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yoga class descriptions

Quick Note of Diversity
Karma believes there is not one path of yoga.  We believe and offer a large variety of styles taught by experienced and certified instructors of each method.  From complete beginners to seasoned practitioners looking to deepen their practice, our students love the choice a large yoga studio such as Karma can give them.

Navigating the world of yoga can be daunting and confusing at first! However diverse, all yoga styles are based on the practice of physical postures (also called poses, or asanas), and some styles also incorporate additional elements such as breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation, or chanting. Each style emphasizes different postures, different ways of sequencing these postures, and different ways of combining elements. Adding to this diversity is the fact that each teacher will bring their own personal viewpoint to teaching the yoga style you will practice during the class type you are taking. 

As a student you have to find not only the yoga style with which you connect, but also the right teacher for you.  Finding this magic combination that suits your needs and personality is a bit like shopping for that perfect pair of jeans -- you may have to try a lot of classes and teachers until you find it, or you may walk into the right class with the right teacher for you the very first time. Experimenting and trying different yoga classes and teachers until you feel "at home" is the way to go!

Unless noted otherwise, all classes at Karma are taught at a temperature of 72 to 75 degrees F (air-conditioning is used in the summer months).

Style descriptions are listed alphabetically below:

ACROYOGA [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

Come and fly! AcroYoga is a partner practice that integrates the art of yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. Grounded in breath, we will explore partner flows and sequences that draw upon the natural forces of gravity and “metta” ~ loving kindness ~ to create a safe, fun-filled, heart-opening experience! Classes will present both acrobatics (inversions and partner flying techniques to develop strength, flexibility, and body awareness), and therapeutics (gentle flying and Thai massage to heal body and spirit). No experience needed, no partner required - come and play!
[take this class at the Allston/B.U. location, Fridays at 7:00 pm; check the Allston/B.U. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

ANUSARA [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

The Anusara style blends a spiritual context, which awakens and celebrates the heart, with the Universal Principles of Alignment, which bring the body toward its optimal muscular, skeletal, and energetic blueprint. Anusara translates as "stepping into the flow of grace" and is a practice that emphasizes freedom and honors individuality.
[take this class
at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq. and Newbury St. locations -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

CORE VINYASA (FLOW) [some prior yoga experience required]

Core Vinyasa is a flowing style of yoga that integrates breathwork, movement, core-strength and awareness. This class is accompanied by music and held in a slightly heated room to promote detoxification and flexibility. With moderate pacing and subtle reminders of moving from the center, we keep the body and mind fully engaged in the present moment. Our core is both our literal and energetic center of our balance and strength. Many of us shut down around this area causing back pain, mis-aligned posture, suppressed emotions, and even poor digestion. Awaken your core and become strong & resilient both on and off your mat!
[take this class
at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq. and Newbury St. locations -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

FRIDAY NIGHT CHILL [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

Unwind from the week with this deeply relaxing restorative yoga class. Enjoy long held yoga postures while being supported by bolsters, blankets and props galore. Each session ends with a guided meditation (Yoga Nidra) and luxurious aromatherapy during svasana. This is the perfect way to balance out the business of life. Bring friends and make it your "Healthy Happy Hour." No experience needed. Come as you are.
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Fridays at 5:45 pm; check the Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

GENTLE PHYSIOYOGA™ [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

PhysioYoga is a yoga practice based on correct anatomical alignment, scientifically-verifiable facts and serious attention to injury prevention that was developed by the founder of Karma Yoga Studios, Jesse Winder. Gentle PhysioYoga is designed as the perfect introduction to yoga, for absolutely any and every one. No one can ever feel out of place in this class, and everyone will feel they belong.

The class is a mild practice session that is entirely appropriate for true beginners, more experienced students looking for a gentle stretch, or even for persons with minor injuries or physical limitations. This class is also appropriate during pregnancy (just let the teacher know that you are expecting at the start of the class). The overall pace is slow and steady, with gentle warm-ups and attention to the details of each posture.

Jesse's teaching style is heavy on education, so expect him to talk throughout the class about the science and benefits of each pose. If you believe that laughter is good for the soul, that your teacher should view you as an equal, and if you like world music - not just yoga music - there is a good chance that this is a class for you!
[take this class
at the Harvard Sq. location on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 pm, and at the Newbury St. location on Wednesdays at 5:45pm -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

HATHA [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

This general yoga style utilizes holding the classical yoga postures and using different sequencing depending on the instructor for the purpose of strengthening, opening, and cleansing the body. In Hatha-style classes, the poses are held for varying lengths of time, unlike in Vinyasa-style classes where the poses are linked and create a flowing movement from one pose to the next.

Please note: this class is led in a unique way by each different instructor--so Hatha with one teacher might not be the same experience as Hatha with another teacher!  We suggest that you experiment with different instructors!
[take this class
at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq. and Newbury St. locations -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

JIVAMUKTI VINYASA (FLOW) [some prior yoga experience required]

This style of yoga is a vigorous, flowing practice that links traditional asanas into smart and creative sequences.  Created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984, the Jivamukti method is a physically and intellectually stimulating practice emphasizing spiritual awareness.  Each class focuses on a theme, which is supported by asana sequencing, yogic breathing, music and explorations of yogic philosophy.  Expect hands-on assists to support your alignment.
[take this class
at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq. and Newbury St. locations -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

KUNDALINI [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

Open to all students, Kundalini is an ancient practice which incorporates breathing, yoga postures, mantras, mudras and meditations. These five components are used in specific combinations or sequences called Kriyas. Kriyas enable the creative energy (Kundalini) to flow and circulate up the spine. Through this process the body, mind and spirit are brought together in an integrated experience of the universal self.
[not taught on the schedule this month; check back to confirm start dates!]
 

POWER VINYASA (FLOW) [some prior yoga experience required.]

(this class MAY be taught in a warm room that is heated to aprox. 85 degrees; see if "heated" or "warm" is marked on the schedule next to the class name)
Sweat, Surrender, Serenity! Practiced in a heated room, Power Yoga is a challenging vinyasa-based style of yoga that focuses on building heat to burn away mental, physical, and emotional toxins. We'll flow on the rhythm of the breath through Sun Salutations and use the heat to move further into the body with progressively more intense poses. Often described as a meditation in motion, Power Yoga offers an active and intense practice meant to quiet your mind as you detoxify the body and cultivate the energy of the breath. Emphasizing safety and alignment, modifications will be offered so that everyone can work at their own pace with their own authentic breath. You will leave feeling stronger, centered and refreshed.
[take this class
at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq., Newbury St. and Allston/B.U. locations; click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

PRANAVAYU VINYASA (FLOW) [some prior yoga experience required.]

PranaVayu Yoga is a flowing vinyasa practice that blends an exercise science based approach to postural practices with traditional meditative techniques from the Buddhist tradition. This challenging, heart opening practice is perfect for those who wish to change the body AND free the mind in a fun and uplifting way.
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Tuesdays at 6:00 pm; check the Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

PRENATAL [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

This class is suitable for any woman in any stage of pregnancy. Prenatal yoga offers a time to tune out the rest of the world and tune in to the amazing creation of both a baby and a mother. Yoga addresses our wholistic being, encouraging us to grow stronger and become more flexible in all realms – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A regular prenatal yoga practice helps connect to and listen to our bodies, confront our worries, and develop the courage to enter parenthood. Classes are a lot of fun too – participants often develop close bonds with other students.
[take this class at the Harvard Sq. location, Mondays at 5:45 pm; check the Harvard Sq. studio schedule to confirm! this class is not available for unlimited-attendance passes, other class packs, or any special deal such as Groupon; pricing for this class is $17 drop-in or 6 classes for $90]
 

RELAX & RECHARGE [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

Set your to-do list aside and make room for self-care. Pausing to recharge generates the energy to live your life fully. This all-levels class presents simple, non-competitive yoga practices that can be targeted to reduce chronic tension and systematically relax the physical body, the emotional body, and the mind. We explore the lesser-known gem of yoga, breathwork, which plays an essential role in grounding the body and quieting the busy mind. Through a unique sequence of deep stretches, coordinated with breath, you will nourish and balance the body and calm the mind. Class ends with a progressive relaxation practice—Yoga Nidra—the antidote for lifestyle stress. With consistent practice, you will develop the ability to release blocked energy, focus your mind and stay present in difficult situations; when you step off of your yoga mat, you can more skillfully take on whatever life brings. For beginning and experienced students alike, this class is highly inclusive and open to anyone. No previous yoga or meditation experience necessary.

Yoga Nidra is a meditative practice often translated as yogic sleep or divine sleep. It is a yoga practice that focuses on systematic relaxation of the body while the mind enters a state of deep, meditative awareness—like dreaming while fully awake. In this ultra-relaxed state of consciousness, the mind is focused, fully alert, and receptive, as the body releases into the physiological relaxation response where deep healing, regeneration and rejuvenation can happen.
[take this class at the Harvard Sq. location, Fridays at 6:00 pm; check the Harvard Sq. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

SLOW FLOW [some prior yoga experience required.]

This moderately-paced class incorporates sequencing of postures and exploration of breath to awaken energy flow in the body. Some postures are led with longer holding, to encourage the body to release deep-seated tension, and shift long-held patterns. Alignment cues and hands-on assists are woven into the flow to guide students to safely receive maximum benefit from the practice. Less intense and slower-paced than standard vinyasa, this class encourages cultivating personal intention and looking within, to nourish the body-mind with awareness and self-acceptance. Posture modifications are offered to suit all fitness levels.
[take this class at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq., Newbury St. and Allston/B.U. locations -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

SOBA YOGA [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

Soba Yoga is an integrative wellness program that assists individuals struggling with substance abuse and related addictive behaviors recover from the wounds of the past and release the binds of addiction. Soba Yoga believes that at the core of addiction is an inherent dis-ease within the self that has resulted in a self abusive relationship.

Through the use of mindful awareness, yoga asana postures, 12 step and Buddhist philosophy and a loving dose of humor, Soba Yoga guides individuals towards riding the flow of emotions and creating a safe, loving connection from within. Whether you associate with having an addiction or not, the program can help you move through old baggage and release what you no longer need. At the heart, Soba Yoga believes that transformation, happiness and healing are possible for all.
[take this class at only $10 drop-in price at the Harvard Sq. location, Fridays at 7:15 pm; check the Harvard Sq. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

STRONG FLOW [some prior yoga experience required.]

This class is our own Angelo Gala's special style of vinyasa inspired by the athlete / practitioner who wants to dial it back, enjoy the fruits of their labor, balance the tension in their body by opening new ranges of motion, and quiet the chatter of their mind. Standing postures are utilized with the intent to build heat in preparation for the mixed combination of long and short holds of seated postures sequenced intentionally to open up deeper expressions of traditional poses.
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Tuesdays/Thursdays at 6:45 am & Fridays at 12:30 pm; check the Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

VINYASA (FLOW) [some prior yoga experience required.]

(this class MAY be taught in a warm room that is heated to aprox. 85 degrees; see if "heated" or "warm" is marked on the schedule next to the class name)
This very popular contemporary yoga style requires a good-working knowledge of the basic yoga poses. The class leads through a series of breath-synchronized postures which are linked to one another through a flowing movement--thus "flowing" into one another and inspiring the style name, Flow ('Vinyasa" in Sanskrit) Yoga. Each movement of the body is harmonized to each breath taken, so the breath is not forced to follow the actions of the body as occurs with other forms of exercise.

Please note: this general-style class is conducted in a unique way by each different instructor--so Vinyasa with one teacher might not be the same experience as Vinyasa with another teacher.  This is a great reason to try more yoga and explore different approaches by all of our great teachers! :)
[take this class
at various times throughout the week at the Harvard Sq., Newbury St. and Allston/B.U. locations -- click on each studio's name to check the schedule page to confirm!]
 

VINYASA (FLOW) FOUNDATIONS [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

This class is appropriate for students new to yoga as well as for more seasoned practitioners who want to refine their technique and refresh their understanding of the fundamentals of vinyasa flow yoga classes. Through mindful work and attention to the breath, students will learn safe alignment in basic postures and sun salutations. Students will build strength, flexibility, balance, and awareness to prepare to enter more advanced classes safely.
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Saturdays at 10:30 am; check the Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

VINYASA (FLOW) & RESTORE [some prior yoga experience required.]

This class brings together the elegant, flowing motion of vinyasa yoga with the grounding stillness and silence of yin yoga. In one word, this class is an exploration of equanimity.

It is the balance between muscle-strengthening, breath-expanding vinyasa yoga and the meditative, tissue-healing practice of yin yoga. We will blend these two polarities together to create a consolidated flow which uses the breath and alignment in an energizing vinyasa practice and which cultivates our yin awareness and our inner witness to descend deep into our bodies to nourish our joints and connective tissue.

This practice is a union of of energy-generating vinyasa and energy-receiving yin. So, come, play, re-align and find your center.
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Sundays at 5:30 pm; check Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

YIN [no yoga experience required, beginners welcome.]

This lusciously slow and meditative practice is the yogic prescription for chronic tension, feelings of overwhelm, longterm physical imbalance, and/or exhaustion. It is the perfect compliment to more vigorous yoga styles, and a great balancer for high-stress living.

Through the elegant combination of appropriate asana and gentle timing, Yin Yoga deeply stretches and nourishes the joints of the body, helping to generate much greater flexibility and core-level relaxation. Yin Yoga is not boring, in fact the poses and cues will challenge and inspire you--and the relaxation is mindful and deep.

The practice is designed to bring your Central Nervous System into "Rest, Digest and Restore" mode, where healing work at the cellular level can occur--like digestion, muscle repair, scar tissue production, organ detoxification and emotional processing. 

Yin yoga sequences are also often linked to Meridian theory, similar to the practice of acupuncture, and can help open up and balance the body's energetic pathways. Think of it as an efficient way to catch up on all that sleep you missed over the years! 
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Mondays at 5:45pm; check the Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]
 

not yoga

The following classes are taught at our studios because they complement, enrich, or are related to the practice of yoga (alphabetically listed):

BOLLYWOOD DANCE [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

The Bollywood form of dance is an art that fuses India's most traditional dances such as bhangra, garba, and classical bharatnatyam with the hustle and bustle of Western forms such as hip-hop, salsa, and jazz. Bollywood dance is not only a form movement but it is an artistic expression in which themes of drama, comedy, and romance are all involved.

We will learn all the dance moves from scratch, so bring only your spirit for fun, adventure and great music. You will quickly learn one of the more popular styles of dance in India and have a blast!
[not taught on the schedule this month; check back to confirm start dates!]
 

QI GONG AND DAOIST / ZEN MEDITATION [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

The Chinese equivalent of yoga, this is an ancient exercise that uses simple flowing movements, breath control, and "standing" meditation. Easily accessible to beginners, it is an excellent tool to promote overall strength in the body, freedom in the joints, and calmness in the mind.
[not taught on the schedule this month; check back to confirm start dates!]
 

REIKI & MEDITATION [no experience required, beginners welcome.]

Come experience the long hidden and complete system of Reiki for eliminating deep blockages within your Body, Soul, and Spirit. This beautiful, silent class set in a group setting is sure to liberate you on all levels of your being. As you receive this powerful experience lying down on a yoga mat with blankets for comfort, you’ll walk out of class reminded of your true nature of joy and inner peace.
[take this class at the Newbury St. location, Saturdays at 5:00 pm; check Newbury St. studio schedule to confirm!]