Getting Started, New to Yoga?

 

What is yoga?

The practice of yoga has ancient roots dating back some 5000 years. The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into a text known as the Yoga Sutras an estimated 2000 years ago. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join, or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual – body with mind and mind with breath – to achieve a balanced, useful and contented life.

What is commonly referred to as “yoga” can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word “asana”, which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses. In fact, there are 8 limbs of yoga, asana being the 3rd limb, the majority of the remaining limbs deal with behavior and the practice of meditation.

 

What are the benefits of yoga?

The physical practice of yoga will bring you more flexibility, strength, muscle tone, pain prevention and better breathing. But these enormous physical benefits are just a “side effect” of this powerful practice. When combined with meditative practices, yoga harmonizes the mind with the body resulting in real quantum benefits such as mental calmness, stress reduction and body awareness.

 

I’m not flexible can I do yoga?

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible. This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

 

Is it okay to do 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 attend prenatal yoga classes while you are pregnant. Prenatal yoga is one of the best ways to exercise when you are pregnant, prenatal fitness is so important to you and your baby's health. Beginners to yoga will enjoy these gentle classes and experienced yoginis can benefit from slowing down a little and honoring the changes in their body as they connect with other moms-to-be. While prenatal yoga is a great way to keep fit 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. If you feel you must continue in a regular yoga practice PLEASE inform your instructor prior to class so that appropriate modifications can be given. I advise against continuing in regular practice, it will be there waiting for you after the baby is safely born and you are healed, do you and your baby a favor and stick to prenatal yoga classes.

 

Will yoga help me lose weight?

Maybe. Yoga is a wonderful total body workout and is great for strength training and it can help you gradually lose weight. Yoga focuses on mind/body awareness. Doing yoga regularly can inspire you to take better care of yourself as you become more aware of your physical and mental states-perhaps a shift in perspective about how you treat your body and what you put in it for fuel. Exercising frequently is the key to losing weight and maintaining that loss once the weight is gone. This goes hand in hand with eating a healthy diet which will not only help you lose weight it will also give you enough energy to workout. It is a cycle. In order to lose weight you need to burn calories and doing yoga can help you achieve that goal but this will depend on the style of yoga you choose. You want a vigorous power, Vinyasa, or Ashtanga style class. These classes move quickly and really get your heart pumping which will result in greater calorie burn. Hour and a half classes such as these should be done 3-5 times a week to see weight loss results. This consistency will help you strengthen, lengthen and tone your muscles.

 

Can anyone do yoga?

In general, yes, the key to physical practice is to always practice within your own limits and abilities. The truth is that if you can breathe you can do yoga. Everyone can do some form of yoga. There is a perfect class for everybody and every “body”. Don’t limit yoga to the physical practices of asana work. For example, a person could practice in a chair, practice breathing techniques, meditate, take a breath-walk, or practice mindfulness. Find a practice that works for you and your body. If you have serious health problems, consult your health care provider before beginning any exercise program and tell your yoga instructor about any special problems or conditions. If any poses cause you pain, please notify your instructor immediately so that modifications can be made.

 

What do I need to begin taking a yoga class?

On the first day, you will not need to bring much other than yourself to class. Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. You do not need specific clothing but loose, baggy clothes are not recommended. Yoga is practiced in bare feet. You might wish to bring a small towel. Mats and other props are available for your use at the studio.

 

Do I need to pre-register?

Pre-registration is not required. Please come 15-20 minutes prior to your first class so that you may fill out a simple form, meet with an instructor and get set up for the class.

 

What type of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check, Visa and MasterCard.

 

Which class is best for me?

If you are new to yoga then any of our basic level classes would be recommended. If you are new the studio but not to yoga then the class you choose would likely be dictated by what you are looking to achieve by coming to class. Stress reduction, flexibility, weight loss, peace of mind, etc.? We offer a wide variety of classes, one is sure to suit your needs.

 

What should I wear?

There isn’t any set outfit to wear for yoga, however, you will find that some types of clothing are better suited to practicing than others. Clothing should be made of comfortable, breathable material and allow for free range of motion. Clothing that is too tight will cut off circulation and impede energy flow. Clothing that is too loose or baggy will get in your way when practicing your postures. However, they do need to be form-fitted enough so that your instructor can make out body alignment underneath your clothes to give you proper feedback. Yoga is practiced in bare feet. It is also helpful to remove dangly jewelry and to pin up long hair.

 

How much are classes?

A drop-in class costs $15. The studio also offers many different class packages so there is sure to be something that will fit into your budget. Please visit the schedule/pricing page on the website for all the details.

 

What is your refund policy?

The 4, 8, and 12 class pass packages are non-refundable but do not expire. The Unlimited Monthly Passes do expire. They also are non-refundable, however, if circumstances warrant the date can be extended.

 

How often should I attend classes?

That depends on your schedule, however committing to one or two classes a week is a great way to start.

 

Will yoga affect my religion?

Yes and No. Yoga is a science not a religion. The science of yoga teaches those who practice it how to build a supple and flexible body and methods for quieting the mind so that a person can sit comfortably and undistracted in meditation for long periods of time. Whether a person calls it meditation or prayer– the more focused and concentrated the process the better the results. The practice of Yoga can be applied to any aspect of life and give a person to means to improve their practice.

 

Do you heat your classrooms to high temperatures?

No. The studio will, however, be kept comfortably warm.


What is postnatal yoga?

This class is for new moms and infants who have recieved their caregivers clearance to return to exercise. The class features strong core work, an energizing and rejuvenating yoga practice using practices and poses known for the healing energy they bring to your postpartum body. Allow this class to serve as a bridge to wellness that will help you thrive as a new mom. Your baby is welcome to nurse, nap or play. While napping babies are allowed to just be, awake babies can participate in class during shared mommy/me poses and enjoy an infant massage.

What are the benefits of postnatal yoga?

Postnatal yoga supports the body's recovery after birth by facilitating easier postpartum restoration of the abdomen, the pelvic floor muscles, the postural ligaments, and by decreasing postpartum soreness. While pregnant the lungs, diaphragm, rib cage, and intercostal muscles are pushed up and stressed out by the baby, postnatal yoga will help you breathe deep again. Those deep breaths will help the body relax, release stress and allow the mind to begin to cultivate patience. Postnatal yoga helps rebuild flexibility and muscle tone by toning and stretching the upper body, the back, and those achy shoulders. Postnatal yoga provides a safe environment to bond with your baby and the opportunity to connect with other new moms, not only that but regular exercise may prevent and/or lessen postpartum depression.

When should I start classes?

This class is for new moms and infants who have recieved their healthcare provider's clearance to return to exercise. For vaginal births, usually 2-4 weeks after birth, once all bleeding has stopped. For Cesarean section births you must wait at least six weeks.

What should I wear and bring?

Clothing should not bind or restrict the body, so wear something soft, stretchy, and comfortable, something that you can move in. You may want to bring something to drink, a small towel, and if you prefer your own props please bring them as well. The studio provides all the necessary props for classes, just in case. Since you will have your infant with please bring anything that she/he might need while you are in class.

Do I have to preregister? Do I need a note from my caregiver? How long is a class? What are my options for payment?

No. Preregistration is not required. Please arrive a couple of minutes early to your first class to fill out new student paperwork, if necessary. I highly recommend that you consult with your caregiver prior to attending class, it is important to receive consent for any form of exercise in which you are thinking of participating. However, I do not require a written note. Our classes are 60 minutes long. You may pay online, using PayPal, I also accept cash, credit cards, and personal check.


 

What is Prenatal Yoga?

Prenatal yoga focuses on easing the discomforts, aches, and fatigue commonly caused by pregnancy. The classes create strength, energy, flexibility and develop focus through a gentle practice designed especially for the pregnant woman's needs.  Prenatal yoga classes provide a safe, peaceful and supportive environment for moms-to-be and a perfect place to start building a community with other moms going through the same experience. A place where you are free to ask questions and share the joys and tribulations of pregnancy.

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

Prenatal yoga is one the best ways to remain strong and flexible when you are pregnant. It helps to decrease stress, eleviate tension, open the pelvis, strengthen the lower back, and build endurance for childbirth. Much of the practice is devoted to breath work (Pranayama) which increases lung capacity, calms the mind, controls the breath, and starts building a foundation of focused breathing for use during labor and delivery.

How will yoga help me prepare for pregnancy, labor and delivery?

Yoga practice helps build strength, flexibility, and endurance to the body, the breath, and the mind. Yoga cultivates moment-to-moment awareness of how these three elements work together, and the establishment of this practice helps a woman prepare mentally and physically for what lies ahead. Pregnancy, labor and delivery are full of many intense sensations and discomforts but if a woman is able to focus fully just on what is happening in a particular moment then she will come to realize this labor is "pain with a purpose", allowing her to trust in the process, and that each moment is leading to the birth of her baby. The classes include practices to help prepare for birth by meeting challenges and practicing surrender.

When should I start classes?

There is no set answer to that question. In general, it is never too early or too late to begin a yoga practice. However, that being said, it is sometimes not reccommended to practice during the first twelve weeks (1st trimester). In fact, many women to start prenatal yoga after 1st trimester exhaustion and nausea are over, listen to your body and honor its needs and limitations. If you fell well during your 1st trimester, regardless of the stage of your pregnancy, you may begin a responsible prenatal yoga practice, as long as your health care provider has not told you otherwise.

Is it okay to start in the middle of pregnancy?

Yes. You will find that the practice of yoga will be of benefit to your body and mind, regardless of when you choose to start a practice. Whether you chose to take prenatal yoga classes through all the nine months of your pregnancy or start midway through you will notice the benefits of the practice before, during and after you give birth. These classes are specifically designed to honor the needs and limitations of pregnancy, modifications will be given, to help you individualize and find comfort in any pose.

Can I take prenatal yoga without any previous yoga experience?

Yes. No prior yoga experience is required. Many of the women attending our prenatal classes are new to yoga. You will find that each of our prenatal yoga poses are safe for all stages of pregnancy and will help to ease the aches and pains that are so common during pregnancy. Pregnancy is the perfect time to begin a yoga practice since your focus naturally turns inward and it is common to be more in tune with your body while pregnant.  I find that women often start taking yoga while pregnant and then continue to do so after birth, creating what may turn into a lifetime practice. Please, check with your caregiver before coming to your first class to make sure they have cleared you for this sort of exercise.

How often should I come to class?

The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends exercise at least three times a week. The more frequently yoga is practiced the more yoga will impact your life in positive ways. Please refer to our schedule to see all our options for class.

What should I wear and bring?

Clothing should not bind or restrict the body, so wear something soft, stretchy, and comfortable, something that you can move in. You may want to bring something to drink, a small towel, and if you prefer your own props please bring them as well. The studio provides all the necessary props for classes, just in case.

How long can I continue to practice?

You can continue your yoga practice up to and through labor and delivery. Many of the movements and breathwork taught during class are designed specifically to help you ease the pain and discomfort of labor and delivery. You must wait to get your caregivers clearance to resume exercise before coming back to your practice. For vaginal births, you must wait until bleeding has stopped, usually 2-4 weeks. For cesarean births you must wait at least six weeks. Again, please consult with your caregiver. I would recommend attending a designated postnatal yoga class to help your body to heal correctly. Please refer to our schedule for class options.

I have a regular yoga practice already. Can I continue with my normal classes or should I switch to prenatal classes?

It is my belief that yoga practice should be modified when you find out that your are pregnant. Prenatal yoga classes are specifically designed to help ease the aches and pains common to pregnancy, prepare the body and mind for labor and delivery, and how to use the breath to ease stress and provide focus. I recommend taking a designated prenatal yoga class taught by an experienced, certified (RPYT) teacher throughout your entire pregnancy and attending designated postnatal classes after you give birth. During pregnancy certain poses and practices are unsafe for you and your baby, without proper modifications and awareness this can be dangerous, so please seek the guidance of an experienced teacher. Also, it is unwise to significantly raise the body temperature or practice in an overheated environment. Experienced yogis will benefit from slowing down a little in honor of the changes in their body, so please consider the wisdom of attending prenatal yoga classes because of the the tailored attention to preparation for labor and childbirth that they offer. Another welcome benefit is the company and support of other women. 

Do I have to preregister? Do I need a note from my caregiver? How long is a class? What are my options for payment?

No. Preregistration is not required. Please arrive a couple of minutes early to your first class to fill out new student paperwork. I highly recommend that you consult with your caregiver prior to attending class, it is important to receive consent for any form of exercise in which you are thinking of participating. However, I do not require a written note. Our classes are 90 minutes long. You may pay online, using PayPal, I also accept cash, credit cards, and personal check.