by amanda, LLC
"Every moment is a fresh beginning."
- T.S. Eliot
Truly, the most difficult part of beginning of a yoga practice is walking through the studio door! We understand that you may have some questions as you begin, so we’ve answered some of the most common questions below.
What does “yoga” mean?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke” or “to unite.” As a practice, it is a scientific system for achieving total health, mental, and spiritual well-being — a means to unite the body, mind, and spirit. In the United States, the term yoga is often used to mean the postures, or the physical part of yoga; however, these poses, or asana, are only one of the eight “limbs” of yoga.
Is yoga a religion?
No, Yoga is a philosophy, not a religion, though it does have a spiritual component. You do not need to be religious to practice. It has been practiced by individuals of widely differing beliefs and any and all people are welcome at balanceYoga. At the heart is the openness to see we have not yet tapped into our highest potential as human beings. Yoga seeks to put us in touch with our spiritual core—our innermost nature—that which or who we truly are.
Can beginners attend any class at balanceYoga?
Absolutely! Please visit our class descriptions page to see which class is the best fit for you. We also offer periodic “Yoga 101” workshops for beginners. Please see our most current studio class schedule for availability.
How do I know which style of yoga to choose?
Depending on your physical condition, your health, and your motivation for practicing, we can help guide you to the right class for you. Yoga Flow is an active, heat-producing styles of yoga where the breath links one movement to the next. Yin and Restorative classes are much quieter, slower-paced classes designed for you to go deeper into your body and into a quieter, meditative state. Please talk to us if you are unsure where to start.
Do I need to sign up in advance?
All of our classes, with the exception of our 6:00 a.m. class, is open at this time, meaning that registration is not required. Please plan to arrive 10 – 15 minutes before class begins to complete new client paperwork.
I can’t touch my toes…is there a yoga class for me?
Absolutely! A common misconception is that you need to be flexible to practice Yoga. But its’ quite the opposite. You become flexible by practicing yoga…that is definitely not a prerequisite to begin. One of the great things about yoga is it brings us all to the same common denominator—we all have the same struggles and worries, and though everyone comes in a different body, each of us has a path to travel to make it a more comfortable place to live. People come to balanceYoga with differing levels of experience and there is room for everyone! We are ALL learning. Please talk to us if you have concerns and we can point you in the right direction.
What if I can’t do a pose?
Excellent question! All of our teachers are equipped to offer modifications for every pose taught in a class. Yoga is truly a personal practice and it’s important to listen to your body – you know your body better than anyone — honor your body and doing what is best for you.
What should I wear?
Please dress comfortably in clothing that is not too loose or it will get in your way for particular poses (such as downward facing dog). Women often wear a tank or tee with leggings and men typically wear a tee with shorts or sweats. We practice barefoot so it’s not important to focus on shoes. We also ask you refrain from wearing heavily scented lotions and perfumes in respect for those who have sensitivities to fragrances.
When should I eat, and do I need water?
It’s best to practice on an empty stomach, so plan to eat 2-3 hours before you practice. If you need a snack before class, try a piece of fruit or something light. One of the benefits of yoga is its detoxification of the body. Drinking lots of water will help flush the toxins out of your system, so do hydrate well both before and after class.
Do I need to bring anything?
Please bring a yoga mat if you have one. If not, no worries! We have everything you need to practice Yoga. If you are attending a Vinyasa class, you may want to bring a hand towel and water.
What is Namaste?
Namaste literally means "the light in me bows to the light in you." It is a common greeting on the streets of India even in modern times, and is generally accompanied by drawing the hands together in prayer position and slightly bowing the head. Namaste is considered a greeting from the heart that is reciprocated in kind. Expanding that definition, Namaste recognizes light and goodness of the self and others, and honors the sacredness of all.
How often should I practice?
Ideally, yoga is meant to be a daily practice. As that can be quite overwhelming to a beginner, so we recommend to set a goal that you can realistically keep. Consistency is the key—it’s far better to attend one class per week without fail than to attend four classes one week, none for the next two weeks, one the next week, etc. The more you practice, the better you will feel, and the more you will want to practice!
I am ready to take a class! What should I expect?
You can expect to meet Yoga teachers (& students) that are warm and welcoming! We love yoga and would love to share it with you! We believe that Yoga is as FUN as it is transformative...so even though the practice is serious, we try not to take ourselves too seriously. :)
Please arrive at the studio about 10 - 15 minutes before class begins. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted at the reception desk and asked to sign a registration form. You can sign in and pay for your class at that time OR at the end of class...in case you'd like to purchase a multi-session punch card. You’ll be shown where to leave your personal items, reminded to turn off your cell phone, and directed into the studio where you can set up your mat and get comfortable. Arriving early will also give you time to ask the teacher any questions you might have, and tell him/her about any injuries or physical conditions he/she should know about.
During class, the teacher may move around the room to assist those wanting adjustments in poses. The teacher will ask before offer anyone an assist and it is always OK to say NO. :) Assisting isn't because folks aren't "doing a pose right", but rather to help them explore or experience the pose differently. Also, the very final pose is called savasana....ahhhhh. It is wonderful! But it also includes a gentle assist/neck massage using essential oils. If you would rather not have the assist, simply wave the teacher on or place a block above your head to signal that you'd like to opt out.
If you have any other questions, please let us know! We look forward to practicing with you!