Bikram Yoga Classes that Make You Sweat

A Guide to Bikram Yoga Classes and Gear for Monterey

Tag: Paths of Yoga

Yoga for the Mind & Soul

Just start where you are, you don’t have to wait to be highly evolved. A little bit each day, two minutes, five minutes.

Always work to the best of your ability without caring what comes out of it, without caring what others will think about it.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga: Literally translates as knowledge yoga, uses two main tools to bring about yoga: viveka (discrimination) and vairayaga (dispassion).

Viveka is the constant scrutinizing of every thought, every emotion, every sensation to determine what is real and what is not.

Real being that which is unchanging and unreal is everything that is changeable and impermanent. At the same time, vairayaga accompanies one to stay unattached in order to really see reality for what it is – mind made.

The ultimate goal of Jnana is to see the difference between the object of our awareness and that part of ourselves which can be called the knower or the witness.

Once we realize that everything is changing all the time and the only true stillness is the witness within ourselves, we can rest in that part. With continued practice, for a long time, without break and in all earnestness all ignorance fades and yoga is achieved.

Dharna (concentration)

Many meditation techniques fall into this category. Just like a good cook needs sharp and strong knives so a yogi needs to have strong and focused mental powers to probe the depths of the mind.

Dhyana (meditation)

Patanajali defines meditation as concentration that is unbroken.

As an example, if your object of concentration is a candle, you can hold your attention on it without wavering for a long time. Or the object of concentration can be your heart or the tip of your nose.

Samadhi (superconsciousness)

In samadhi, meditation becomes so deep that we begin to experience states of ecstasy, and super- conscious states where we go even beyond the confines of thinking and thought and touch something deeper that is within us always.

When the highest state of samadhi is achieved, the final part of our selfish ego is burned off and we become like the ancient masters; radiantly peaceful, completely content with whatever life brings us, and dedicated to selfless service in the name of mankind with an open and compassionate heart.

Karma Yoga: It is the path of action where we try to work a little bit more selflessly in the world. So that every act becomes an act of worship. That way we transform everything around us into the sacred, so there is no secular left. And so it becomes all encompassing, it becomes universal, all-accepting.

Like Mother Theresa used to say – I’m serving Christ. Christ in the poor, the destitute, or the one ridden with leprosy. How can I treat every single person as my teacher, as the divine embodied in front of me.

Strive with every ounce of your strength for self-realization, and then translate that into action. You grow a little bit, and you are able to serve more effectively more selflessly, and through that you grow – elegant positive feedback, reinforcing itself, spiraling upward.

Restorative Yoga Classes

Restorative yoga is a gentle, meditative practice using supported asanas and simple yoga props, slow deep breathing to enable the practitioner to completely relax, revitalize and restore energy. 

The complete relaxation response allows for the release of deeply held tensions while strengthening the immune system. 

It encourages a state of being rather than doing, therefore beneficial for all yoga students needing a more gentle yoga experience, students healing from an injury, those looking to balance an active practice and lifestyle.

Benefits include:  relief from symptoms resulting from stress, supportive of women during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, fantastic for anyone wishing to experience a sense of well-being and rejuvenation resulting from deep rest and relaxation.

Antonella Caruso is a Kripalu professional certified yoga instructor – Registered with Yoga Alliance as and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher(ERYT-500)and director of Prema shanti yoga.

Studying yoga for 20 years and has been teaching for 15 years. Certified with Judith Lasater as a Relax and Renew Trainer and she continues to study and teach the receptive, restoring benefits of yoga practice.

  • 12-Week Series
    Begins: Every Friday 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Fee:$240 10% off when registered by Dec 28th.
  • Trial Class available by appointment-$20-cash only
    Must be pre-registered prior to attending first class.
  • No Drop-Ins. Join Anytime
    Pro-rated for late registration.  Not pro-rated for missed classes

Click Here for Registration Form
Refer to Studio Class Payment/Charge and Attendance Policy

Yoga Props to Bring with you

Yoga support props available at studio for your convenience, you are welcome to bring your favorite mat, pillows, blankets, and eye pillows. 

Yoga Classes During Pregnancy

You are invited to experience a gentle yoga class in a supportive environment and community with other women. Our tools will be breath-work, vocal toning, abdominal and pelvic toning, warm-ups, postures, supported restorative postures and birthing postures, relaxation, meditation and visualization. 

Learn to cultivate a calm mind and confidence, develop coordination, strength and flexibility, and connect with your baby in preparation for the birthing process with ease and joy.

The classes provide an opportunity to develop greater vitality and awareness of your body that is a home for two, as well as to deepen your relationship with your baby.

Antonella Caruso-ERYT-500:  Professional Kripalu Yoga Instructor, Certified Pregnancy(Prenatal) Yoga Teacher and  Certified Relax and Renew Trainer. Currently studying as a Birth Doula-in-Training thru DONA.  Teaching women at different stages of pregnancy.  Teaching yoga for over 15 years practicing for 20 years. antonella@premashantiyoga.com

12-week series Begins Next Tuesdays 7:30- 9 pm

Must be preregistered.  Join anytime. No Drop-ins
Fee- $240/series 10% off when registered with a partner.

Trial Class available by appointment– $20-cash only- Doctors Note Required to Attend.

Nurturing Mom-to-Be: A Intro Prenatal Yoga Workshop Next Sunday – $50 – Registration Required to insure workshop will be held.

Submit registration form and payment prior to attending to confirm.

Pro-rated for early delivery date and late registration. Not pro-rated for missed classes. This series is beneficial at all stages of Pregnancy. No yoga experience required. Refer to Studio Payment/Charge and Class Card/Attendance Policy

Wear comfortable clothing and bring bottled water. Yoga mats, blocks, blankets, pillows available at studio. Feel free to bring your favorite blanket, bamboo pillow, eye pillows, etc.  Be guided by your comfort.

Partner Yoga Workshop for Birth Preparation

This workshop provides an opportunity for couples together to enhance awareness and confidence in pregnancy, labor and birth.

Learning functional yoga tools through discussion, gentle postures, breath-work, vocal toning, meditation and massage, couples will cultivate greater relaxation, intimacy, understanding and enjoyment for childbearing. 

Calm and confidence ease the birthing process, reducing pain and increase the joy of giving birth.

Couples will practice giving and receiving in a supportive partner yoga practice that is beneficial for cultivating connection, and harmony throughout pregnancy and during labor. Expectant fathers feel more connected to the unborn baby.

The presence, participation and encouragement of a woman’s partner are a powerful aid to labor and delivery. Expectant fathers will be encouraged to understand how to support their partners with confidence and sensitivity.

This workshop is available for all partners of pregnant mothers and Beneficial at any stage of pregnancy with No previous experience necessary.

Pregnancy Yoga Gear to Bring

Once you have signed up and ready to start your pregnancy yoga class, you will need to come prepared.

The most important item to bring is an extra soft yoga mat. You can choose to bring a standard mat for yoga, however, one that has extra padding is recommended.

The Next item you should have is a soft and fluffy pillow. You can use any standard pillow or a full body pillow for pregnant women for even more support.

Finally, the last item you should consider bringing to your yoga class is a large bottle of water.

You can find either of the previous items available in case you forget to bring them and you can even purchase bottled water from our vending machines.

Yoga Class Descriptions

At BikramYogaMonterey, we offer classes to students of yoga practice that wish to begin and/or maintain a regular practice that is progressive and integrative.

We believe that commitment is essential to establishing a regular consistent yoga practice and receive the full benefits of YOGA.

What Yoga Can Do For You:

  • Experience Life Fully Alive & Present
  • Relieves the symptoms of Stress
  • Increases Focus & Concentration
  • Cultivates a Calm Mind
  • Strengthen Cardio & Immune System
  • Improves Posture/Range of Motion
  • Reduces emotional/physical stress
  • Normalizes Blood Pressure
  • Reduces/Eliminates Back Pain
  • Increases Energy & Restful Sleep
  • Tones/Relaxes Muscles
  • Cultivates a Joyful Inner Experience
  • Cultivates Deep Awareness Of Being
  • Improves Relationship with Breath
  • And Much More!!!!!!!!!!!

Level 1- Gentle/Beginner: designed for new students and those who wish to explore a gentle practice learn basic principles of yoga postures, pranayama, relaxation, meditation and philosophy/psychology.

Level 1/2-  Advanced/ Beginner Vinyasa:  designed for beginner students who wish to deepen and expand there practice-  Exploring some gentle flow practice, deeper pranayama and meditation. 

Level 2- Moderate/Intermediate Vinyasa: designed for students who have yoga experience and wish to explore a flow practice (Kripalu/Vinyasa), deeper Pranayama (breath-work), Bandhas(Energy Locks), Relaxation/Meditation- prerequisite. Level one or 6months exp required.

Level2/3-Intermediate/Advanced Vinyasa: designed for experienced yoga students who have an experiential yoga practice with knowledge of basic postures and pranayama, studying for at least 2 years who wish to deepen their practice.

The learning at this level will focus on cultivating more awareness and concentration in the mind and body through Vinyasa, Pranayama, Bandhas and Meditation. 

Must have instructors permission to register and attend.  This is not an exercise class.  Come with an open mind and heart to learn and awaken to your true self.

Class Descriptions

Yogalates/Postnatal: The wonderful marriage of yoga and  Pilates designed for those who wish to maintain the benefits of yoga with the essential core work of Pilates.  

A complimentary practice for postnatal mom’s to regain core strength and flexibility, revitalize body and mind for your new journey with baby. (This is not a mommy and me yoga class) Open level

Restorative Yoga:  Is a gentle, meditative practice using supported asanas and simple yoga props, slow deep breathing to enable the practitioner to completely relax, revitalize and restore energy. 

The complete relaxation response allows for the release of deeply held tensions while  strengthening the immune system. 

It encourages a state of being rather than doing, therefore beneficial for all yoga students needing a more gentle yoga experience, students healing from injury, those looking to balance an active practice and lifestyle. 

Fantastic for anyone wishing to experience a sense of well being and rejuvenation resulting from deep rest and relaxation.

Active-Dynamic/ Restorative Yoga- This class is designed for all fitness levels, physical conditions and ages including beginners, people who have little or years of experience with hatha yoga. Read More.

Prenatal Yoga: You are invited to experience a gentle yoga class in a supportive environment and community with other women. Read More.

Private Yoga: Private sessions for Adults and Kids are offered to those students who wish to start or deepen their practice, students who wish to work one-on-one, have individual needs that require personal attention, or regular class times don’t fit into their schedule.

 Thai Yoga: Is an ancient and sacred healing art with deep roots in yogic and Buddhist practices. 

As a uniquely diverse and powerful healing modality it provides a deeply rejuvenating and transformational experience both or the recipient and the practitioner.

Various yoga and meditation techniques make Thai Yoga a graceful and holistic form of applies hands on therapy that emphasizes alignment principles, mindful presence, safety, individual needs, and balance of the human energy body. 

It is done on futon mat with the client dressed in comfortable clothing that allows full movement of the entire body leaving the student completely recharged, balanced and inspired.

Kids Yoga: When children do yoga, they integrate and restore the whole mind-body system.  They override the stress response. 

They become clear for learning and develop both mental and physical focus, strength, balance and flexibility.  The sessions are filled with  yoga poses, breathing exercises, games and time-in (relaxation and recharge). 

Postures integrate, sooth and energize the body and mind by releasing tension, activating coordination and awareness and stimulating circulation. 

Breathing exercises calm and balance the nervous system to increase well-being and intellectual receptivity. 

Games that are fun explore physical challenges in a non-competitive way enhancing fitness, skills, teamwork and creative thinking. Time-in gives children the opportunity to create deeper connection with their inner being, integrate and process there learning.

Yoga practice is beneficial with consistent practice and integration.  Each level of yoga practice is designed to deepen your understanding and experience of self and yoga.

Common Paths of Yoga

With so many yoga styles floating around these days it can be confusing to understand how all of these styles fit together and what they share in common.

Yoga is a system and a science of exploring what it means to be human, in this body, with this mind and connect to the divine that is within all of us.

Just like different tools are needed for different jobs, so different paths of yoga are prescribed for different people. Below are the four main paths outlined in the ancient India text the Bhagavad Gita. As you read this, think to yourself, which one of these paths fits best with my personality?

Different Paths of Yoga

Bhakti Yoga: This is the yoga of devotion. Of complete surrender to whatever chosen deity or God we believe in.

This is the path that is commonly practiced by the Hari Krishnas, you know, those guys you see on the streets in robes, singing, dancing, and chanting. It involves heart opening practices like mantras, and thinking about the wisdom stories, connecting with aspects of whatever you call Divine, with what makes you feel connected.

One of the things that seems important to me about bhakti is what Krishna says in the Gita: all the paths work, but the bhakti path is easier, because it gives you a form to focus on.

Within the bhakti tradition, you reflect on Kali, Krishna, Jesus, or whoever is your favorite form and as that reflection matures you let go of the separation, you take the deity into your body and you feel like you are Krishna or Kali.

In bhakti yoga losing yourself in the devotion brings deep happiness that leads toward wisdom, love, and clear seeing.

Raja Yoga: Outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, translated as royal yoga, Raja consists of eight steps that ultimately lead to the enlightened state of samadhi.

Yama (abstinence) – non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-greed.

Beginning with the outside world, this step is a good recipe for how the yogi should prepare him/her self.

It deals with the vital matters of our behavior, our attitudes, and how we are with others.

Niyama (observance) -purity, contentment, accepting but not causing pain, study of spiritual books, and self surrender to God

The second steps encourages us to treat our bodies as a temple that houses the spirit within. Keep it pure, clean. The same goes for speech and thought, keeping those clean and pure makes for a holy temple that becomes our vehicle for practicing yoga.

Asana (posture)

The downward dogs, the lounges, and the headstands, all fit into this category. In fact almost any Western style yoga class, no matter if its called shadow yoga, Iyengar, or Vinyasa, fits into this third step in the Raja Yoga tradition.

Developed thousands of years ago, these poses are meant to cleanse and strengthen the body to prepare us for the later stages of yoga.

Pranayama (breath control)

Once the body has become strong and steady, what to do with this crazy monkey mind?

To practice meditation we need not only a steady body but also a still mind and thus pranayama is used.

There are dozens of different breathing techniques to help with pregnancy and all with the purpose of purifying the mind.

Pratyhara (sense withdrawal)

As we get into this fifth stage, we are now ready to begin the journey inward and this means relinquishing our attachment to the world. In this stage we much let go of the need for others approval, and of societal norms.

Here, the entire focus of our minds in every moment is set on observing the internal world that is within ourselves. This includes our bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts.

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