What is yoga?
Yoga comes in many shapes and sizes, or perhaps, more accurately, in many styles and sequences! As the students of Hot Yoga Ibiza know, our school follows the Bishnu Ghosh lineage of yoga and one of the subsequent sequences of yoga that has evolved from this lineage is CORE 40, developed by Tony Sanchez, who is recognised as one of the foremost experts on Hatha Yoga in the world today.
So what is CORE 40 exactly? The class is a 90-minute sequence of therapeutic Hatha yoga postures, featuring 40 therapeutic positions derived from the traditional 84 asanas of Bishnu Ghosh’s yoga. Devised by Tony to be taught as an introduction to the full sequence, he himself called it the ‘master core system’ – it was his teaching disciples who went on to give it the name by which we know it now. As the name suggests, the class focuses on your core, starting from your spine and working from the inside out in order to rejuvenate and care for your central nervous system.
Those who have previously practiced Bikram Yoga may recognise around half of the poses – as the two sequences hail from the same lineage, there are some similarities, however during CORE 40 you will experience a much deeper practice. Tony added what he felt was missing to the series – abdominal exercises, hip openers, arm balancing and strengthening exercises. Hot Yoga Ibiza founder Sebastien Carincotte describes it as, “more fun, we can move and play with some of the postures, especially in the two-hour class on Saturdays.”
Who is it for? CORE 40 is for suitable for all levels, and can be adapted to suit each student, focusing purely on postures, breath work and meditation. It can be practiced from a beginner’s level to a much more challenging style of practice, depending on the student’s experience.
What to expect in class: First and foremost – it’s not practiced with any heat.
Our studio may be called Hot Yoga Ibiza, but our heating is not always on – students create the heat within their own bodies during a practice such as this.
As a general guide, you’ll start with pranayama (breathing exercises), followed by the Salute to Gods and Goddesses series, Salute to the Sun series, Salute to the Moon series, Awkward series, Eagle series and the transition series, preparing you to go from the standing postures to the floor. Then, after a brief Savasana and wind-removing pose, you’ll go into the Cobra series, followed by a combination of spine compressions and extensions, the stretching series and finish with the double side series. Then you’ll focus on some deeper pranayama before your meditation – the experience you have spent the past 90 minutes concentrating and preparing your body for.
How much do you know about the yogic philosophies?
Not much. I am interested in finding out more. I keep saying I want to buy books about it, but I find it easier to learn through experience and listening. This is why I want to do a teacher training course. Not because I want to be a teacher, but because I want to learn more. When I am in class, I am so in my breath and my body, I am meditating but not really listening to what the instructor is saying to me. That feeling that I get in class is so much more beneficial to me than reading a book.
Do you feel like you are still learning in class today?
In every class, you learn sometime new. You find something different, you find another point of your body or relationship between parts of your body and your breath, and it takes you to a different place. Today I had an amazing class – I walked off the mat and it was like wow! I felt light as a feather, driven by my core, I could do full vinyasas, everything worked, I felt energised but then other days I feel as heavy as a rock and just can’t find my core. Yoga is like an onion… you’re slowly unravelling all the layers. What I’ve learnt has been transformational and I am just a junior yogi really. Two years is nothing – there’s so much more.
How do you react to days like that?
More than likely when you have a class where you feel like your practice is getting awesome, your next class on the mat, your ego will show you your practice isn’t all that awesome – that was just a good day. It’s all about understanding some days are good, some are bad and they’re both OK. It really doesn’t matter. The major lesson I have learnt from yoga is if you trust in yourself, if you take the good with the bad, if you are fundamentally happy inside and don’t react to it, everything will be OK… Just let it be good. Or let it be bad.
How would you describe your relationship with Sebastien?
It’s interesting. I feel like there is a mutual respect there. It has never felt like a typical student teacher relationship – though of course he is my teacher and he has so much knowledge and has so much he can teach me – it feels like a friendship. I think we have a special relationship because Seb is very focused on the fact that yoga is not about the poses, and he really values his students who see it as more, and I am trying to practice in this way.
Where do you see your practice going in the future?
I don’t see myself as ever stopping. I would like the opportunity to practice more than I do now, but I think that comes with age and having more time. I have thought about doing something more in the yoga space from a work perspective, so that it’s more a part of my daily life, and that’s why I am helping Hot Yoga Ibiza out with their website and marketing because I just enjoy it. I want more of it in my day because it is a positive influence. Every time I step into the studio, it is just so nice to be there, even for just part of my day and I can imagine enjoying being in that environment more in the future.