Considering taking your first yoga class? Great! If you’ve never taken a yoga class before, the thought of it can seem daunting. What should you wear? What if you are not flexible enough? What do I need to bring? Don’t worry. Take a look at some commonly asked questions and concerns.
I’m new to yoga, what classes are best for beginners?
Restorative yoga utilizes props such as bolsters and blankets to fully support the body, allowing it to open slowly and naturally with no effort. Concentration is on the breath, allowing for a deep introspective class which restores energy to the body and calmness to the mind.
Yin is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses or asanas that are held for longer periods of time—three to five minutes is typical. Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints. Improving flexibility, mobility and preventing injury. Yin Yoga sequences are designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body. Improved qi flow is hypothesized to improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being. A more meditative approach to yoga, Yin aims at cultivating awareness of one’s inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnected quality.
This class is ideal for those who prefer to start slowly. A basic knowledge of Sun Salutations is recommended. Teachers will help you master form and understand how to breathe within the postures and throughout the flow, while gently challenging your concentration, balance and strength.
This flow connects basic yoga postures through attention to breathing, alignment and mindfulness. Therapeutic in nature, you will build flexibility, while immersing yourself in a relaxing class that moves at a perfectly slower pace – allowing plenty of time to feel each pose. Expect lots of deep stretching and seated floor poses. All levels welcome.
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What exactly is yoga?
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” meaning “to yoke” or “to unite.” People have many different reasons for practicing yoga. For example it can be for physical exercise, mental well being, healing an injury, relieving chronic pain or finding a deeper spiritual connection. Hatha Yoga is the physical form of yoga where we practice a series of positions, known as asanas, designed to purify the body, increase physical strength and stamina, and restore balance to all of the body’s systems. The benefits of practicing yoga asanas as it relates to the idea of union can be described simply as uniting our awareness of all of our physical sensations, our breath and our thoughts. How far, and to what aspect of your life you want to apply the lessons of yoga asana is up to you.
What kind of music will I hear?
Many contemporary yoga classes are accompanied by music. Some teachers might choose Sanskrit chants as their soundtrack of choice, while others might choose hits from the radio. Music is not played during more traditional yoga classes, when students are encouraged to listen to and focus on their breath.
Is there singing in class?
Many teachers begin and end yoga classes with a chant, most commonly “Om.” Feel free to join in the chant or listen quietly until you feel comfortable. This is another way you start to quiet and focus the mind during a yoga class.
What are teacher adjustments?
They’re gentle manual adjustments that Yoga teachers are trained to do. These adjustments can often help a new student feel more confident and properly aligned. If you feel uncomfortable with hands-on adjustments, feel free to let your teacher know.
Is yoga practiced barefoot?
What are props?
Props are blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets. They can help you to modify some postures that you find challenging. Take two blocks, one strap and one or two blankets to your mat when you enter the class room. If you’re new, the teacher will tell you how to use them.
The Most Important Thing Is To Breathe
Seriously. Our breath is one of our greatest gifts that we take for granted.
Should I feel pain when I’m in a pose?
Absolutely not. Pain is described as a ripping, searing, burning or pinching feeling in your body when practicing a yoga pose. If you experience any of these sensations stop the pose immediately and/or modify it so you are not in any pain. You will most likely feel actual pain if your body is out of alignment. You can ask your instructor after class to help you properly — and safely — practice the posture.
Get there at least 15 minutes early.
It’s important to be on time for class. This will allow you enough time to fill out any necessary paperwork (probably just the first time), unroll your mat and begin to destress before class. If for some reason you are late, be respectful of your fellow classmates and place your mat down gently so you don’t disturb the class.
What do I wear to a yoga class?
Something stretchy, but not too loose or too tight. In deference to the other students in the room, please do not wear strong scents or perfume to class.
Is yoga a religion?
Nope. You can choose to focus on the physical, the mental or the spiritual aspects or any combination of the three. It is not necessary to study any particular religion or philosophy to practice yoga. Many people find that it complements their religious beliefs.
I am not flexible. Can I still practice yoga?
This is a common misconception. You do not need to be flexible in order to practice yoga. If it happens to be flexibility that your body needs, yoga can help. You become flexible by doing yoga. Listening to your body and finding a position that is right for you is all you have to do.
How often should I go to class?
Obviously, the more you practice, the more benefits you are likely to receive. 2-3 classes per week is usually recommended to start. However, just 1 hour per week will still bring wonderful, healing benefits that you will quickly notice.
Do you have to be a vegetarian?
No, but if being a vegetarian is important to you, go for it! Personally, I take care in selecting the food I eat; doing my best to purchase locally grown and raised products.
Can I eat before Class?
It’s best to practice on a relatively empty stomach, but if you need something choose something light: fruit, vegetables, or nuts. Avoid saucy, fried, fatty, spicy, and high-acid food as they take longer to digest.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga has many benefits both physical and mental. Here are a few:
- Improves flexibility, strength and muscle tone
- Helps prevent pain
- Teaches better breathing
- Promotes calmness of the mind
- Helps with body awareness
- Reduces stress