Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?

Most definitely no! Practicing yoga will make you more flexible but the benefits from a regular yoga practice are far greater than flexibility.

 

It’s an urban myth that people who are tight can’t do yoga. Yoga isn’t just stretching its extremely toning, calming, meditative, spiritual, healing and opening. Flexibility is only one aspect of it. Once you practice yoga for a period of time naturally you will gain flexibility with a myriad of other benefits.

 

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.

 

Do I need to book to come to class?

Yes. If you book you are guaranteed your place in the class. If you have problems booking on-line then call us and we’ll book you into the class of your choice if there is space.

 

To register for a class you have to click on the ‘Sign-up and Pay’ link below the class time and name on the calendar on the classes page.  A pop up window will appear where you can either ‘Login’ or ‘Pay without login’. Which one you choose depends on if you have been to the studio before.

 

If you have been to the studio before, but haven’t set up the password for your account you can click on the green ‘Login’ button. A pop up window will appear, on the right hand side of this window click on the words ‘claim your account’. You will then be prompted to enter your email address, make sure it’s the one same one you used when you first attended the studio. You will then be emailed a code and instructions to set up your own password for your account.

 

If you have never been to the studio, then you will have to click on the ‘Pay without login’ and then follow the onscreen instructions. Please note that if you have to deregister you can do so up to two hours before the start of class but you will have email us.

 

Deregistering from a class, Using the calendar (once you have set up your account and have logged in) you can deregister up to two hours before the start of class, after this time a credit will be deducted from your account. If you’re having a problem please email us and we can remove your registration without you losing a credit.

 

We don’t have a record of your password, however if you ever need to reset your password you can easily do this by clicking on the ‘Optional login’ to the top right of the calendar and then clicking on ‘forgot my password’ link.

 

Is there a time limit to use up a 10 class pass?

Yes, from the date of purchase you have 16 weeks to use the 10 class pass. After this time any unused passes will expire.

 

How do the monthly unlimited passes work?

It couldn’t be simpler, pay for a monthly unlimited pass and come to as many classes as you want for a month from the date of purchase. If you pay for a monthly unlimited pass with a credit card it will automatically renew on the monthly anniversary of the date of purchase. If you want to cancel just let us know and will cancel the automatic renewal. I’m afraid we can’t offer refunds for unlimited monthly passes.

 

Do I need to bring my own mat and what do I wear?

We have studio mats for you to use, however we advise you to eventually buy your own mat. We sell a small select range of yoga mats that we recommend/use ourselves. Cheap yoga mats are ok to start with but you will feel the difference in a high quality yoga mat as it will make your practice far more enjoyable. Cheap thin mats don’t offer the support and comfort that a higher quality mat provides.

 

Wear comfortable clothing with layers that are easily removed or added to allow for changes in body temperature during class. Be ready to practice in bare feet. This is the traditional (and safest) way to practice. One thing that we would recommend is to wear a top that you can keep on until you warm up and that you can put on at the end of a class, especially for Shavasana (relaxation).

 

What Is Yoga?

The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.

 

The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).

 

Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.

 

How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Patanjali’s eight-fold path illustrates how the physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.

 

What is Hatha Yoga?

(Pronounced “HaT-A” – the ‘A’ as in the a from ‘A’pple…… There is no ‘th’ sound in Sanskrit)

This is a tricky question to answer because when people say they practice Hatha yoga they generally mean they practice yoga from the ‘Hatha school of yoga’, which on the whole is a gentler form of physical yoga. Although people who practice Ashtanga Yoga or Iyengar Yoga are also practicing Hatha yoga.
The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.

 

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.

 

Do I Have to Be Vegetarian to Practice Yoga?

The first principle of yoga philosophy is ahimsa, which means non harming to self and others. Some people interpret this to include not eating animal products. There is debate about this in the yoga community—I believe that it is a personal decision that everyone has to make for themselves. If you are considering becoming a vegetarian, be sure to take into account your personal health issues as well how your choices will affect those with whom you live. Being a vegetarian should not be something that you impose on others—that kind of aggressive action in itself is not an expression of ahimsa.

 

How Many Times Per Week Should I Practice?

Yoga is amazing—even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. I suggest starting with two or three times a week, for an hour or an hour and a half each time. If you can only do 20 minutes per session, that’s fine too. Don’t let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle—do what you can and don’t worry about it. You will likely find that after a while your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself doing more and more.

 

When first starting out try going twice a week then after one month start going three times per week. If you add up to going 5-6 days a week make sure you always have at least one day off so your body can recuperate.

 

Is Yoga a Religion?

Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. The father of classical ashtanga yoga (the eight-limbed path, not to be confused with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ Ashtanga yoga) is said to be Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutra. These scriptures provide a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga sometimes interweaves other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, but it is not necessary to study those paths in order to practice or study yoga.

 

It is also not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga.

 

What Does Om Mean?

Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean?

Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us—that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.

 

Chanting Om allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves—the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Om, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.

 

What is the right amount of time to wait after eating, before practicing yoga? And how long should I wait after practicing yoga before I can eat?

In yoga practice we twist from side to side, turn upside down, and bend forward and backward. If you have not fully digested your last meal, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable. If you are a person with a fast-acting digestive system and are afraid you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiment with a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.

 

Two hours after you eat is generally when you have an empty stomach and it’s okay to practice yoga. If you are starving and want to practice yoga but need some nourishment it’s fine to eat a banana or have a little juice to sustain you through the practice. Just no bean burritos before hitting the mat. After you practice I would wait 30 min for your body to reaclitmate and then eat. This way your body won’t go into food shock .

 

Is it OK to drink water in class?

Ideally you shouldn’t drink during class as it cools the body down too much. An anology would be, pouring water onto an overheated car radiator: it just turns to steam. Well it’s the same with the body if you heat it up and then douse it with water: the body just produces more sweat and doesn’t actually get re-hydrated. It’s better to drink small amounts consistently throughout the day before and after class to keep the body hydrated. Having said all that, if you feel the need to drink during class you won’t get told off!
(Jock’s been practicing for 17 years and he’s never drunk water in class and he’s still alive!)

 

Why do we roll to the right after savasana at the end  of class and some times roll to the left ? Is there some significance to this?

Traditionally in yoga you roll to the right during the day to honor the sun and roll to the left in the evening to honor the moon.

 

Why are women told to avoid going upside down when menstruating?

The idea is you don’t want to reverse the flow of the outward and downward moving energy (Apana). Apana is the energy that is being eliminated from your body and your menstrual period is a form of that outward moving energy. In yoga they say going upside down can reverse that effect and create blockages and problems.

 

What can and can’t pregnant women do in yoga ?

It’s different for all women, so there is no one answer fits all when it comes to this question. If you have been practicing regularly before pregnancy then it’s probably OK to carry on during the first trimester, albeit with a modified gentler practice. During the first trimester you shouldn’t practice any deep hip opening asana’s. If you want to start yoga and haven’t practiced regularly before pregnancy then it’s advisable to wait until the second trimester to start.

 

Is yoga enough or should I compliment it with cardio and weight lifting?

Yoga asana’s are about creating a harmonious integration of breath and movement, so if you apply yogic breathing with cardio, weightlifting it can be considered a form of yoga. So I would mix it up if it feels appropriate.