Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
What is yoga?
The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from a Sanskrit word that means union. When we speak of union in a yogic context, it is union of one’s consciousness with the universal consciousness. A union of mind body and soul. Yoga is a lifelong journey of which there are many practices (that you can read about here). One of the branches of yoga is Asana (postures) this is what is commonly known as Yoga today. When we think of Yoga (asana practice), though it does have many physical benefits, it is not to be thought of merely as a physical exercise. It is a practice to be done with the intention of moving closer towards your true self.
Many of the questions answered below will be referring to the physical aspect of yoga and common questions people ask before attending a class, if you have any further questions that I have not covered here, send me a message here and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
‘I cant touch my toes!’ Do I need to be flexible?
Probably the most common thought of all is this, ‘I can’t do yoga I am not flexible’. The first thing I would like to cover is that you are probably a lot more flexible that you think, generally after a couple of weeks of regular practice the body begins to open. We request that you come with an open mind, not with an open body. No, you do not need to be flexible, you just need to be willing to learn and explore your body.
There are so many styles, what class should I do?
There are a variety of classes and styles that you can do, sometimes it is best to try a variety of different classes to see which style best suits you. It is often good to pop into the studio that you practice at and have a chat with the teachers or a member of staff to see what suits you.
You can read full details of the classes I teach here.
Do I need to do a beginners’ class first?
Contacting your studio and having a chat with the teachers is always a good idea if you are not sure about which class you should attend. Generally, most teachers will be quite accommodating to whatever level of practice you are at, so just because a class isn’t specified as a ‘beginners’ class, does not mean to say that you will not be able to do it. Though it is always extremely beneficial to attend beginners’ classes or courses, to learn your foundations if these are available to you.
What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing, like that which you would wear to the gym.
E.g. Shorts and a vest, leggings and a t-shirt.
If it is a hot class, a sports bra and leggings for women and just shorts for men.
Will yoga make me lose weight?
As both a yoga practitioner and teacher I never want to promote yoga as a weight loss activity. With that in mind, what I will say is yoga influences a healthy lifestyle, introducing a regular practice into your life doesn’t allow for unhealthy habits. A regular practice will not allow for weight gain, it is a lifestyle and a lifetime practice that will cultivate healthy habits.
Should I eat before I come?
My advice is no definitely not, there are a few reasons that yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach:
- When you eat food, proper time should be given to allow your food to digest, when you start engaging in activities that demand more from different parts of your body the digestion process is slowed down and, so you create problems with your digestion.
- When you eat it is not possible to activate your core, you will know this from noticing your stomach after you eat, the muscles relax to allow for space in the stomach for food to come in and move out of the body.
- For this reason, because the core muscles are relaxed we are not able to engage the core which is a main aspect of our practice, when we lose the core activation, we are not able to stabilise our pelvic bone meaning that our practice begins to fall on our joints rather than proper use of muscles.
- There is a lot of stimulation of the torso part of the body, forward bends, backward bends and twists that put a lot of pressure onto the stomach, which could cause a feeling of nausea or even cause your food to be brought back up.
Try to eat any big meals up to 4 hours before, more light weight foods like fruit and juices can be consumed up to about 2 hours before, any liquids up to 30 minutes before. If you must eat, due to circumstances try to make it something light like fruit that will be digested faster and will not be too heavy on your stomach.
What should I expect during my first class?
Each class will vary so I will speak specifically for my classes, which will be a general template for most yoga sessions. The class will start with a small meditation and breath focus, this is very short and just allows you to bring your mind into a calm and relaxed space before beginning the class, we will then begin the class with sun salutations, and move into a flow of standing postures, then we will move to the floor and complete seated postures proceeding into lying down postures, the class finishes with a lying down relaxation, known as savasana. It is almost a guarantee that you will be confused throughout your first class, there will be certain words and terms that maybe you are not used to just yet, please do not let this put you off, after a few classes you will soon start to understand what ‘downward dog’ is.
I have an injury can I still practice?
If you have an injury please check with your doctor as to whether you are able to take part in a class and inform your teacher, generally variations can be given though it will of course depend upon the severity of your injury. There are specific personalised yoga therapy classes that can help heal an injury or support the healing of an injury. This does not mean to say that every yoga classes will help with your injury just like with any physical activity there are always dangers if not practiced properly. Always inform the teacher before class.
I am pregnant, can I still practice?
If you are a long-term practitioner of yoga e.g. 1+ year(s) of regular practice, then if you feel well in your own health you should be able to continue practicing as normal, of course you will experience some restrictions, always inform your teacher so variations can be given. Be aware that some teachers may not allow pregnant students in their class, mainly for safety and insurance purposes, if this is the case you can look for local pregnancy yoga classes. If you are newly pregnant and new to yoga, I would advise finding either a specific class for pregnancy or a gentle class, this is not the time to take up a strong vinyasa practice. Hot yoga is not advised during pregnancy again unless you have a long-term practice.
***NOTE*** Yoga teachers are not doctors, nor do we claim to be, we can not diagnose nor claim to heal any injury or condition.