Silence. It’s a powerful tool used at Lighthouse Yoga during its silent heated power class.
Offered on Sundays for an hour, students practice in silence, minus instructions here and there from Christine Kramer, the teacher of the class. The idea is to give students space to dive deeper into self-study and their introspective practice.
“This is a great class to turn inward because there is no external music to distract you,” said Bridget Lavin, the owner of the studio in Omaha, Nebraska. “Without the added ambiance of music, it is just you, your mind, your breath and your body. It invites us to take a deeper look at our internal landscape.”
Lavin, as well as Kramer, had a traditional yogic background. And that’s why Lavin has wanted to have at least a couple of classes on the schedule that stayed true to the original form of the practice. It’s a slower passed class with space between instruction, where the teacher can pace the class around the sound of the breath and focus on the intention.
Plus, in an overstimulated world, the class offers students a break. Lavin noted music is a stimulus; even though it might seem like your mind is busier without it, the silence actually calms and nourishes the mind. “In today’s society, we are constantly overstimulated,” she said. “To have an hour out of your day where there is no added stimulus to the environment, other than basic instructions, it gives the mind a break from everything else. Moreover, instead of just going through the motions lazily and quickly, you are challenged to be more intentional with how you move and work your body.”
The truth is, however, it’s a hard class to sell. Attendance isn’t always high because members often want the upbeat music classes. However, Lavin said the class is worth having on the schedule even if just one person comes in to sit with their breath, body and mind. And the silent heated power class is successful by teaching it with a passion and the respect that flows out of the origin of the practice of yoga.
When it comes to teaching a silent class, Lavin’s biggest tip concerns the teacher. “Make sure the teacher teaching it is in love with the silence,” she said. “If the teacher doesn’t like teaching in silence, the students will feel it. Don’t just offer it to offer it.”
All in all, the silent heated power class at Lighthouse Yoga simply offers students a space to breathe and step away from the constant stimulus of the world. That in and of itself is worth it. “The students really enjoy giving their mind a break from the added stimulus of music,” said Lavin. “They also enjoy the added challenge of calming their mind without music.”