Phinney Ridge Yoga teachers are known in the Seattle community for their heart full approach and experience in adapting classes to meet individual needs. Our community classes are wonderfully diverse, with students ranging in age from 14 – 90 years old! We offer a variety of gentle, moderate and vigorous yoga classes in the Kripalu, Pranakriya, and Viniyoga Traditions. Read below for descriptions of the different styles and physical levels.
Gentle Level: These classes are great for people who live with chronic pain, injuries or illness or who would just like to move at a slower and more relaxing pace. Emphasis is also given to breath work, philosophy and the meditative/spiritual aspects of practice.
Moderate Level: A couple of steps up from the gentle practice in terms of strengthening and physical challenge. Teachers work in a developmental manner, beginning with a gentler version of a posture/sequence and building gradually to a more advanced version. There is still plenty of room to modify as needed and permission given to stick with less physically demanding practices. Our teachers are very experienced at adapting movement to meet individual needs. Emphasis is also given to breath, philosophy and the meditative/spiritual aspects of practice.
Moderate Flow Classes: These classes incorporate all of the elements of a regular Moderate class but move at a slightly quicker pace, creating a sense of “flow”. Flowing from one posture slowly and mindfully into the next supports healthy circulation, energy flow, and a meditative, introspective state.
Vigorous Level: This class is for those interested in a vigorous flow practice where more challenging sequences and postures are explored with a playful and non-competitive spirit. We encourage people with injuries to take our gentle or moderate classes.
Kripalu Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga that grew out of the teaching of Swami Kripalu (1913 – 1981). It incorporates current western approaches to sports medicine and kinesiology with ancient principles of Yoga. In Kripalu Yoga the individual is recognized as an intricate weaving of body, energy, emotions, mind and spirit. Kripalu teachers take an integrated approach to practice, guiding practitioners to experience these different dimensions with compassionate awareness. Incorporating postures (asanas), breath work, mindfulness, and compassion, classes can range from very gentle to very vigorous. Rather than focus on the external form, and subscribing to one “right” way of executing the postures, students are encouraged to experience their practice from the inside out focusing on inner sensations, thoughts and emotions. The physical practice becomes a doorway into deeper layers of acceptance and awareness.
Viniyoga is a form of yoga that grew out of the teachings of Krishnamacharya, a contemporary of Swami Kripalu. Where Kripalu was primarily a spiritual seeker, Krishnamacharya was an Ayurvedic Doctor. Viniyoga is often termed the “Yoga of Adaptation”. Function over form is emphasized, where practices are adapted to meet individual needs. In a Viniyoga Asana class, students will experience a mixture of repetition—flowing in and out of a pose a number of times, in addition to holding postures for longer periods of time. As in Kripalu, there is a strong emphasis on breath awareness, philosophy, and the deeper meditative aspects of practice.
Pranakriya yoga was developed by Yoganand Michael Carroll, a long time student of Swami Kripalu. After many years living as a renunciate in the Kripalu ashram and studying Swami Kripalu’s teachings, Yoganand took a slightly different path than what is considered Kripalu yoga today, and named this path Pranakriya yoga. Pranakriya yoga emphasizes pranayama (breath work) and the meditative aspect of asana practice.
“Community Classes” are offered at a discounted rate: $50/5 class card; $80/10 class cards. $16/drop in. Class cards are good for 3 months. Studio monthly passes are also welcome in these classes.