After a tumultuous couple of years mired by pandemic isolation, there has been a big influx of consumers looking for calming and meditative experiences. One such activity people are turning to is yoga and yogic gathering. One such brand is ‘Yoga by Candlelight’, headed by the avuncular Alexandra Alves.
What is ‘Yoga by Candlelight’?
Alexandra started ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ with the mission of connecting each and every single student to their ‘inner truth and delight’. The yogic gatherings are backed with effervescent live music and calming movement. Whether you are a yoga newbie or a seasoned pro, ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ helps restore the body, clear mental fog and focus the psyche on amazing retreats all around the world.
‘Yoga by Candlelight’ values
The values that ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ is built on include:
- A deep connection to the Lotus flower: the lotus flower endeavours to blossom despite belonging to unclean and contaminated waters. Alexandra takes each and every yogi student on a journey from darkness to light.
- To discover the profoundly positive and rewarding impacts of yoga on a person physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ puts each and every student’s individual needs first. Alexandra holds individual and social gatherings but always looks to hone one’s inner balance by giving each student the room, safety and comfort to nurture their body and mind.
- Whilst Alexandra’s teachings are based on Hatha and Vinyasa qualifications, her classes are an amalgamation of many yogic teachings. She imbues the start of each lesson with Sanskrit mantra chanting to connect the classes together and bring a oneness to the yogis and yoginis.
What does ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ offer?
Alexandra is a flexible and open instructor and that is extremely evident in the variety of classes available. Alexandra runs 25 classes per week, offering private classes, yoga for men, corporate classes and a whole range of other workshops. We took a look at some of them below:
- Online Classes: Despite society opening back up, you may still feel uncomfortable entering a busy social setting. Alexandra understands this and offers online classes throughout the week. For example, Gentle Flow Yoga classes are done online and are geared towards new yogis or those interested in general practice. Incorporating simple flow sequences and slower paced movements aligns the body’s strength, balance and flexibility.
- Pranayama and Meditation: An in-studio class that combines the tranquillity of meditation with the practice of breath regulation. In Sanskrit, ‘prana’ means life energy and ‘yama’ means control. This is the practice of maintaining one’s vital life force.
- Hatha Yoga: Slower-paced traditional yoga classes involving breath, body and mind to connect students to their roots, feet, legs and pelvis.
- Men Yoga Flow: A faster-paced Vinyasa practice that targets the core to support your lumbar and spine. Sessions end with a cool down relaxation session to keep that inner fire burning.
- Restorative Yoga and Candlelight Meditation: This lesson can be done online or in-studio and is an excellent opportunity to deafen the frenetic noise of daily life. Held in the gardens of Danesfield, this signature yogic gathering held by a crackling fire keeps your soul warm and your mind free.
- Cocoon Meditation on Anti-Gravity Hammocks: Explore anti-gravity inside a silk hammock. The floating fluid state reduces compression on joints and the spine and mimics the safe and embracing experience of the womb. This practice is deeply restoring and, when surrounded by a reverberating gong bath, one has no choice but to surrender to the majesty of the universe.
- Corporate Classes: as cases of depression and anxiety rise in society, yoga can help to bring life to the corporate world. Whether in the morning to start the day, at lunch to regain energy in the workforce or in the evening to unwind after workday.
- Bride-to-be Yoga: Geared towards bride-to-bes who feel burdened by expectation and anxiety. Alexandra’s classes will diffuse the stress and empower you into the next chapter in your journey. Heart opening poses, twists and inversions are the foundation of the classes.
- Boutique Retreats: The jewel in the crown of the ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ variety is boutique retreats. Alexandra organises amazing and luscious boutique retreats all over the world. These range from soothing Somerset retreats, blazing getaways in Portugal, Feng Shui-focused weekends in the Cotswolds, tropical weeks in a Bali yoga retreat, a week of rest and relaxation in Greece by the Aegen Sea and extended trips to the breath-taking landscapes of Tanzania and its’ safaris.
A journey, not a competition
When Alexandra came to Yoga in 2012, it was for physical and therapeutic reasons, but soon discovered it to be a door into a much larger world. ‘Yoga by Candlelight’ is about wholeness of mind and body together and offers classes including meditation, chanting and gong baths and cocoon sessions. Classes are usually accompanied by live piano or violin surrounded by the warming haze of 350 candles.