Getting Started/New to Yoga
- Please arrive early for class – Effective June 1, 2019, the door on the third floor landing will be locked 10 minutes after the start of class.
- Please be considerate of classes in session before and after your class, by moving quietly through the stairwell and waiting quietly in the lobby areas.
- Please turn off your cell phone/pager (no vibrate settings).
- Please remove your shoes in the lobby areas & store them in the cubbies before entering the studio space.
- Please refrain from wearing perfume or any scented products to class.
- Please notify your instructor BEFORE class of any serious health conditions (including high blood pressure, heart disease, recent surgeries) or if you are pregnant or have any injuries.
- Please avoid eating a large meal for at least 2-3 hours before your class.
What is yoga?
Developed in India, yoga is a psycho-physical discipline with roots going back about 5,000 years. Today, most yoga practices in the West focus on the physical postures called “asanas,” breathing exercises called “pranayama,” and meditation. However, there’s more to it than that, and the deeper you go, the richer and more diverse the tradition becomes. The word “yoga” from the Sanskrit “yuj” means to yoke or bind and often is interpreted as “union.” Traditionally, the goal of yoga is union with the Absolute, known as Brahman, or with Atman, the true self. For most people, the focus is often on the more down-to-earth benefits of yoga, including improved physical fitness, mental clarity, greater self-understanding, stress control and general well-being. However, for some spirituality is a strong underlying theme to their practice. The beauty of yoga is in its versatility, allowing practitioners to focus on the physical, psychological or spiritual, or a combination of all three.
What do I need to begin taking yoga classes?
All you really need is your body, mind, and bit of curiosity. Your clothing should be simple and comfortable to allow complete freedom of movement. However, avoid overly baggy clothing which can become distracting to you during inverted postures and also restricts the instructor from seeing your alignment. As your practice develops, you will probably want to purchase your own yoga mat, but we have mats and other props available to you at no charge. Yoga is typically practiced in bare feet, but you may want to wear socks during final relaxation.
Do I need to pre-register?
You do not need to pre-register for regular classes. If you are a first time student, please arrive 15-20 minutes before the start of class to fill out a short form, meet the instructor and get settled on your mat. We do ask that you pre-register for workshops and special events, whenever possible. You can do this through our website or by calling the studio.
Do you have changing rooms and showers?
We do have changing rooms available. At this time, we are not able to provide showers.
How many times a week should I practice yoga?
Any amount of time that you can dedicate to your yoga practice can provide you with its benefits. Don’t let time restraints or unrealistic goals become an obstacle. Practice when you can and don’t worry about it – any yoga is better than no yoga.
What are the benefits of yoga?
With regular practice, yoga can create flexibility, build strength, and develop stamina. In addition to affecting the musculoskeletal system, the postures can assist internal body functions. Most postures increase circulation, which can positively affect the respiratory and nervous systems. Bringing the systems and organs of the body into balance naturally has a positive effect on your mental well-being as well.
What is Om and why is it chanted?
Om, also spelled “Aum” is a mantra or vibration that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. Everything that exists in the universe pulsates creating a rhythmic vibration that ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om.
I’m not flexible – can I do yoga?
Yes! Everyone can practice yoga. Many people think that they need to have physical flexibility to begin yoga, but the only requirement is a flexible and open mind! Come as you are and you will find that your yoga practice will help you gain flexibility as well as strength, coordination, enhanced cardiovascular health, physical confidence, mental clarity, and overall well-being.
Is it okay to practice yoga while pregnant?
Yoga can help strengthen the pelvic area, normalize thyroid functioning and blood pressure, and help keep you calm and relaxed – all of which is good for you and the baby, too. If your doctor/midwife gives you the go ahead, it’s okay to continue attending regular yoga classes while you are pregnant as long as you were practicing before becoming pregnant. Attending a specific pre-natal yoga class is also a good alternative and may be best for women who have never practiced yoga before. Yoga is a great way to be healthy & mindful during pregnancy, but there are very important precautions to take within different trimesters. In general, you want to avoid strain, compressing the belly or abdomen and inverted postures. Please inform your instructor prior to class so that appropriate modifications can be given.
What’s the difference between yoga and stretching?
The physical aspect of yoga is unique because of the connection between movement of the body and fluctuations of the mind with the rhythm of the breath. This inward focus cultivates awareness and mindfulness.
Will yoga help me lose weight?
Yoga can make you look and feel better, regardless of your weight. That said, yoga can help you change your body in a couple of ways. First, the exercises can help you burn calories, tone your muscles, and improve your posture. Yoga is also about healthy living, which includes a healthy diet. That doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian, just that you should be conscious of the foods you eat, sticking with natural, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, etc. as much as possible while limiting your intake of processed food and foods high in fat. The most important part of weight loss is a commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Should women do yoga during menses?
Mostly it’s a matter of personal preference. Some women don’t want to practice during this time, but many don’t mind and continue. For women who do choose to practice, it is sometimes suggested that they avoid inverted poses, abdominal strengtheners, extended holding of any pose, or energizing breaths (kapalabhati). The issue is that these practices may interfere with the downward flow or cause discomfort.
Can anyone do yoga?
In general yes, however an important part of a practice is to be aware of your limits and abilities. Modifications are can be given for all levels. If there are pre-existing conditions due to injury or accidents, you may want to consult your doctor before participating. Also please inform the studio/instructor if any of the poses are painful. You should not continue if you feel pain. We aim to create a safe, nurturing environment for our students to learn and absorb at their own levels.