Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu May all beings be happy and free
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu May all beings be happy and free
Below are some common questions and concerns students new to Yoga often have.
If you have any other questions about Yoga, please feel free to contact us any time and we will be happy to try to answer them for you.
What should I bring?
You don’t need much for Yoga class. We have mats at the studio (as well as cleaning spray to sanitize the mats after use). If you do have your own mat and would like to bring it, you are welcome to. You won’t need any props, just you and an eagerness to learn!
Do I wear shoes in class?
No. There is a place to store your shoes at the studio during classes.
What clothing should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing for stretching and breathing. Out of courtesy for the other students, please come to class clean and try not to wear strong perfumes or colognes. You may want to leave your jewelry at home as well, so it doesn't get in your way during some of the postures.
What do I do if I'm late or I know I'll be missing class?
Please try to arrive on time, which means at least 5minutes before the start of class. If you do come in after class has started, quietly join the class as soon as you are able and take a minute to center yourself, and then join in. If you are running very late (over 30minutes) don't rush any more. Go home and come tomorrow. We don't want you to miss anything, but it's best for you and the class not to join any later than that. If you will be missing a class, make sure to inform your instructor as soon as you know you'll be missing and for how many days. We appreciate the communication and may be able to give you some things to work on at home or fill you in on what you will miss until you return.
Can I eat before class?
Please try not to eat for at least two hours prior to a Yoga class. This is for your comfort completely. If you must eat something, try to have something light like fruits, raw veggies, juice, crackers, tea...etc.
Should I bring a water bottle?
You may bring a water bottle. However, we suggest that you drink a little before and after, but not during class. During the class, you will put effort into heating up the body and the muscles so that they can be lengthened and stretched - once you take a sip of water, the system is cooled, and some Asanas (yoga postures) become more challenging because the body is no longer warm.
I am a beginner, how do I start?
We always suggest beginner students to dive right in! There is really no other way to feel the profound benefits of a Yoga Practice than to do it every day. Come for a One Month Yoga Beginners Intensive to be with a group of other beginners, and learn step-by-step, day-by-day, all about relaxation, breathing, the Yoga postures and their physiological benefits, psychological benefits, and spiritual benefits. If you don’t feel comfortable in a class, or you just like being at home, we can arrange for a private series or a semi-private series (alone or with a group of your choice) right at your own home or office.
After I do Yoga, what should I do for “cardio” exercise? I am an athlete and want to stay fit.
We get asked this question A LOT. Come for a class, and you will see what a workout you can get without stepping foot off your mat! Although it is not the primary goal of Yoga, if you really put effort into your practice, you can achieve ALL the benefits you need for a healthy, fit, energized body. Of course, if you love to walk, swim, run, bike, golf, ski, play tennis, soccer…you can still add yoga to your daily exercise routine. According to some of our students who are semi-pro and/or pro-athletes, practicing Yoga improves their game significantly by increasing stamina, concentration, breathing capacity and flexibility!
I don’t have time to do yoga every day, why do you insist on practicing every day?
You don’t have to do Yoga every day. But you will see immense improvements in your body and mind very quickly when you do. We know that everyone is so busy these days, and it is very hard to find time, even a minute for your Self. But you must. If you can’t come every day, come as many days as you can to a drop-in class. Or, have a private class once or twice a week, and practice thirty minutes a day at home on the other days. Or, sit down with the family, the boss, the friends… and tell them, “I need this,” and they will understand-and it will empower you! The first step in a Yoga practice is to have all forces around you, agree for it to happen; work, kids, partners, family, friends, the weather, the house, the cat, the fish…We’ve heard it all! We want to help you make something work, but we are 100% committed to encouraging students to try to come every day, for at least a month, strictly for your own experience of how profound a regular Yoga practice can be for you. You are more than welcome to call us any time to try to arrange something that works for you.
I am quite overweight/anxious/depressed can I still practice yoga?
Yes, most definitely! There is something for everyone. You will see that in just a few days, the postures can deepen and become more manageable, and just about every element of a yoga practice can help to reduce weight. The Sun Salutations, (a warming up exercise practiced at the beginning of every class,) brings flexibility, increases circulation, nourishes the heart with oxygen-rich blood, and tones and lengthens the bodies’ muscles. The Asanas (Yoga postures) stretch muscles in the body most people didn’t know they had, from the inside out. Asanas improve digestion, relieve depression, constipation, thyroid issues and Asthma, and they can also reduce blood pressure and bring down cholesterol. Relaxation and concentration can bring relief for those suffering from anxiety, stress, ADD and ADHD…the list goes on and on. It is so easy to fall out of balance. Yoga aims to bring it back into your life; be it physically with your weight, mentally with anxiety or emotionally with feelings of depression. Please let us know before you come for your Yoga course if you have any of these feelings or medical conditions so we can discuss your individual needs with you.
Is there an age limit for practicing yoga?
You are not too old to start your Yoga. Yoga knows no age. In fact, according to Yoga, if your spine is stiff, you are becoming old, (even if your 20) and if your spine is flexible, you are young (even if you’re 80)! You can start your Yoga practice at any age, and practice forever! We are all at a different "level" in our practice, but there are options for just about everyone. Please don't let your age be a limiting factor in your development with Yoga.
I'm really stiff, I don't think I'll be able to do all the things that those flexible people can do. What should I do?
If you are stiff, you are not alone. So many years of our lives we are sitting at a desk, driving in a car, or standing on our feet all day long. The weight of gravity and the weight of our worries can cause a lot of tension and stiffness in our physical bodies. By practicing Yoga, we stretch, lengthen and sometimes go into positions that we never thought we could, in order to bring relief and strength to the short, tense muscles in the body. Thankfully, stiffness can be cured! Regularity and patience are absolutely necessary to stretch out tense and stiff muscles, but over time the body can really change and feel lighter, brighter and much more relaxed. Most of us don't start out flexible when we go to a Yoga class, and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so try not to compare your progress, your body, your postures or anything with anyone else in the class. You are practicing Yoga for you; it is your journey, your process, your body and your mind. The more introspective and patient you are with yourself and where you are with your Yoga practice today, the more beneficial the practice will become for you tomorrow.
Can I practice yoga during menstruation?
This is another daily question; and a good one. The answer is that it is entirely up to you. Firstly, we don’t claim to be doctors or know what is best for each woman, so if you have a special situation or any specific concern, please consult your doctor. If you are menstruating, deep breathing, Yoga postures and relaxation can be very relieving for cramps, heavy flows, and PMS. If you practice regularly, periods which are irregular, missing, extremely heavy or long are brought back into balance, as Yoga practice regulates the hormones, among other things. As far as Inversions are concerned (head stand and/or shoulder stand) it is fine to practice these (as long as you are comfortable and your doctor is ok with it). It is recommended to hold these postures no longer than 3 minutes, however, during your period. Again, it is up to you. It may be a time to completely take a break, and just do some relaxation at home, or a few rounds of sun salutations, or you may feel up for a full class, and feel just great! Please feel free to discuss this further with your instructor(s).
I am pregnant, is it good for me to do yoga?
Don’t wait to do Yoga until you are pregnant. But, if you haven’t practiced before, it’s a great time to start. Practicing Yoga during pregnancy can be a wonderful aide in staying balanced, strong, and breathing deeply through many stages and changes that your body will go through in your nine month process. Please consult your Physician and/or Midwife before beginning a Yoga practice while pregnant. It is recommended not to practice in the first trimester if you haven’t practiced regularly before. Please feel free to call us to schedule pre-natal classes and to discuss pre-natal Yoga further.
Is Yoga a religion? I already have a religion.
Yoga is not a religion. It is a way in which you develop your body and mind and bring balance and connection with the spirit. Yoga can be practiced in whichever form you chose, and accommodates all religious beliefs. True, Yoga’s deep roots originated in India, and some of the words and concepts in the “Yogic vocabulary” may seem foreign or different than what you are used to, but the main goal of Yoga is to bring back balance with your true nature, to bring you back in to harmony with God, the Universe - whatever name you prefer to call it. This goal of finding happiness and peace resonates through all religious beliefs. Yoga has been a tool for literally millions of people, of all different religions, all over the world to actually further develop their religious beliefs and practices. Yoga brings awareness to the present moment, and emphasizes concentration, discipline, observation, service, truth and effort, which have helped many people see their religion even clearer and deeper than before. We welcome all people, of all backgrounds and faiths, and are happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have regarding your Yoga practice. You will never be asked to change the way you feel or alter your beliefs and ideas about religion. We simply invite you to practice Yoga for your health and peace of mind. It can be as little or as much as you want it to be for you.
PLEASE NOTE: We are not doctors, nor do we claim to diagnose or treat any condition. We simply offer information, from our own experiences and the observations of others as a means to help you to clarify any doubts you may have. We always recommend that if you have special health concerns to consult your Doctor before attending Yoga class, or schedule a private session where your specific physical conditions can be assessed with a qualified Instructor. Om Shanti, Om Peace.