YOGA BEGINNER'S FAQ
How flexible or ‘in shape’ do I need to be to do yoga?
Yoga meets you at your present level of flexibility and strength. In class, you work at your own capacity. One great reason to start yoga is to build bone strength, core strength, and improve flexibility. Progress can be measured week by week. Beginning yoga students all have very different levels of flexibility and strength. Yoga helps one to become more physically strong and flexible over time.
How are your classes structured for yoga beginners?
New students are welcome to join any Level I class, or start with the Free Intro Class. The teacher works with each student, to assist you in achieving each pose. Sometimes that involves using props, like blankets or blocks. Most classes begin with standing poses, then focus on other types of poses, ending with deep relaxation. Each class builds upon the one before it, so you are always learning new variations and the depth of poses. The same teacher is present every week to enable your teacher to get to know you and your body. This enhances your learning experience.
How often do I need to come to class?
We believe that attending classes twice a week is the best way to learn. Many people do yoga as a daily practice, and the benefits are more evident with more regular practice – you will see your ability grow each week. Therefore, coming to class twice a week, as well as a cultivating a regular home practice, can be extremely beneficial. We assist our students in developing a home practice with practice sequence sheets, as well as workshops.
What style of yoga do you teach?
We teach Iyengar Yoga. Many of today’s popular yoga styles evolved from the teachings of B.K.S Iyengar, the legendary yoga master who wrote the reference book on yoga "Light on Yoga" in the late 1960’s. Iyengar Yoga focuses on the body’s natural alignment to promote healthy joints, bones and muscles. Iyengar Yoga also uses “props” so that every student can work on every pose at their own ability. Iyengar Yoga teachers are trained extensively in the art of sequencing – the class is structured as a sequence of poses that warms you up, and then cools you down.
To be effective teachers, yoga teachers need to have their own personal practice, as well as training from senior teachers. Our teachers are all highly trained in the Iyengar Yoga tradition and are required to continue their professional education with regular classes and further training. This ensures you a safe class, and the most recent, effective teaching techniques. To become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, CIYT, takes at least five years. Our teachers are supportive, and the environment is safe and welcoming.
How are your teachers trained?
Just come to the class that is at your level and most convenient for you. You do not need to sign up in advance for classes. Arrive a few minutes early before your first class so that you can register with us and meet the teacher to discuss any physical limitations you may have. Beginners can start with our Free Intro Class the first Saturday of each month at 1pm or a Level I class. If you practice yoga now regularly and you are not a beginner, try Level I-II class.
How do I get started?
Just bring yourself. We provide all equipment yoga beginners need for classes, including mats, at no extra charge. Feel free to bring your own mat if you like. Note: brand new mats are coated with an oil during their production which is best to be washed off before attending class. You can put the mat in the washing machine with a little bit of detergent and hang dry for best results.
As for clothing, it’s best for yoga beginners to wear clothing that is not baggy so that the teacher can see the alignment of your body easily. Most of our students wear t-shirts and shorts, capris or stretchy pants. Just be comfortable and be aware that you may get warmed up. Yoga is practiced barefoot to give you the most traction on the mat.
Do I need special clothing or equipment?
Iyengar yoga requires fresh air. We have a clean, well ventilated space. Our studio is not heated.
Is your room heated?
Yoga is an ancient school of philosophy from India that believes in eternal truth. Yoga is not a religion. Yoga holds fast to principles that all life preserving cultures do. That is: non-violence, truth, non-stealing, continence, and non-hoarding.
Is yoga a religion?
Regular yoga practice has positive effects on the five layers of your being.
- Physically: stability, stamina, balance, flexibility.
- Physiologically: vitality, wellness, feeling of lightness, increased blood circulation to organs.
- Mentally/emotionally: happiness, joy, steadiness to face life’s woes, contentment.
- Intellectually: heightened awareness, creativity, reflection.
- Spiritually: connection to your belief in the divine, surrender and letting go, inwardness.
These are but a few testimonies of the effects.