Sivananda Yoga is a classical and holistic approach to Hatha Yoga - it tones the whole body, mind and spirit. This style of yoga has not been modified or watered down since ancient times and teachings have survived intact, practiced as originally presented in India by Swami Sivananda in 1936. The Sivananda Open Class is a traditional class that helps encourage proper breathing, flexibility, strength and vitality in the body while calming the mind. Because Yoga is a spiritual system with a physical component, this non-competitive approach helps the practitioner gain much more than just a healthy body.
A typical open class includes Pranayama (breathing exercises), Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), 12 basic asanas (postures) followed by deep relaxation. The asanas follow an exact order that allows for the systematic movement of every major part of the body in a balanced way that enhances prana or life force energy, keeping the mind quiet and without the need to think beyond each individual pose. Additional variations may also be taught.

By far the most important thing about good breathing is the Prana, or subtle energy of the vital breath. Control of the Prana leads to control of the mind. Breathing exercises are called Pranayamas, which means to control the Prana. The two main Pranayamas taught are Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma.

Surya Namaskar:
The Sun is worshipped as a symbol of health and vitality. The Sun Salutation originated as a series of prostrations to the sun. Traditionally, it is performed at dawn, facing the rising sun. The Sun Salutation is a graceful sequence of twelve positions performed as one continuous exercise. Each position counteracts the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternately expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing. 
Asanas (poses)
The 12 basic poses or asanas are much more than just stretching. They open the energy channels, chakras and psychic centers of the body while increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones and stimulating the circulatory and immune systems. Along with proper breathing or pranayama, asanas also calm the mind and reduce stress. With regular practice one can ensure overall physical and mental health and the possible prevention of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. In time, performing the poses slowly and consciously, becomes a mental exercise in concentration and meditation.
Savasana (relaxation)
Deep rejuvenating relaxation: physical, mental & spiritual.