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Why 4-Beat Yoga?

4 Beat Yoga is derived from the Rocket system and is a dynamic vinyasa flow practice. 4-beat brings a fusion of breath, music, and movement, offers practitioners a unique pathway to profound mental and physical well-being. The rhythmic synchronization of breath with carefully curated music and purposeful movements creates a multisensory experience that transcends the traditional boundaries of yoga.


This dynamic approach engages not only the body but also the mind, guiding individuals into a state of meditation and calm. The four beats serve as a rhythmic anchor, grounding practitioners in the present moment and fostering a deeper connection with their inner selves. The marriage of breath, music, and movement enhances the overall yoga experience, promoting relaxation, stress reduction, and improved mental clarity. As participants flow through the sequences, the immersive nature of 4 Beat Yoga becomes a transformative journey, promoting mindfulness and inner balance, making it an invaluable practice for those seeking holistic well-being in today's fast-paced world.

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My Philosophy

To explain my yoga philosophy I have shared below the essay I wrote as part of my 200H Teacher Training with the Good Life Yoga School, to whom I am immensely grateful. The title of the essay is "when does yoga stop being yoga?" and therefore prompts a consideration of "what is yoga?" so when can you consider yourself to be doing it? I do hope you enjoy it x.

When does Yoga stop being Yoga?

In order to try to answer when Yoga stops being Yoga it is helpful to consider how it is defined – i.e. when it starts. Yoga literally means “union” – union of the individual soul with the Universal Spirit, or, in less abstract terms, union of the body with the mind, and the mind with the soul1. Yoga exists as a collection of actions, intentions and behaviours that combine to enable this union. Yoga allows practitioners – yogis – to achieve a deeper reflective knowledge of themselves and their place within – and interactions with – the wider universe (and the ‘Universal Spirit’).

The actions, intentions and behaviours that comprise Yoga have been discovered, defined, refined, taught, interpreted, re-taught and re-interpreted thousands of times over thousands of years, and as a result there are many ‘paths’ of Yoga doctrine. Different paths place greater emphasis on different aspects of yogic teaching, such as Jnana Yoga (intellectual path), Bhakti Yoga (path of the heart), Karma Yoga (path of the body) and Raja Yoga (path of the mind). There is no single right way of ‘doing Yoga’, however all styles and teachings of Yoga should contain elements that eventually lead the student to a deeper union of mind, body and soul.

In order to foster a harmonious union between body and mind, the mind should first be calm. Yoga espouses a set of principles by which the yogi should live their life. These principles – referred to as yamas and niyamas – are documented as guidelines by which it is possible to live in a way that allows one to find inner peace and harmony in a complex and often contradictory world. To live in alignment with ones core principles can create a harmony within the self that in turn quietens/reduces self-critical or self-destructive thought patterns, allowing the yogi to reach calm and meditative states more easily. The principles help set the intention of the yogi to live in a principled, rational and caring way.

Yoga encourages the practitioner to recognise and nurture the relationship between the body and the mind. Through physical asana (yoga poses), the yogi is encouraged to concentrate the mind solely on the experiences as felt through the body, which in turn allows the mind to clear of other distractions. Moving the focus of the mind from thoughts about the everyday (such as chores, work, family etc.) and turning one’s focus inward leads to a greater understanding of oneself and one’s core values. Time spent in meditative states where the mind is clear allows this to happen naturally; Yoga is often referred to as a ‘moving meditation’.

Sustained practice presents this opportunity for self-study. Meditative ‘flow’ states where the student is fully immersed in the present moment and not thinking of either the future or the past; indeed nothing beyond the current experience where all focus rests; allow the student to get closer to the union of mind, body and soul – the true nature of Yoga.

Clearing the mind is not easy to achieve in practice. Anyone told to ‘clear the mind by thinking of nothing’ may manage this for a short while; however will soon find other thoughts popping up and vying for the mind’s attention. Yoga harnesses the body’s own mechanisms and rhythms to help the yogi retain inward focus. Yoga encourages use of the breath as the ultimate conduit between body and mind; and encourages the yogi to concentrate on the breath as a point of meditative focus. The breath also provides an instant feedback loop between bodily experience and the mind’s control of bodily action; helping the yogi regulate and protect their body at the same time. Yoga espouses many different breath control techniques (or pranayama) to achieve body and mind regulation.

So where does the Yoga start? Is it when the principles are followed and the intention is set? Or is it when the asana are achieved and the leg is behind the head? Or perhaps when the meditation is successful and the mind is clear? There are many classes labelled ‘yoga’ today, which focus only on achieving the asana, and pay no attention to either intention, pranayama, meditation, inward focus or the ultimate union. Some classes even just use the asana as a loose guide to formulate an exercise regime. So is it ‘real Yoga’?

In reality there is no single set of criteria that need to be met to be ‘doing Yoga’ and therefore where it ‘starts’ or ‘stops’. Many practitioners may only ever just skim the surface – perhaps just through the use of asana for exercise, for example. However just because they’re not incorporating the other aspects doesn’t mean that they’re not ‘doing Yoga’; for many people those initial classes become the entry point into a deeper practice that one day incorporates many of the other facets mentioned above.

In conclusion, Yoga brings self-awareness and connects the yogi with what is true to them. It provides techniques and practices that allows this to be explored. While time will see the body deteriorate and the capability for asana reduce; if the practitioner is still breathing, if they are still open minded and curious, and with good intention, then they haven’t stopped doing Yoga.

- Luke Ballard (2023)

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