Eight words to know before practicing yoga at the Stone Barn

By Angie Hilsman | Jun 15, 2017
Courtesy of: Juliet Loranger Juliet Loranger stretches at the Stone Barn.

Throughout the summer, Mass Audubon visitors can find 90-minute yoga classes at the Stone Barn. While outdoor yoga classes, yoga with kittens, and the like have become trendy, Instructor Juliet Loranger said the Horseneck Road property offers something extra.

"The Stone Barn is a way for me to have the beautiful experience of nature,still have instruction, and not have the ticks," she said. As owner of Yoga on Union, Loranger had plenty of tips on becoming the ultimate yogi. Here are eight terms you'll need to survive your first class.

1. Namasté.

"It's like a gesture of gratitude for the practice of yoga," said Loranger. She explained that in India, the term is similar to "what's up," but through westernization, it's been paired with spirituality.

2. "Om" or "Aum."

"It's just a sound. It's not a word," said Loranger. "It's representative of 'all things,' a universal vibration." Use it in class to help center yourself.

3, 4. Passive and active movements.

In the class, you'll hear the the words "passive" and "active" in the instructions. To do something passively means to not engage the muscles, said Loranger. Passivity allows the muscles to stretch and lengthen, and promotes a feeling of relaxation, she added.

Active movements, in constrast, create focus to manage your body. Active movement means applying the right amount of effort to engage the muscles, but not overwork them, said Loranger.

5. Downward dog.

This triangular position — hands on the mat shoulder-width apart, feet hip-width apart, and hips high in the air — builds strength in the muscles and bones, and supports deeper breathing, said Loranger.

6. Child's pose.

This stretch is the ultimate for relaxation, but it is also used to open the spine and shoulders, Loranger said. Bring your forehead to the mat, stretch your hands overhead along the floor, and push your hips back over your feet. Namasté!

7. Props.

"Props are used to not only make you more comfortable in poses, but they allow practitioners of all levels to get a better experience," said Loranger. Yoga props include blankets, blocks, and straps, and all are provided for the class.

8. Breathing.

This meditation tool is a huge part of the practice, with benefits that transcend the yoga mat. In haha yoga — which is any yoga class that teaches physical postures — you want to have "continual generosity of breath, soft yet consistent," said Loranger. "It doesn't have to match the movement though," she added.

Breathing calms the nervous system, helps quiet the mind, and improves poses, Loranger said.

Find Loranger and her team at the Stone Barn, located at 786 Horseneck Road, at 9 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Bring a yoga mat and water, and wear comfortable clothes. Classes are $18, and can be paid at the start of class (cash or check only, payable to "Yoga on Union").

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.