News | 30th June 2020
Spotlight on.. Set Series with Grace
“Repetition is the mother of all learning”
Our Set Series class is the perfect place for a new practitioner to come week on week and build foundations, confidence & skills for a lifelong yoga practice.
Equally it is a wonderful go-to practice for someone of any experience level, you can show up and experience a full and balanced class. Leave feeling uplifted & soothed.
I asked Grace to write a little piece for us about what led her to create this gorgeous class & offer some information for those who may want to know more about it.
The Set Series, explained
In many of the most popular styles of yoga, the physical practice follows a set sequence. In Ashtanga, it’s the Primary Series, in Jivamukti they begin with the Spiritual Warrior Sequence and Bikram- the original HOT yoga is the infamous 26 poses + 2 breathing exercises.
There is huge benefit in learning and repeating the same set sequence of postures. Those who practice this way can begin to open and find space in the physical body whilst the subtle side of yoga begins to unravel. Although for some personality types it may sound a little tedious to practice the same thing over and over again, it can become an enjoyable ritual which allows you to switch off the ‘what’s coming next’ and be in the moment. It is also particularly valuable for relatively new practitioners who can really build a solid foundation and develop skills to create their own practice.
Motor learning plays a key role in explaining why a set sequence practice is so powerful. Defined as a ‘set of internal processes associated with practice or experience, leading to relatively permanent changes in the capability for skilled behaviour’ motor learning is perhaps the most important reason as to why I believe there is huge benefit to this style of practice.
Discovering these ‘internal processes’ that lead to ‘relatively permanent change’ in body and mind, are crucial moments of evolution in every personal yoga journey. In my view, the most effective way of translating this theory into a yoga class is to work with the tried and tested model of the set sequence practice. Revisiting the same poses time and time again, allows our bodies and minds to become familiar with the physical and mental cues that get us there and in turn, give us space to explore the subtle effects of the yoga practice.
While I think the traditional sequences are deeply transformative, I’ve come to recognise that they are not always practical for the vast majority of western bodies. When the Ashtanga method, for example was created, it was designed for young, mostly male practitioners who were guided by yoga ‘gurus’ in India. This is vastly different to the demographic of most people in western yoga classes. Not only have most western bodies not been practicing yoga since a young age, myself included, we often come to class dealing with a host of lifestyle related ailments, injuries and restrictions brought on by other exercise, or the jobs we do. Seeing this in my teaching experience thus far has driven me to create a practice that catered for and served these bodies yet still offered the benefits of repetition for learning. My Set Series was born.
The Set Series is a sequence of postures, created to help you build a solid foundation on which to base your physical yoga practice.
A journey through standing, balancing, backbending and seated/floor based postures, the Set Series gives you the space to find what works for your mind, your body and cultivate learning through repetition. Yoga Asana (postures) was created to help ease the body and ready it for stillness and so, we finish the sequence with a short guided meditation and relaxation to help you rest and reset.
I like to think of this practice as a tool box for your yoga journey. The fundamentals are often the most difficult thing to get your head round, but once you do, they open up a world of possibility. I have tried and tested this sequence on many different bodies, over many months and can honestly say I get so much joy from teaching something I really believe works- come and try it for yourself!
I hope to see you in class soon.