience for all participants. On Sundays at the Yoga with Live Music class, the Studio incorporates Bhakti Yoga and Nada Yoga (devotion and healing sound qualities) with live music and chanting.
Colony Yoga has over 12 classes /week and offers workshops and special events at other Delray Beach venues. Most instructors are trained by Bija school of Yoga and share components of the training described above.
The Bija Yoga school is registered with the Yoga Alliance as both a 200 hour and 500 hour program.
Tara Wood is an RYT500 Bija Yoga teacher with 20+ years experience in many schools of yoga. She has studied with Sarah Powers, David Swensen, Shiva Rae, Anna Forrest and many other leading teachers in the US. She has been a personal trainer for over 15 years and has done an extended work study program in Hong Kong where sheenhanced her knowledge of Yoga. Tara shares with her students by offering Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa and Jivamukti Flows, and many other specialties. She teaches workshops year round and co-directs the Bija Yoga Teacher Training.
Vinyasa yoga links postures together with the breath in a dance like rhythm. This was first introduced with the Ashtanga yoga practice about 110 years ago by Sri. T Krishnamacharya and was taught to his disciple, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. This original form of Vinyasa followed a specific series of postures in a certain order. Once the first level was mastered, known as the primary series or first series, a student would then move on to the second and third series. It was the Guru’s job to guide the progress of the student.
Our Vinyasa style incorporates the first three series of the Ashtanga system. The sequencing of these asanas is safely designed to build core strength, lengthen the musculature, and open the heart. The combination of postures provides a place for each student to empower themselves and achieve inner peace. In a typical 90 minute dynamic vinyasa class each student is challenged yet not discouraged, keeping it fun regardless of the student’s level. The classes help eliminate stress for students as well as lighten their practice by strengthening the core and developing more of the subtle muscles rather than the larger gross muscles. The goal is to maintain a smooth and even heated breath. Our intention is to provide a spiritual approach about the heart-opening light entering the soul. Whatever the reason you find yoga, and whatever style you find, experiment and eventually you will find the place which fills your heart and your soul and at that time…Yoga will have found you. Namaste!
What is Yoga?
There are many definitions of Yoga depending on who is defining Yoga. Attending a yoga class and practicing the physical postures (asanas) along with the breathwork (pranayama) is a good beginning. There are many different styles of Yoga to choose from and selecting the type that works for you is the key. Yoga Can Be:
- A tuning up of the physical body including muscles, internal organs, endocrine system, circulatory system producing more healthy functioning within the body
- An excellent way of dealing with today’s stresses by producing deep states of relaxation to help release tension from both the body and the mind
- A balancing of the mind and body leading to a more harmonious state of being which in turn leads to increased happiness and greater well being
- A deepening of the inner awareness which leads one towards a greater appreciation of one’s own spirituality Maybe you will simply enjoy the relaxation, or like taking a rest from your busy life, or enjoy working hard on yourself, or you may simply like the toning and stretches within the practice.
Is Yoga a religion? The plain and simple answer is “No”. Yoga is compatible with whatever religion you practice or also if you do not have a religion. If one is religious and spiritual, then Yoga should help deepen one’s own religious beliefs as it provides clearer insights into spiritual states that arise from within. However, if you are not religious in any way, Yoga does not force you to believe in any particular belief. You simply follow the Yoga practices and allow yourself to appreciate whatever benefits that you experience for yourself.
The origin of Yoga lies hidden in the mists of prehistory. It slowly evolved and developed by the ancient sages, not only in India but also all over the world. Generally the techniques of Yoga were passed on from teacher or guru to their disciples by word of mouth. Some of the earliest written texts which mention Yoga and allude to its practice were the ancient Vedas which are approximately 4000 years old. More direct descriptions were later written down by the Yogi Patanjali and are often mentioned as the oldest written record of Yoga. These ancient texts are approx 2000 years old. The Yoga which we see today in the West generally originated from India and came to the Western world over the past 100 years. There are now various schools of Yoga which are available. These types of Yoga have evolved from teacher to student so that each Yogi has added their own flavor to the ancient practices. Some begin with quite strong postures while others begin very gently and gradually get stronger with the pace and ability of the person learning.
Styles of Yoga
There are many different styles of Yoga nowadays, and each class may be quite different. Some basic descriptions might help you decide.
- Vinyasa: Strength and flexibility in a physical flow combined with breathing techniques.
- Basic Hatha Yoga: Lying down and relaxing, standing up and stretching, tuning inwards with awareness, breathing slowly and mindfully.
- Iyengar Yoga: Working to hold the postures in precise alignment while focusing on breath. This yoga involves the use of many “props” (blocks, blankets, straps, etc.)
- Kripalu: Deep stretching and physical awareness, relaxation using breath and eventually “Meditation in Motion” for the yogi.
There are various forms of Yoga which will enable you to experience what it is you are seeking more quickly and more directly. Having said that, each of the above possible types of Yoga all have something to offer in each of the areas of fitness, awareness, improved health and well-being, breath work and relaxation. One thing that you should inquire about is what qualifications your Yoga teacher has. Ask he or she how long they have practiced and what type of certification that they have. Any teacher who has practiced under 2 years in length should be questioned. Further, usually the best teachers are registered with the Yoga Alliance and have either the basic RYT 200 hour certification or the RYT 500 hour professional level certification. In addition, consider asking whether the teacher currently practices daily or with frequency – this can indicate the dedication of the teacher.
The benefits include:
- Stress reduction & reduced anxiety
- Access to deeper relaxation for the body and mind
- Improved sleep patterns and increased energy
- Toning of the body & loosening of the knots within
- Better concentration & improved awareness
- Improved peace of mind & greater happiness
- Access to deeper states of awareness & self development
How does one start to practice yoga? One starts usually by attending a Yoga class. This is much more advisable than buying a book and practicing oneself. Having the hands on instruction of a certified teacher can help a student align the postures correctly and prevent injury. Once the confidence and body awareness arises from a yoga class, the practice can be enhanced with books or videos. However you decide to start, have fun and enjoy the journey!