FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you’re just getting into yoga or want to know more, you probably have a few questions. Well, here are the answers. If there’s something else you need to know that isn’t addressed here, please let us know and we’ll add your question to our list. Click each question to expand to the answer.

Do I have to be flexible to practice yoga?

Absolutely not! You come to yoga to gain flexibility! It is a practice that meets you where you are. Yoga encourages you to honor your body in all circumstances.

Is yoga for me?

Yoga is for everyone and I mean everyone!! Young and old, female or male, there are no pre-requisites to practice yoga. All you have to do is show up! There are modifications for each pose and the practice allows you to take things at your own comfort level. Yoga focuses on an environment that is noncompetitive and nonjudgmental.

What do I wear?

Yoga is performed with bare feet and you probably want your hair up and out of your face. Comfortable clothing is a must! You want to have the freedom to move as your body sees fit. You want something that stretches and moves with you. It is important to keep the looseness of your clothing to a minimum. The postures in yoga require you to bring awareness to your body lines and positioning. You will also find yourself partially inverted and fully inverted at times. Just remember you want coverage so you are not left feeling completely exposed.

How do I prepare for class?

Arrive a few minutes early to get checked in and stow away your personal belongings. You will need a yoga mat and most people prefer to have a water bottle and towel during class. It is also recommended to practice yoga on an empty stomach, but some people find they need a light snack before practice. It is important to have energy, so if you are someone who needs a light snack before class just make wise decisions with your food choices. Make sure you are hydrated drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after practice.

How often should I practice yoga?

Ideally, it would be great to practice yoga daily. Even if you can find 15 minutes a day to practice yoga you will experience the benefits of less tension and stress. Your body relaxes along with your mind and you will begin to experience more freedom in your life. Yoga is much like anything else; the more you practice the more you will get out of it. Just practice yoga whenever possible. If it’s once a week, great! If you practice daily, even better!

Is power yoga challenging or just stretching?

Yes, power yoga is challenging on so many levels. It does involve stretching, but along with stretching, you will experience strength training with your body weight and building endurance with your cardiorespiratory system. It will change your body, the way you think, provide clarity on and off the mat, and most importantly deepen your spiritual connection to self. You will leave class feeling energized, challenged and nurtured.

What if I have previous injuries or experience pain?

Please make your instructor aware of any injuries or pain before class. There are modifications for dealing with injuries/pain. Your instructor needs to be aware of injuries when adjusting students’ postures during class. Yoga does help many people with chronic pain/injuries by helping the body regain its balance between strength and flexibility, movement and awareness. If you are under a doctor’s care for an acute situation, please be sure you discuss taking yoga classes with him or her.

Is this hot yoga? Why heat?

The majority of our classes do have additional heat from infrared heat panels. The temperature is noted on each class description as it varies per class.  We also offer a non-heated class which means we do not add additional heat into the classroom. 

B.K.S Iyengar said it and we agree, “Penetration of our mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat.”

The heat allows students to get into the poses more deeply and effectively. When your body is warm it creates a greater range of movement in the joints, muscles, ligaments, and other supporting structures of the body. Capillaries dilate in the heat; more effectively oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands, and organs and helping in the removal of waste products. Sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin, which is the body’s largest eliminating organ. Your peripheral circulation improves due to enhanced perfusion of your extremities along with an increase in metabolism. When practicing yoga in a heated room you must stay hydrated, wear clothing that allows your skin to breath, and honor your body at all times. If you feel yourself getting overheated, take a moment in child’s pose or step outside to cool down. Just listen to your body, it will guide you.

Can yoga help with insomnia?

Many people claim yoga cured their insomnia! Yoga poses and breathing interact with your nervous system and allow the active brain to relax creating an environment for restful sleep. On an emotional level, yoga provides tactics for controlling your thoughts and limiting the stress it puts on your body. “I can’t stop my mind, its racing!” “I just worry all the time.” Learning to let go of these stressful thoughts and channeling that energy away from you allows the body to rest.

Is yoga a religion?

Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is simply a philosophy for life. Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and is written in a different language called Sanskrit. People of all religions practice yoga. It is a spiritual journey, but not necessarily a religious journey for everyone. Yoga claims no deity; however, it can be a wonderful complement to your current faith. It truly is your own practice so make it what you want it to be.

What is Noble Silence?

A reception area is a place for social interaction. Once you enter the practice area please maintain silence. The studio area should feel like a meditation room. We appreciate respecting other student’s as they may wish to settle into their mediation a few minutes early before class begins. Your practice begins the exact moment you enter the studio room. Start your breathing, turn inward and be silent! Thank you for understanding!

What is the OM?

You will hear the chant OM at the beginning and end of yoga classes. It is an ancient yoga tradition. It is just a sound, a vibration, which is said to be the sound of the universe. All speech and thought are derived by one sound, OM. It deepens the concentration on the mind, which leads to the realization of the divine. There are many physical benefits to this sound, such as it releases stress within the body to open up energy channels for a deeper breath. The OM ultimately feels soothing and uplifting. It takes you to a deeper connection to all that is.

How do I wash my yoga mat?

Standard yoga mats are surprisingly durable, and you can wash your mat in a washing machine. (Note: eco-mats tend to be too fragile for machine washing). You can dry your mat in the dryer, but just hanging it out to dry for at least 24 hours will do the trick. You can also look for mat sprays and mat cleaners through internet yoga vendors.

Why is my new mat slippery?

This is very common with new yoga mats. There is usually a film or coating on a new yoga mat. There are a couple of options. You can wash your mat with soap and water while using a scrub brush lightly. Another option is to actually put it in the washing machine with or without soap. The soap can sometimes leave another layer of film causing you to slip! Be sure to rinse your mat well and let your mat dry out for a good 24 hours. The more you practice on your mat the less slippery it will be; it’s like breaking in your mat! There are many styles of yoga mats and products to choose from that you may find to be less slippery. Most of the yoga mat vendors are found on the internet. YogiToes are a great non-slip towel for hot yoga.

What are the benefits of private instruction?

Private instruction is great for anyone! You may find that having one- on- one time deepens your understanding of yoga and helps tailor your practice to your specific needs. Private instruction allows for ample time to explain the poses and make modifications to the student’s practice. I tell prospective students that are intimidated by yoga to start with a private lesson. It gets you in the door and alleviates the anxiety of attending a class setting the first time you experience yoga. On the other hand, if you are not intimidated by yoga it’s best to start with a couple of classes first. After attending a class, you will get more out of your private lesson.

Can I do yoga while pregnant?

Yoga is possible during pregnancy. The most important thing is to honor your body at all times. Listen to your intuition and realize poses may change dramatically for you during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for any issues that you experience and be sure your doctor is aware of your practice. It is important to avoid intense inversions and any poses lying on the belly. When it comes to twisting poses it is important to proceed with caution. As the pregnancy progresses you may find the twisting is not possible at all! You want to be cautious with hip opening exercises and abdominal exercises. You also want to avoid building too much heat with your breath and body keeping your temperature steady and cooler. Don’t be afraid to use yoga blankets and blocks to support your body in a more comfortable position.

Just remember, if you do not practice yoga through your pregnancy that is okay; yoga will be there for you when you return.

THE YOGA STAND'S BLOG

THE YOGA STAND'S BLOG

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