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  • Is Psalms & Stretches yoga?
    The short answer is no. Psalms & Stretches is a movement class that uses a range of stretches and positions that the human body can do, choosing those that have clear benefits and are safe to practise from a modern fitness perspective. You may recognise some shapes from yoga, some exercises from Pilates or general body conditioning or even dance - because there are many ways the body can move safely and effectively and we want to utilise everything God gave us. Here's the long answer too: Those interested in yoga will know that yoga is not just a physical practice, but it is a spiritual philosophy that originates from the Yoga Sutra, a book of teachings believed to have been written by an Indian sage thousands of years ago. There are eight limbs (aspects) of yoga and only one of them is about the physical practice. We think those who study yoga would agree that yoga is more than just the movements. Therefore, it is with a respectful distance that we say Psalms & Stretches is not yoga. Neither is it claiming to be a Christian version of yoga, or even "Christian Yoga" (which already exists, should you be looking for that). In Psalms & Stretches, the intention of the movements are to stretch and strengthen the body based on modern fitness principals; movements are not prescribed for their own inherent good, their effect on internal organs, their deeper meaning or spiritual connotation. We move because our bodies were designed to move; it is part of self-expression, good stewardship and a way we can worship God. The spiritual practice of our class comes from praying, reading the bible and seeking to be closer to the Holy Trinity that is God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • What happens in a Psalms & Stretches class?
    Class starts with a short prayer and reading our chosen bible verse for that session. We use passages from the book of Psalms (which could be described as poetry of the bible) and focus on one short section, so that we can really learn the words by heart. Then we get moving with a warm-up of gentle stretches and mobilisation exercises for the body (this bit feels a bit like a Pilates class), before learning a sequence of movement that is set to the words of the scripture. This choregraphed exercise sequence we call a Psalm Sequence, and it's not just exercise! It's a way to pray through the Psalm and to connect with it in visceral way. By committing the verse not only to our minds but to our muscle memory also, we fully embody the words and are able to worship through it - it becomes a moving meditation. At the end of class there is a time of relaxation and we close with a prayer again.
  • What should I wear or bring to a Psalms & Stretches class?
    Wear whatever is comfortable to move in. We recommend class is done in bare feet so your feet can move as much as they want, but you might want to wear socks with grip. Doing P&S outside in the park? Wear trainers! We recommend using an exercise mat, but it's not essential, as long as your floor is comfortable. You might want to bring a notepad and pen in case the session prompts you to have any thoughts or reflections that you might want to write down. Some people like to journal before the class as a way of docking your current thoughts to give space for being in the moment (if you're brain is often full of to do lists and you don't want to spend the hour thinking "I need to buy milk..") - but everyone has different preferences.
  • I'm not very "stretchy".... can I still do Psalms & Stretches?"
    Absolutely! Please don't be put off by our videos or if your instructor is touching their toes and you are not! Whatever you can do is enough and our class is a judgement-free zone. (Being flexible does not take you closer to God and being fit does not make you any more worthy!) We exercise to take care of bodies and our wellbeing in general, not to score points or make ourselves more acceptable in anyone's eyes. After all it's only God's eyes that we should be concerned about - and He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you! Regardless of whether or not you can touch your toes.
  • Is Psalms & Stretches suitable for people with injuries?
    Our programme is designed for people who are safely able to participate in exercise. If you are injured you should seek appropriate medical attention and advice before you begin any exercise regime. It may be that the style of this class might not be appropriate. Having said that, it is a low impact, slow moving class where everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace. We welcome all ages and abilities, and will always try and cater for varying levels - just let us know at the beginning of class if there's something you're going to avoid doing and we can suggest an alternative for you. Feel free to take moments of rest whenever you need to, listen to your body and only do what you feel is beneficial to you today. As is good practice for any exercise class, we ask all our participants to complete a health questionnaire when they first start with us, and to keep us updated should anything change.
  • How do I become a Psalms & Stretches Instructor?
    We have a training course! This course is currently open to people who are already fitness instructors or dance teachers. Please see our "Instructor Training" page.
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