What is Hatha Yoga- Yoga Styles Explained Part 1

Different kinds of yoga in BerlinToday it is very common to hear about many different kinds of yoga in Berlin. And with so many variations to choose from, it can get rather confusing. In truth, there were originally only 4 types of yoga: Njana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. These yogas were created so that people could practice the kind of yoga that was most attune to their own character.


My Hatha yoga in English classes stem from the original Raja Yoga style. Raja yoga focuses on controlling the waves of thought by turning our mental and physical energy into spiritual energy. The purpose of Raja Yoga is to attain inner peace through meditation. In order to do this one must gain control over the physical body and prana (or vital energy), so that meditation can happen naturally. Raja Yoga consists of eight steps. The third step (Asanas) and the fourth step (Pranayama) is what makes up Hatha Yoga. This is the only kind of yoga that actually deals with the body and the one that most westerners think of when the word yoga is mentioned.


All of the yoga styles that have to do with physical and mental control stem from Hatha Yoga. The kinds of yoga we hear about today in the Berlin studios around us have much more to do with marketing then with providing separate types of yoga. These types and names are more of a description of the teaching method. For example a Vinyasa flow class will concentrate more on teaching the asanas with a flow rather than remaining static in them. Power yoga teaching will work to make you sweat. Hot yoga will teach yoga in a (very!) hot room. And the list continues with no end. Last year, I even heard of bicycle yoga! After trying to figure out how such yoga would work and picturing headstands being performed on the saddle of a bike, I discovered that it was about riding bikes out to different places, getting off the bike and then practicing yoga. I must say that I was relieved!


Berlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday

Yoga in Berlin can come in all shBerlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday ASANAapes and sizes. Everything from the  truly devout practices to the trendy, cult-like fashion of yoga- there are many styles and many different kinds of people practicing. Because there are so many people from all over the world who currently find this amazing city to be their home, we specialize in teaching Yoga in English. And because we believe that it can actually change lives, we teach the practices of Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga.
Although the classes are in English, sometimes I use Sanskrit words in our Berlin Yoga classes when wanting to describe a pose or the reason behind something we are supposed to do. As a consequence I often see confused faces looking up at me.  I think many yoga teachers take their students understanding of these terms for granted and just keep going. But in an effort to be very clear and to make understanding of why we do things as simple as possible, last week I started something I call Berlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday. Each week we will be posting info about a term to help increase depth of understanding within your practice.
This week’s word is the basis for Hatha Yoga:
Asana – literally means posture in Sanskrit. All the yoga postures we do in class are asanas. A specific asana has a name describing the posture and then the word asana at the end of it. For example take Matsyasana, Matsya literally means fish and asana posture- in plain English- it’s the fish pose.Berlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday ASANA

Berlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday

As a teacher of HathBerlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday YOGA explaineda Yoga in Berlin, I often use Sanskrit words in our classes when wanting to describe a pose or the reason behind something we are supposed to do. I try to always accompany these words with a translation, but every now and then I still see confused faces looking up at me. I realize that sometimes, especially when teaching yoga in English, it is important to not only describe the action in Sanskrit but to also offer a translation in plain English.

No matter how long you have taken yoga classes or how deep you are in your own personal practice, it’s important to understand the words being used over and over again. In an effort to explain the terms that many Berlin Yoga teachers (myself included) often take for granted that their students already understand, I am starting something I call Berlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday. Each week we will be posting info about a term to help increase depth of understanding within your practice.

Perhaps the beginning is the best place to start….
Yoga: yolk (as in the yolk of an egg.)
The yolk of an egg has the capacity to bind ingredients together. Yoga also strives to bind or unite the three aBerlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday YOGA explainedspects of the self: the body, the mind and the soul. Over the centuries, it has become common for people to also translate the word yoga as “union”. And since the practice of Yoga affects people in so many different ways, the definitions of Yoga seem to be multiplying as yoga spreads throughout the world.

What is a Sankalpa?

As an instructor of yoga in Berlin, I am often asked about the various parts ofthe practice I teach. One of the most recent questions was one coming from a new student in my Hatha yoga in English class. She asked. “What is a Sankalpa?”

Changing your life starts with setting the right intention. A Sankalpa is a very powerful tool that can help do just that.

Yoga Nidra at English Yoga Berlin

photo by Fern

Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word meaning resolve or resolution. It is a short, positive phrase that we use in order to build up an aspect of our character that needs strengthening. Take, for example, a person who wants to stop smoking. This person can very well understand all the reasons to stop smoking and even agree that being a non-smoker would be best for their health. But this understanding and agreement would be coming at the level of the intellect which is ruled solely by the conscious mind.  And that is often not strong enough to take lasting action. By using the Sankalpa during relaxation, we have better access to the subconscious and have it work together with our conscious mind towards a common goal. This way the change that the Sankalpa brings into our lives is a more whole and permanent one.

My Berlin yoga class includes 70 minutes of positions and 20 minutes of relaxation and visualization in which we introduce aspects of yoga Nidra (conscious deep sleep). As we relax after yoga, we let go of our defenses, we become more vulnerable and the subconscious becomes more sensitive and receptive.  That is the moment that we repeat our Sankalpa. When we first create our Sankalpa, we are planting a seed in our subconscious. Every time we go back to it and repeat it in our relaxed state, it is as if we were going back to it and watering it, caring for it so one day we can reap its fruits. For this reason, we keep the same Sankalpa until it becomes a reality in our lives.

3 New Classes beginning from Wednesday the 18th of April!!!

Hello everybody,

I am pleased to announce that the yoga fun is growing! We are now two teachers who make up Yoga Xkoelln: Meg and Pinelopi.

And we will be opening 3 new classes on Wednesday mornings. They will be on Görlitzerstr 39 and will have plenty of space available.

We will offer free classes on Wednesday the 18th of April so that you can try out!

Hope to see you there soon!

And for those of you who celebrate Easter, have a beautiful one!

Mini DETOX retreat

Hello Everybody,
I will be helping the Integrative Health Berlin to present a mini Detox retreat which I warmly invite you to participate in.
Warm greetings and Happy New Year!
Lisa Milloy~Integrative Health Berlin is please to present this wellness workshop offering!  It’s coming up soon, so please email now to reserve your space.
miniDETOXretreat   ____________________________________________________________________________________________
A workshop series designed to inspire and support a cleansing and healthful start to the year.  Learn and practice some simple detoxifying activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily/weekly wellness regime.  Our focus is practices that support and vitalize the body’s own natural systems for detoxification and preventing illness.
Movement ~ Yoga (Vinyasa-Flow Asana Practice) & Fusion Movement (inspired by the principles of Pilates, Yoga and Dance) ~ lengthening, and strengthening exercises to invigorate the circulation, support healthy organ function, and release toxins and tension. 
Massage ~ Self-massage techniques to stimulate and support important organ systems ~ Gently stimulating toxin elimination, and enhancing immune system function with techniques such as dry skin brushing and foot massage.
Breath ~ Yogic Breath-work (Pranayama) ~ purification of the lungs and energy systems.
Sound ~ Relaxing, guided meditation (Yoga Nidra). ~ deep restorative rest. 
             ~ music will be incorporated into movement practices.
The workshop(s) will be lead by instructors:
Lisa ~ Registered Massage Therapist (BC, Canada)
Kate ~ Certified Vinyasa-Flow Yoga Instructor
Pinelopi ~ Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor 
*More details to follow soon….stay tuned!  
Saturday January 14th, 21st, 28th (11:00 to 14:00) & February 4th (11:00 to 17:00)
Studio 142 – Bethanien Building – Mariannen Platz 2
All four Saturdays (14 hours) – 70 Euro
January 14th, 21st, 28th (three hours) – Drop-in 18 Euro
February 4th (five hours +one hour break) – Drop-in 30 Euro 
There are some discounted spaces available for those with no/low incomes.  Please email if you would like more information regarding this.
Please email me at rmt@lisamilloy.com to reserve your place now.  Space is limited to 12 participants.
Yours in Health and healing,
Lisa Milloy (RMT, BC, Canada)
Integrative Health Berlin
listen to your body ~ it knows.